Response Computer Boys

It was very interesting to read about the modern struggle between management and the computer workforce from a historical perspective. It seems like such a contemporary issue since every once in a while we hear about a tech company reorganizing to either give more creative freedom to its programmers or management authority to its executives. I thought is was funny how some of the stereotypes about programmers portraying them as antisocial, unmanageable, or rebellious, were around during this era and probably originated around this time.

The biggest takeaway I got from this reading is that the challenge of managing and organizing creative high technology workers; be they programmers, analysts, or designers, is one that has existed since the inception of the computer industry and is likely to persist well into the future. The problem isn’t streamlining or regulating a skill or any one particular skill set, it’s that every time a lower level creative task is made methodical, it creates a new creative task: the organizing and streamlining of the lower level task. This is a recursive problem, every attempt to make creative programming more management-friendly just makes the whole system more complicated. It seems that the best that executives can do is to try to strike  balance between efficiency and effectiveness and find the right level of oversight for their particular companies/departments.

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