Summary of The New Kingmakers

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Rating

9

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Applicable

Recommendation

The latest developments from Silicon Valley are economically disruptive and socially jarring for managers from all industries – even the tech world. This slim guide by tech consultant Stephen O’Grady stresses that software programmers are scarce and hard to woo. They’re as much a mystery to old-school tech companies like Oracle and Sun Microsystems as they are to everyone else. O’Grady says the developers won, they’re going to get what they want and you should get over it. His advice might seem a bitter pill for those selling software or hiring developers to create software. O’Grady backs his assertions with sound logic: The “kingmakers,” as he calls programmers, are in charge now and you have to figure out how to make them happy. O’Grady suggests free beer and free software, and that’s just to start. getAbstract recommends his straightforward, useful advice to managers who want to hire, retain and understand developers.

About the Author

Stephen O’Grady co-founded the developer-focused technology analyst firm RedMonk.

 

Summary

New Masters of Technology

As technology advances and democratizes at a torrid pace, rapid change creates challenges for organizations trying to maintain order. Consider the use of instant messaging (IM) in the tightly regulated securities industry: A 2002 survey asked securities firms’ chief information officers (CIOs) about their company’s use of IM. The CIOs responded that their employees weren’t using instant messaging because the companies hadn’t given them IM technologies. This ignored the obvious reality: If a technology is readily available and convenient, employees will use it whether or not the CIO sanctions use and provides the tech. As the saying goes, “The CIO is the last to know.” A Venn diagram of what IT managers think people use and what they actually use shows just the smallest overlap.

Many people in the technology industry have been slow to adapt to the new reality that the iPhone era first created. Apple persuades each consumer that an iPhone is an easy-to-use device. Its business model depends on pleasing the masses. But business software companies sell mostly to just one person. If the CIO or the CIO’s buyer likes the product, he or she buys it...


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