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The Non-Psychopath's Guide to Managing an Open Source Project

By George V. Neville-Neil

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 64 No. 4, Pages 25-27

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Dear KV,

In the past you have written about managers and management in your columns, and I note that, on balance, you do not often have nice things to say. Even when you write about management in noncorporate culture—such as open source projects—you describe it in such a way that no technically minded person would ever want to get involved in managing people or projects.


C Rofer

Its the prima donnas that will cause the most problems if not managed well. First, they usually have arrogant and unsociable personalities. This can disrupt the entire team. Second, they are indispensable. Your success, measured by technical advancements, will be slashed without them.
If you can surround the high achievers with support teams who act as soothers and ambassadors, you will have overcome a major managerial challenge.

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