Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, Third Edition

Book description

Few books in computing have had as profound an influence on software management as Peopleware. The unique insight of this longtime best seller is that the major issues of software development are human, not technical. They’re not easy issues; but solve them, and you’ll maximize your chances of success.


Peopleware has long been one of my two favorite books on software engineering. Its underlying strength is its base of immense real experience, much of it quantified. Many, many varied projects have been reflected on and distilled; but what we are given is not just lifeless distillate, but vivid examples from which we share the authors’ inductions. Their premise is right: most software project problems are sociological, not technological. The insights on team jelling and work environment have changed my thinking and teaching. The third edition adds strength to strength.”

— Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., Kenan Professor of Computer Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Author of The Mythical Man-Month and The Design of Design


Peopleware is the one book that everyone who runs a software team needs to read and reread once a year. In the quarter century since the first edition appeared, it has become more important, not less, to think about the social and human issues in software development. This is the only way we’re going to make more humane, productive workplaces. Buy it, read it, and keep a stock on hand in the office supply closet.”

—Joel Spolsky, Co-founder, Stack Overflow


“When a book about a field as volatile as software design and use extends to a third edition, you can be sure that the authors write of deep principle, of the fundamental causes for what we readers experience, and not of the surface that everyone recognizes. And to bring people, actual human beings, into the mix! How excellent. How rare. The authors have made this third edition, with its additions, entirely terrific.”

—Lee Devin and Rob Austin, Co-authors of The Soul of Design and Artful Making


For this third edition, the authors have added six new chapters and updated the text throughout, bringing it in line with today’s development environments and challenges. For example, the book now discusses pathologies of leadership that hadn’t previously been judged to be pathological; an evolving culture of meetings; hybrid teams made up of people from seemingly incompatible generations; and a growing awareness that some of our most common tools are more like anchors than propellers. Anyone who needs to manage a software project or software organization will find invaluable advice throughout the book.

Table of contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Preface
  5. About the Authors
  6. Part I Managing the Human Resource
    1. Chapter 1 Somewhere Today, a Project Is Failing
    2. Chapter 2 Make a Cheeseburger, Sell a Cheeseburger
    3. Chapter 3 Vienna Waits for You
    4. Chapter 4 Quality—If Time Permits
    5. Chapter 5 Parkinson’s Law Revisited
    6. Chapter 6 Laetrile
  7. Part II The Office Environment
    1. Chapter 7 The Furniture Police
    2. Chapter 8 “You Never Get Anything Done around Here between 9 and 5.”
    3. Chapter 9 Saving Money on Space
    4. Intermezzo Productivity Measurement and Unidentified Flying Objects
    5. Chapter 10 Brain Time versus Body Time
    6. Chapter 11 The Telephone
    7. Chapter 12 Bring Back the Door
    8. Chapter 13 Taking Umbrella Steps
  8. Part III The Right People
    1. Chapter 14 The Hornblower Factor
    2. Chapter 15 Let’s Talk about Leadership
    3. Chapter 16 Hiring a Juggler
    4. Chapter 17 Playing Well with Others
    5. Chapter 18 Childhood’s End
    6. Chapter 19 Happy to Be Here
    7. Chapter 20 Human Capital
  9. Part IV Growing Productive Teams
    1. Chapter 21 The Whole Is Greater Than the Sum of the Parts
    2. Chapter 22 The Black Team
    3. Chapter 23 Teamicide
    4. Chapter 24 Teamicide Revisited
    5. Chapter 25 Competition
    6. Chapter 26 A Spaghetti Dinner
    7. Chapter 27 Open Kimono
    8. Chapter 28 Chemistry for Team Formation
  10. Part V Fertile Soil
    1. Chapter 29 The Self-Healing System
    2. Chapter 30 Dancing with Risk
    3. Chapter 31 Meetings, Monologues, and Conversations
    4. Chapter 32 The Ultimate Management Sin Is . . .
    5. Chapter 33 E(vil) Mail
    6. Chapter 34 Making Change Possible
    7. Chapter 35 Organizational Learning
    8. Chapter 36 The Making of Community
  11. Part VI It’s Supposed to Be Fun to Work Here
    1. Chapter 37 Chaos and Order
    2. Chapter 38 Free Electrons
    3. Chapter 39 Holgar Dansk
  12. Index

Product information

  • Title: Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, Third Edition
  • Author(s): Tom DeMarco, Tim Lister
  • Release date: June 2013
  • Publisher(s): Addison-Wesley Professional
  • ISBN: 9780133440706