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Nerd Herding November 29, 2005

Posted by Matsu in Management, Technology.
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Many years ago, back before the Y2K problem was solved, I won a Palm V from a vendor at a technology trade show. I think Cisco was the vendor, but I can’t remember for certain.

After I figured out how to get the Palm V to synchronize with the Palm desktop software, I went looking for other applications that could run on the new Palm OS device. I found the usual games and other entertaining distractions, but what really interested me was a document I downloaded to test the various text reading applications. Anne, my boss and mentor, recommended the document to me. It was titled, Nerd Herding, and after reading it I began to think seriously about what it takes to make technology professionals healthy and happy.

The document is still available on the Internet in its original Palm OS document file here, or you can visit the author’s (Cal Evans) web site to read an updated version of Nerd Herding with your web browser. For the full effect, you should read it on a Palm PDA, but if you can’t get your hands on one, then an acceptable compromise is to read the updated version on the net.

If you manage a software development team or other technology professionals (aka: geeks), then you must read this brief document and heed its advice. Being a former programmer and quasi nerd myself, I found it to be more accurate than most of the management articles and books I read before it. Since then, I found many of Cal Evan’s principles incorporated in I.T. management books and articles. Coincidence? I think not!

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