“Hard Code” is an opinion column just for developers by I. M. Wright, Microsoft development manager at large. Its motto is (and we hope always will be) “Brutally honest, no pulled punches.”
Each month Microsoft Press delivers two podcasts by Mr. Wright: first the new podcast for the month and then a podcast from I. M.’s archives.
The podcast for this month can be found here.
I. M. begins this month’s column this way:
The annual engineering awards are being given out this week at the Microsoft Engineering Forum. Annual reviews will soon follow. These are great opportunities to recognize impactful work. It's too bad most managers are tragically ignorant of how to recognize their employees or truly why they should.
If you are a manager, you're probably relishing this opportunity to heckle all those bad managers. Guess what? I'm talking about you. You don't know how to use recognition properly. You don't know why you should. "But I'm great at recognizing my employees," cries a clueless manager. "I'm always congratulating my team—I even shaved my head once." Let's call this manager, "Chaos."
Chaos thinks recognition is all about morale and motivation. Certainly, there are real benefits for Chaos being a team cheerleader. But if that's the depth of his use of recognition, then chaos is what he'll get.
If you enjoy this column/podcast, you’ll enjoy I. M. Wright’s “Hard Code” (Microsoft Press, 2008), which includes 49 columns and numerous Eric Asides contextualizing, clarifying, and complementing I. M.’s unpulled punches. (Eric Brechner is Director of Development Excellence in Microsoft’s Engineering Excellence group.)
We’ll post an archived podcast by Mr. Wright later this month (on the third Tuesday). Use the “I. M. Wright” tag in the right column of our blog to find all of our I. M. Wright podcasts.
Let I. M. light your way!