Recent Reads: Leadership, Use Cases

Here are a few articles I’ve read recently that I though were worth sharing. The first two are by Kate Mastudaira, who’s ACM articles on people management are always well written and often seem to be consistent with things I’ve learned from reading and speaking with Jerry Weinberg. The third is from the person many most associate with Use Cases, Ivar Jacobson, about an update to Use Cases that seems to align more closely with agile methods.

Delegation as Art by Kate Matsudaira

A good discussion about what it means to be a “senior engineer.” in particular, “senior” implies leadership, which implies teaching. This quote hits the highlights, but the article is still worth a read:

Being a senior engineer means having strong technical skills, the ability to communicate well and navigate ambiguous situations, and most important of all, the ability to grow and lead other people.

Nine Things I Didn’t Know I Would Learn Being an Engineer Manager by Kate Matsudaira

This article explains why being a good engineering manager is not all about technical skill, but also (more so?) about communicating, coordinating, and listening. Kate Mats also shares links to resources about techniques to use to improve your non-technical skills. Whether you agree or not with what she says, her points can get you thinking.

Use Case 2.0 by Ivar Jacobson

This article goes into an updated view of use cases, adopting a few ideas from agile planning. Since Use Cases are the canonical way people like to talk about requirements on traditional projects, knowing about this might be a good way to bridge the gap between “waterfall” and “agile” projects.