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Amplifying Your Effectiveness:
Collected Essays

edited by Gerald M. Weinberg,
James Bach
and Naomi Karten

ISBN: 978-0-932633-47-7  
©2000  160 pages   softcover  
$24.95 (plus shipping)

Subject(s): Software Quality & Productivity

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Explore the People-Oriented Challenges
That Software Engineers Must Master

About the Book

Gerald M. Weinberg, James Bach, Naomi Karten, and a group of successful software consultants present powerful ideas on how software engineers and managers can amplify their professional effectiveness—as individuals, as members of teams, and as members of organizations.

The collected essays address diverse topics in personal empowerment, interpersonal interaction, mastering projects, and changing the organization. Contributors include James Bach, Marie Benesh, Rick Brenner, Esther Derby, Kevin Fjelsted, Don Gray, Naomi Karten, Bob King, Pat Medvick, Brian Pioreck, Ken Roberts, Sharon Marsh Roberts, Johanna Rothman, Steve Smith, Eileen Strider, Gerald M. Weinberg, and Becky Winant.

The idea for this collection arose out of a brainstorming session for the inaugural Amplifying Your Effectiveness Conference (AYE), in 2000, for which the contributing authors served as hosts. Like the book, this annual conference is designed to help technical people become more effective individually, within a team, and within an organization. For details on the next AYE Conference, visit www.ayeconference.com.

The variety of techniques and perspectives represented in the book will help you amplify your effectiveness—whether or not you are able to attend the live event.


"As a collection, it really does embody its philosophy and has been put together with an observing eye to ensure that the essays congruently aid the understanding of the reader and serve as small nuggets of wisdom with an easy going smile.

"There is a vast array of information in this book and many truisms here, but more importantly there is enough room that you can slot in your own and the book helps open you up to the experiences you have already learnt from."

Alan Richardson
Compendium Developments

"Amplifying Your Effectiveness is full of interesting, thought provoking . . . essays from a group of successful consultants that resulted from the first Amplifying Your Effectiveness conference. . . .

"When I read a book, I use a highlighter to mark the passages that I find interesting, informative, or thought provoking—the ones that I want to reread later. Then I judge the book by the amount of yellow as I flip through the pages. . . . there were a lot of interesting ideas (a lot of yellow). Some of my personal favorites included:

". . . Weinberg's 'Congruent Interviewing by Audition' . . . recommends including a written test, a problem-solving exercise, or even a code-reading exercise as part of the interviewing process. This is . . . [an idea] worth repeating and remembering. . . .

"Ester Derby's 'Modeling Organizational Change' . . . provides an excellent example of how to use simple diagram of efects models to evaluate potential change ideas. . . .

"There is enough diversity in this book . . . that everyone should find something useful."

Linda Westfall
Software Quality Professional

"If you're involved in software development, the following chapters will justify your purchase of the book:

  • Don Gray: 'Solving Other People's Problems'
  • S.M. & K. Roberts: 'Do I want to Take This Crunch Project?'
  • Gerald Weinberg: 'Congruent Interviewing by Audition'
  • Johanna Rothman: 'It's Just the First Slip'

". . . the whole book is stimulating and easy to read in one sitting. Recommended for your project-management shelf."

Conrad Weisert
Information Disciplines, Inc.

"Since it is not possible to extend the length of the day, the only hope is to improve what you do with this most limited of resources. . . . As a group, IT workers commonly work 50-60 hour weeks filled with 'crisis' after 'crisis.' The only hope to break this destructive cycle is to either cut the hours or make them more fun, and there is sound advice in this book that will help you do both."

Charles Ashbacher
Charles Ashbacher Technologies
posted on Amazon.com

 "Successful software consultants present powerful ideas on how software engineers can be more effective as individuals, members of teams, and members of organizations. . . . Some subjects are crunch projects, dealing with irate customers, recognizing runaway projects, and creating a process for developing scientific software. "

SciTech Book News

"[Amplifying Your Effectiveness] can help you master your own fate and become a more productive employee, team member, and team leader. The editors have collected 19 essays from software developers and managers who write about their own experiences and how they have become more effective in their roles. . . .

"Most of the essays—even those with a software-development theme—apply to any engineering endeavor. You can learn much from this short book. . . .

"Given that the authors have only a few pages to get across a few key points. . . they stick to the topic at hand and give readers plenty of helpful advice. You'll learn from essays titled 'The Role of Testing,' 'The Peril of Parallel Projects,' and 'Recognizing Runaway Projects.' . . .

"Because the essays come from many writers, the tone and level changes from one section to the next. But in this book, these changes don't hurt the flow. The ways people manage vary, and so do the writers' voices. In fact, it's nice to have some personality come through in the essays.

". . . the book's message is clear and on target. Using some basic tools and common sense, you can get projects back on deadline, teams working together, and products delivered on time. . . .

"I enjoyed this book's firsthand accounts of projects. It's an easy volume to read and you can plow through it in a weekend or a few evenings. It's the kind of book you'll want to share with others in your organization."

  —Jon Titus
Test & Measurement World

"Software consultants present ideas on how software engineers and managers can amplify their personal effectiveness—as individuals, team members, and organizational members. Topics cover personal empowerment, interpersonal interaction, mastering projects, and changing the organization. One essay deals with interpersonal interactions and life as a software architect."

IEEE Computer

Table of Contents
Excerpt: Part Introductions
Excerpt: "The Role of Testing"


Dorset House Catalog

This Book's Flyer

By this Author

Roundtable on Project Management: A SHAPE Forum Dialogue

Roundtable on Technical Leadership: A SHAPE Forum Dialogue

Also Recommended

Everyday Heroes of the Quality Movement: From Taylor to Deming—The Journey to Higher Productivity, by Perry Gluckman and Diana Reynolds Roome

Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations, by Robert D. Austin

Productivity Sand Traps & Tar Pits, by Mike Walsh

Software Productivity, by Harlan D. Mills

To Satisfy & Delight Your Customer: How to Manage for Customer Value, by William J. Pardee

How to Order

To order this book by credit card directly from Dorset House in New York, please call (800) 342-6657 or (212) 620-4053, weekdays, 9am to 6pm. Alternatively, print out our Faxable Order Form and fax to (212) 727-1044.

To order this book from an online bookstore, please see above.

To purchase at a bookstore, contact our Recommended Booksellers to verify availability. Any store can order from Dorset House using the book's title and ISBN number. Also, bookstores can order our books through Baker & Taylor.

We'd like to make it easy for you to order, so please contact us at any time for help!

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