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Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager, Second Edition by Michael Lopp

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Hacking Is Important

Back in the early 1990s, Borland International was the place to be an engineer. Coming off the purchase of Ashton-Tate, Borland was the third-largest software company, but, more importantly, it was a legitimate competitor of Microsoft. Philippe Kahn, the CEO at the time, was fond of motorcycles, saxophones, and brash statements at all-hands meetings: “We’re barbarians, not bureaucrats!”

At the time, Kahn was not only navigating the integration of Ashton-Tate, he was in the midst of moving the product suite from DOS to Windows. All the products were complete object-oriented rewrites, and they were running late. Years late. ...

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