manager

Don’t be afraid to hire people that are smarter than you

I’m reminded of the time right before an interview for a contracting position that a tech recruiter called and told me, “Don’t appear to be too smart. Pretend that you can’t answer some of his questions if you have to. He won’t hire people he thinks are smarter than he is.” I answered every question he asked because if that’s the way he was, I didn’t want to work there.

As a manager or business owner — any kind of leader — always hire people that are smarter than you in one or more ways.

An example of empathy (from '13 Going on 30')

I wasn’t feeling too good recently because of the treatment, as well as what I had to do to get ready for a recent test, so I ended up watching a lot of movies, including 13 Going on 30. I was struck not only by the humor of this particular scene in the movie, but also the empathy. When I worked as a manager, I always appreciated it when employees could see my situation from time to time. It shows a certain maturity that is rare to find in employees.

Would you hire yourself?

Today I'm going to ask you to put yourself in the position of someone that needs to hire someone to do whatever it is you do. Completely imagine that you are this person. For instance, I design software systems, and I usually sell my services to other IT people, so I'll put myself in the shoes of an IT Manager, or a Project Manager who needs an architect like myself.

Is there a package manager for PHP?

PHP FAQ: Is there a package manager for PHP?

Answer: Yes, PEAR (the PHP Extension and Application Repository) is what you need. As the website describes it, "PEAR is a framework and distribution system for reusable PHP components."

Here's an example of how I used PEAR to install the HTTP_Request library, showing both what I typed, and the output from PEAR as it performed the installation.

Rule number one for software project managers

Here's my Rule #1 for Project Managers, as looked at from the perspective of a software developer:

Show active interest in your project, and in the people that work on the project.

Okay, I know that seems obvious -- and I'm a little fired up about this right now -- but I've been amazed to work with project managers in the last few years who seem to have more important things to do outside of work than they have to do at work, and by this I only mean during the Monday through Friday, 8-to-5 time frame.