Making Difficult Decisions: Choosing When to Lay Yourself Off

Steve Smith challenged me in a comment to the cowardly layoff/no feedback posting: “What would you have done if you were the manager who layed off these people?” I’ve written about layoffs in a previous Software Development column, but let me address the specific problem Steve described: The manager needs the paycheck. The manager (or …

Feedback, Please

  In the last two weeks, four different colleagues have found themselves suddenly unemployed, all for the same reason, “You didn’t do what we expected you to. Since your performance is inadequate, we’re firing you.” My colleagues and I were surprised. Three of the four people received raises and good-to-great performance evaluations in the last …

Language (and Language Environment) Influences Process

  I was extremely fortunate in my choice of companies and work early in my career. I developed in assembly language and microcode and Fortran for a few years. Then, I moved to object oriented languages, primarily at Symbolics, using LISP. At Symbolics (I left in 1990), we practiced incremental development, iterative planning, and some …