Management Anti-Patterns

How not to lead techies

Managing techies, geeks, rocket scientists, and software engineers is hard work and more of an art than a science. Still given the current techie focus on patterns or more importantly anti-patterns I’m prepared to share my delicately researched opinions on the anti-patterns of technical management. And I’m willing to ignore that fact that the bulk of my management experience is with techies and not other segments of society or the fact that I went to a die hard engineering school where I was informed more than once, “It’s not a UNIVERSITY, it’s an Institute of Technology.” My experience is universal darn it.

Over the next few months I plan to examine the many anti-patterns of technical management, many of which I’ve been guilty of invoking. I’ll look at anti-patterns from “Coding Manager” to “Business Requirements are for Business Analysts”.

For those of you who’ve been following my personal cancer battle, I’ve labeled myself a survivor again as I’m completely cured at this point. Thus I’m back to ranting about techie topics instead of how oncology doctors have trouble dealing in percentages when explaining your long term survival rates.

Happy Birthday

Made it to 35

After the last few months I was really happy to see my birthday. Micki and Kassie even did a surprise birthday party, and in an amazing show of patience Kassie didn’t leak a word. So life is very good.

Not much to report on the cancer front. Looks like I’ll be doing a little local radiation. Things have advanced so they can do ‘intensity modulated radiation,’ without much extra risk. So 20 days of treatment to go and I’m all done. They’re quick and easy though compared to anything else.

Back to Work

Half time today

I made it into the office today for the morning period. I did find out that they deactivate your badge after some period so I couldn’t actually get into the building at first. Anyway I spent the morning catching up with my staff, other managers, PMs, and QA testers. You end up explaining the bone marrow transplant stories a lot, but everyone was obviously pleased I was back.

So I put on a tie today and it actually felt good. Downside is Molly picked up a fever so after one day I find I’m not allowed to hold her again. Saturday is getting closer when I get to cut the last stich out. I’t the last foreign thing in my body and it will be nice to remove. Actually, my Mom, the nurse, will probably end up cutting out the last stich, more experience.

So a few last questions for the doctor that are dogging me a bit. One, how unusual was my speedy recovery since many of the nurses were surprised. Two, long term what it the percentage chance I”m cured, not so much the ‘really good’ or ‘pretty good’ responses I’ve gotten. Somehow from my physics background at Georgia Tech I just can’t quite quantify ‘really good’ into a percentage.

The End

I got to hug Molly today finally!

Well today the catheter came out. Turned out to be pretty minor other than the surgeon getting pretty annoyed they had the wrong size scapel, an 11 instead of a size 10. It took the nurse 10 minutes to get the new one and the doctor just stood there fuming.

Anyway the great news is after my doctor’s appointment this afternoon I’ve been released from all restrictions. I’m 90% of normal and I can hug Molly (which I’ve already done), go out to the movies, and even go into work. The kitties come home tomorrow which I’m sure they miss. Of course there’s still a few lingering things and Micki has to get through the BAR, but that’s pretty normal amount of activity for us.

I’ll have to do this formally so many times over, but thanks to everyone again out there for all the help over the cancer ordeal. And I promise as much as I can, I will never do this again.

Oh, and the blog may return more to it’s java/software focus over the next few weeks, but I’ll post occassionally still about the leftover cancer stuff, like PET scans and maybe even a little local radiation.

Flying Colors

Nurses state ‘fastest recovery ever’

More good news today. After my last catheter flush, the two senior nurses declared that I was the fastest bone marrow transplant they had ever seen and that it usually takes months to recover. Most people get to keep the port a lot longer before they’re comfortable pulling it out. So considering they do about 20-30 transplants a year there that puts me in maybe the top 1% of BMT patients. Good news is so much more fun than cancer relapses.

The picture is courtesy of Nancy from the extended Gibbscrew family. As she says she couldn’t resist.