Archive for November, 2006

Why MBA “Stars” Don’t Necessarily Make Good Managers

I was reading Bob Sutton’s blog and I was reminded of another reason why top notch MBA candidates are not always the best team members let alone managers.

Unfortunately, the students who get into fancy schools like MIT and Stanford and are evaluated both before and after they arrive largely on their individual performance: BUT then life plays a cruel trick on them, forcing them to work in groups, to deal with the messiness and sometimes craziness of human groups — and their individual brilliance is no longer enough and they have all those damn people, with different needs, opinions, priorities, and skills, and different schedules too, to deal with.

If you’ve been selected and groomed based on one set of standards (individual performance) it’s hard to accept that those old standards don’t work any more and your success will be based on a new standard: the ability to work with a group to create, innovate and ultimately produce results as a team.

Individual performance is based on a different set of skills, talents, and motivations than group collaboration. So even if you can make the internal switch to accept the new standards, you aren’t necessarily going to have the right kind of motivation, the right skills, or the right talents to succeed at collaborative work.

Management isn’t easy, it’s hard work that requires really understanding people, their individual strengths and weaknesses, and creatively organizing them to accomplish things as a group that none of them could accomplish on their own. Unfortunately that’s just not what they teach in school, so you have to learn it somewhere else.

Code Mash

CodeMashLogoSome friends of mine are putting together a non-denominational developers conference called code-mash in Ohio this January.

Looks like Python and Ruby are both going to have a good number of talks. I’ll be talking about SQLAlchemy, which is the best object relational mapper I’ve ever seen. There’ll be talks about Test Driven Development in Python, Enterprise Architectural Patterns for Python developers, along with lots of cool talks about Lean Software Development, the side benefits of Test Driven development.

You can still submit a talk proposal before November 30th, and you’ll get free room and board. I think it would be great to see somebody talk about Dabo and Desktop application Development in Python, and they seem to be missing any talk about OSX/Cocoa stuff, which I’m sure is because they haven’t had any proposals yet.

It would also be nice to see a good cross platform development with Mono talk…

I’m really excited by the opportunity to get developers of all kinds together and talk about how to be productive and learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of the various tools/frameworks people are using.

Bad Day/Good Day

It’s been a grueling week trying to wrap things up at my old job and at the same time get my new software development and consulting company off of the ground.

I’m definitely tired, and it seemed like everything that could break at work broke. Then I got home and was working when the TV in the living room made a loud popping noise and started smelling like burned electrical components.

But then I saw Kevin’s post that the book we just published is the 21st most popular technical book on Amazon. I checked out our sales rank, and we’ve also cracked the top 1000 in all books. That means we’re more popular than any other Web Framework, Python, or Java book, and more popular than Tom Clancy novels.

I know it won’t last, but it does make the day better. :) Thanks everybody!

PackageTurboGears Applications

I just came across the tg2exe which aims to make stand-alone executable TurboGears applications for Windows users.

It’s still alpha code, but looks like a very easy way for people who write TurboGears applications to make testing and installing their applications easier .

It doesn’t actually create a .exe file, instead it puts everything into a single easy to package directory which you can feed to an installer, or just zip up and deploy.

TurboGears Book Ships Today!

Nine months of my life, and now it’s officially done. I haven’t actually seen a copy of the book, so if you order now you might actually get your copy before I get mine.

I’m very behind on this, but I’ve also created a website for errata, resources, and other book related stuff.

Rapid Web Applications with TurboGears: Using Python to Create Ajax-Powered Sites (Prentice Hall Open Source Software Development Series)

If you’ve read it in Rough Cuts, or as part of our fantastic review team, feel free to drop by Amazon and toss up a quick review. And now that I’ve done this part of the TurboGears documentation thing, I’m moving my focus to the online documentation, and I’m trying to put together several Documentation Sprints between now and the end of February.

If you’re interested in helping us to improve the documentation on TurboGears feel free to drop me a line at mark dot ramm at gmail dot com.