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Reflections on Management: How to Manage Your Software Projects, Your Teams, Your Boss, and Yourself by William R. Thomas, Watts S. Humphrey

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Epilogue. Software Engineers Are the Pioneers of Knowledge Work

This excerpt is courtesy of the Computer History Museum, “Oral History of Watts Humphrey,” 20091

1 Interview conducted by Grady Booch. Available online at the Computer History Museum: http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/accession/102702107.

Peter Drucker, the famed writer, professor, and management consultant, wrote extensively about knowledge work and knowledge workers. He made a point that I think is enormously perceptive: You can’t manage knowledge workers. They have to manage themselves.

What’s astounding to me is, one, that’s a terribly perceptive point, and two, no one has picked up on it anywhere. Everywhere you turn someone says, “Sure, that’s true. They’ve got to ...

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