From Techie to Boss

Scott Cromar

Published by

Apress

ISBN

9781430259329

RRP

£17.50

Reviewed by

A P Sutcliffe, PG Dip CCI, MBCS

Score

8 out of 10

It’s extremely common for technical people who do well in their job to be offered promotion as a reward for their efforts. Unfortunately, the same people who had previously performed well struggle once they are in a supervisory position.

They find that being a respectable manager is not the same as being technically capable; and that they need a completely new set of skills from outside of their previous field of competence.

This book offers a wide range of advice for the technician that has been newly promoted to a leadership role; amongst some of the key topics, there is information on time and project management, how to motivate and control staff or resolve conflict, determining strategy and policy; as well as the right way to go about communicating with staff and more senior managers.

Essentially, it’s a guide to the ‘softer’ skills that may be needed in the new position, that the technical person may not have previously had the chance to learn.

It’s broken up into modules that each focus on one specific area, allowing the reader the opportunity to pick out the particular topic that they want to learn about; and this makes the book a highly valuable resource for those that are trying to get to grips with their new responsibilities.

It’s quite a lengthy book, so is not really suitable for being read through in depth from cover to cover; it might be appropriate to ‘skim read’ it first. Rather, it should be seen as something to be kept to hand and referred to as the need arrives.

Within the text, there are considerable references to other resources from which the author has drawn a lot of the ideas and solutions that he offers. Many of these contain proven techniques that are used by a very large number of highly successful managers in many other fields; and the book provides a clear set of arguments for following the instructions. Without question, this is an informative book with a solid background.

However, even though they could well be used to reading much longer and more technical books, a number of people might be put off reading it simply because of its size and the depth of subject matter.

This is a shame, as there is no question that it does provide excellent advice and it would be of immense value in making the newer manager much more effective in their role. The recommendations in the book are absolutely sound; and it should be seen as a way to understand how to be successful as a leader.

This book would make a great addition to any manager’s library.

Further information: Apress

August 2013