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  • #2179969

    Are there any good managers left?


    by renwarb ·

    Although I have had the terrible displeasure of working for some very poor managers, I am able to recognize that many managers have reached their current professional level by proving their skills/worth.

    However, some of my complaints from experience have been:
    – Inability to grasp basic technical details concerning products/services which are being managed. (I.E. Setting a deadline without understanding the amount of time required to complete a project)

    – Committing to providing a service/implementing a solution that your staff does not have adequate knowledge. (Unless providing training, or time for Self-Study)

    – Failure to consult the staff involved about the merits/drawbacks of any particular implementation.

    – Having a “Hair-on-Fire” approach to issue resolution. (It is understood that time is of the essence when dealing with critical outages, but it is better to remain focused and make rational decisions, instead of panicking and creating a larger problem due to hasty decisions.

    – The “Are-we-there-yet?” phone calls. (When I am resolving a major issue, it wastes critical time, and disturbs my focus to answer calls from my manager asking for details at 10 minute intervals.)

    **This is a non-management peeve/more on the sales side**
    – Consistently selling/bidding services that we are unable to provide.

    Now, I have been in the field for 5 yrs. I have done helpdesk, desktop support, Novell Admin, Linux Admin, and currently handle COTS implementations/support. I get frustrated by low pay, a company who does not wish to invest in me (in terms of education), managers who throw me into an implementation-in-progress without giving me background information, having my vacation requests denied without justification, lack of raises/salary adjustments, etc.

    However, IT is my life…this is my career. I know that there will be better days. (Maybe when I move to India…lol) Honestly, though, I’m 23…I talk to my peers. Most do not see IT as a viable career choice. Mechanics are respected…Roofers are respected…Officers are respected…Plumbers are respected…Electricians are respected…IT Geeks are crapped on.

    Just the thoughts of a 23 yr old trying to make the right choices in a very dangerous field.

    Does anyone have a decent manager? Does anyone have any other peeves that I have failed to mention?

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3131136

      Give me strength

      by amcol ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      So, let’s get this straight. You’re 23, you have five whole years of experience, and you’re ready to give up on managers as a lifeform.

      You carry on about all the “professions” that get respect, lamenting that IT pros don’t. Have you ever been a mechanic? A roofer? Do you happen to have a wide circle of friends who are in these careers that you know for a fact that they’re all so “respected”?

      And, most importantly, does it occur to you that your incredibly poor attitude is reflective of someone who has no respect for others, in which case why would you expect any respect in return?

      You have so much experience and you know so much about corporate life and life in general that you can come to these cosmic conclusions? How presumptuous.

      You want to make the right choices? Here’s two pieces of free advice: one, get just a few more battlescars on your tender skin before you start lamenting your career choice; and two, grow up and stop whining.

      The younger generation. My God, what have we as parents done to you that you all have this insanely overdeveloped sense of entitlement and self-assured smug arrogance? It just makes my eyebrows hurt.

      • #3131125


        by jaqui ·

        In reply to Give me strength

        in some ways though the observations about managers are right.
        the frequent intteruptions do interfere with getting the job done.
        the panic and throw a band aide at the problem does cause more problems later.

        even though our peer is young, and five years experience at 23 means working since 18 as it pro, he did recognise how management can be a hindrance to getting problems resolved in a timely and efficient manner.

        sales departments always promise the moon, and give short deadlines for delivery of products/services, that’s what gets the sales.

        I would say that our peer has yet to learn how to accomplish deadlines by using templates in creating the items needed. that base framework will reduce time needed to meet the deadline.

      • #3130705

        Hey hey hey…Calm Down !!!

        by stargazerr ·

        In reply to Give me strength

        You are right … not all managers are like oven timers…but then undeniably, some of them are !!!

        I am 22 (Before you say it, yes I am the younger generation :p) and my experience with Managers has not been a smooth ride either.

        I have worked as a IT teacher,software developer (Java) and then as a desktop support for 4 years now. The managers that I have had are young..30ish at the most..

        They do have their good points, I dont deny that, but they do tend to set impossible deadlines and bother us with frequent calls, which is the most common of our problems.

        Another thing that my manager does which screws me up like hell, is, that he does not exactly trust me…

        He refuses to let me touch his laptop.He expects me to stand 2 miles away and give instructions on how to solve a problem with, say, his email. His Reason (I am not saying excuse) : I have personal stuff on that computer…

        Ok I have been in this job for only 2 and a half months. I still need to build myself a niche. But my manager isnt really helping..

        And then the sales people…They expect me to create solutions out of mid air in a time span of …………2.5 seconds 😮

        All I can say is that, I believe things get better with time….Only trouble with being IT people is that, we are considered to be some sort of Gods who can solve everything with a flick of our wands (I have been watching too much Harry Potter 😀 ) …

        • #3121662

          Time will tell.

          by welshbilly ·

          In reply to Hey hey hey…Calm Down !!!

          I think in new jobs you have a period of proving yourself. No matter what the job and at what level. If you have only been in this job for 2 and a half months, that might not be enough time to prove your reliablility, knowledge etc. I think keep with it and in a few months things will get better.

        • #3121658

          Yes !!

          by stargazerr ·

          In reply to Time will tell.

          thats what I am planning to do …. I am going to scream my lungs out if my boss doesnt trust me, 6 months from now 😀

        • #3121642


          by willisblag ·

          In reply to Yes !!

          As a manager myself of 10+ years with 20 years IS experience I am probably leaning towards Amcol’s view. We hear a lot about ‘respect’ and ‘trust’ from the younger generation. The thing these two issues have in common is…. they need to be earned. All IS/IT managers have strengths and weaknesses, you should learn something from all of them (even if its how NOT to do something). Just don’t tar them all as ‘bad managers’. Why should a man/woman who is ultimately responsible for the IT infrastructure trust you implicitly. Its his head on the line. On the other hand, he probably wants your help, and if you can earn his trust you are very valuable. A good manager needs to learn to depend on good staff and not see them as a threat to his own position too. Its a two-way stretch. Both parties need to learn how to make it work for their mutual benefit. I can see your frustration but don’t just label everyone as a bad manager – the guy/gal will have a much bigger view of things that are going on in your enterprise – they may be struggling with big political issues which cannot be discussed at your level. Work out how he/she wants you to work, then try and influence his/her behaviour from there.

        • #3121605

          I never ..

          by stargazerr ·

          In reply to Perspective

          tarred anyone as good or bad … some managers are bad, yes. I am doing everything I can to earn my managers trust. But,good manager or not, I am not going to be geeksploited.

          Why do you, managers of 20 years, regard us youngsters as titches?? My managers knows very well that I respect him a lot, (I know because he has mentioned this fact in an office meeting and compared my respect to everyone else’s). So believe us. We try our best to prove ourselves, all we need is some breathing space. 🙂

        • #3121523

          Easy tiger.

          by willisblag ·

          In reply to I never ..

          Sorry Geeks, probably not clear on my part – the ‘tarring’ tag was for the original postee. As per his title ‘Are there any good managers left…’
          For the record I didn’t call anyone titch lol.
          My point was that there is something we call all work with. In a nutshell.
          You, young, titches bring a lot of qualities which the senior citizens of IT need to nurture, utilise, encourage and not fear.
          In return you need to appreciate ‘the business’ comes first, and this might not always be in your best interests. The days of joining a co at A and being trained, guided, coached and led to Z are gone. We are ALL responsible for our own career development and you won’t always get the training/reward/recognition you deserve.
          Live/work with it or move.
          Good luck

        • #3114090

          there you go..

          by stargazerr ·

          In reply to I never ..

          For the record…You just called us a titch (does a jig)

          Lets forget all this .. Let there be the reign of Peace…I love my job and I can straighten my manager out (I am buying a sledgehammer ]:) ) .. oh wait, I am cross threading here…check this out

        • #3043803

          Never mind

          by serguei.bereziouk ·

          In reply to Perspective

          If you are manager of experience of 10+ the company hired you must fail, if you start talking “politics things”. All of that for amateur guy/gal!!! Never mind who manage IT world.

        • #3123019

          Manager POV

          by alvarezromeo ·

          In reply to Never mind

          I am a manager and I like to think of myself as everything opposite of what our young techie descibed, but with that said, I agree with every observation he has made. Why? Because I have 2, not 1 but 2 directors above me who fit this mold to a “T” and one of them is in charge of the entire IT dept. for our company. And I to suffer from the “untrusting manager” syndrom. The only cure for any of this is to educate these “managers” to how IT really works, granted it will take time but what other choice do we have.

        • #3122954

          Do what I did

          by attackcomputerwhiz ·

          In reply to Hey hey hey…Calm Down !!!

          When my local manager whined about the “personal stuff,” I just explained to him that if I really cared about his “stuff,” I had admin rights across the domain and I could see it anytime I felt like it. I then told him that I had better things to do than to look at twenty versions of the same spreadsheet and pictures of him kissing up at conferences. I also explained to him that it was a waste of productivity because it takes longer to talk him through something when I can’t see what he’s doing to begin with.

        • #3122948

          Not the way to earn trust and respect

          by plodge ·

          In reply to Do what I did

          Sometimes saying what’s on your mind will really not help, but hurt. Some managers would revoke those domain admin rights following that conversation. If you want to gain trust and respect, have respect for the business, your supervisors and other management. You don’t have to like everything they say and do, but sometimes keeping that to yourself can go a very long way.

      • #3130701

        Over the top…

        by illilli ·

        In reply to Give me strength

        If he had only 2 years of experience, then I’d say maybe you haven’t given managers a chance, but 5 years is significant. Maybe you haven’t done much in 5 years amcol, but I’ve done a tremendous amount. Don’t be so quick to look down your nose at someone who is young either. Most hackers are under 18 according to articles I’ve read. I worked with an 18 year-old on a project once that was nothing short of brilliant and he had been programming for 5 years also.

        I agree that I feel that the “trades” get a certain amount more respect because people view their professions as “Professional” while IT people sometimes get viewed as dogmeat.

        amcol, he didn’t have a poor attitude, you do! He was simply talking about something relevent to himself and asking if we could relate. I do. You don’t have any way to determine his level of respect based on his discussion. How presumptuous of YOU!

        Also, amcol, if you don’t have anything better to do than flame people who posted a good discussion topic, why don’t you take it somewhere else.

        Just so you know, I have 23 years of experience and I have battlescars on my battlescars.

        • #3130698

          Exactly !!!

          by stargazerr ·

          In reply to Over the top…

          Thank you for sticking up for us “Youngsters” ….

        • #3130658


          by amcol ·

          In reply to Over the top…

          OK, I wrote what I wrote late at night, after a couple of beers and VERY LONG DAY, plus the older I get the more I’m becoming a crotchety curmudgeon.


          I’ve been in the IT business since 1968. More to the point, I’ve been a manager and leader of IT professionals for more than 25 years, all of that time in the Fortune 500 and now for a major Federal agency. I’m not a professional manager…I’ve made personal contributions to hundreds of technical projects, both large and small. I’m only saying all this to establish my own bona fides, nothing more.

          Even more to the point I’m the parent of two adult children, one of whom is an IT professional himself. Plus, I was a part time adjunct professor of technology in a major university MBA program for several years. Again, bona fides.

          Last but not least, I’ve been participating in TR for quite some time and a large percentage of my participation is in the career and management threads.

          Putting that all together, there are two things that consistently push my buttons. One is crotchety old curmudgeons like me who, unlike me, have completely given up on IT as a career and a profession. This is a noble calling we’ve chosen, and it doesn’t matter if we’re appreciated for our work or not. Maybe I’m in a minority of one, but I come to work every day to do the best damn job I can, and when I go home at night I say to myself “I did the best damn job I could today” and that’s good enough for me. I truly don’t care what anyone else thinks. You don’t like IT? Get out, and leave the rest of us alone, but STOP COMPLAINING.

          The other, and the point of this thread (and this rant) is YPWA’s…Young Professionals With Attitudes. I’ll define this group as age 30 or less. The attitudes in question are an extreme sense of entitlement, a rock solid belief that nothing but pearls of wisdom flow from their mouths, an arrogance that they and only they know what’s best in every situation, a complete lack of personal responsibility, an unwillingness to pay dues, and a chronic unending stream of complaints about every single person they work with but MOST ESPECIALLY their management.

          Don’t get me wrong, I don’t absolve myself or my generation from responsibility. We’re the parents who raised these kids. We’re the ones who gave them everything their little hearts desire and the attendant attitude that all things will always flow to them. I’m ashamed of and embarrassed for my generation. But this new generation is nothing to write home about either.

          Maybe my original comments were a little too flame like, and if so I regret the tone. However, I stand by every single word I’ve said. You youngsters out there…be proud of your career choices, do your work well, live long and prosper. Bear in mind that YOU DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING…none of us do, but your management, who’s been around a little longer than you and has an agenda you maybe can’t see, is not incompetent simply because they’re management.

          Are there bad managers? Wow, way too many. Are all managers bad? Of course not. And here’s the $64,000 question…what’s easier, to passively aggressively complain about your manager or to do something positive to affect the situation?

        • #3130598

          With all due respects !!!

          by stargazerr ·

          In reply to Perspective

          I am a 22 year old. Some points, which show my view and maybe reflect the views of those in or near my age group (youngsters, as u say).

          1. I certainly dont think that I know everything. Managers know a lot more about the company than I do and not all managers are bad but that doesnt stop most of them from making me stand on my head just because they need something done before an unachievable deadline.

          I am not saying that all managers are like this…but regrettebly most of them are. My manager is a very sweet person…knows everything and understands everything but he can still be very difficult. If you follow my posts within this discussion you will see what I am talking about.

          2. Not all youngsters (certainly not me) hate IT.I absolutely love IT and am proud of my career choice. I would’nt look at options if you paid me…

          3. Some people may certainly think and feel the way you describe, but in this thread we are only expressing a healthy opinion. I am sure that 4-5 years of experience has taught us a few things (not everything). Just because we are young doesnt mean that we are the most conceited and insufferable know it all people…

        • #3130583

          Don’t personalize

          by amcol ·

          In reply to With all due respects !!!

          I was speaking in the general case and did not mean for anything I said to be applied individually (I never do).

          At the risk of practicing long distance parlor psychology, I do find it interesting that your reaction WAS to personalize my remarks. I’ve found that when folks do that it’s typically the product of a guilty conscience, that some shred of truth is recognized as being personally consistent. I’m not saying that’s what you’ve done…as a matter of fact, your words indicate a certain level of maturity I find altogether lacking in most people your age. I’m just giving you food for thought.

          Truth be told…part of the reason I reacted initially as I did is because as much credit as I give myself for being a good manager I do recognize my own limitations and those of my management colleagues, so I got a little defensive. Maybe you’ve done the same.

        • #3130570

          I bet !!! :o)

          by stargazerr ·

          In reply to Don’t personalize

          I must have become defensive, though unconciously so….I apologise if I hurt you.

        • #3130495

          When you generalize/stereotype . . .

          by pmercer ·

          In reply to Don’t personalize

          People take it personally. You have made a general statement that anyone under 30 has an attitude/ego problem . . . so this person took offense as they should, since you basically painted anyone with an issue, question or complaint who is under 30 with the same brush . . . just as you took offense when the original post slammed managers and lumped them all together (as do I, since I am a manager, have been working forever, and don’t think I wreak havoc on my staff).

          I confess I too at times read posts on this site and wonder at the audacity of folks who believe all managers are morons, clueless, and that they could do so much better than them, or without them interfering in their lives. My knee-jerk reaction to those folks is not pretty 🙂

        • #3131777


          by amcol ·

          In reply to When you generalize/stereotype . . .

          Just so I know I’ve said this out loud and am therefore on the public record:

          I do not believe in generalizations or stereotypes. I am never of the opinion that a single statement, or thought, or feeling, or description can be ascribed to an entire group no matter how that group is demographically defined. I am occasionally guilty of speaking in absolutes (as I’ve just done), but my intent is never to demean or marginalize.

          In this particular case I was speaking metaphorically, and on the basis of a fairly extensive amount of observation and personal experience. I meant no disrespect to any one individual.

          Having said all that, one more clarification. It’s very easy to be miscontrued in this type of a forum, where we’re all anonymous and only bump into each other at those infrequent moments when we’re participating in the same thread. Those who know me personally know me to be a plain spoken straight shooter who calls ’em as I sees ’em, but never ever from an attitude of disrespect for the individual. If you take offense at anything I say, I’ll be sorry you’re offended but I won’t be sorry for whatever I said…because I didn’t mean to offend in the first place.

          In other words…if you take it personally that’s your problem, not mine.

        • #3130572

          Well spoken

          by illilli ·

          In reply to Perspective

          I appreciate every aspect of your communication and thank you for such an inciteful rebuttal.


          (Alright, my prowess with English is showing…make that insightful versus inciteful.)

        • #3131728

          Points and not so

          by jkaras ·

          In reply to Perspective

          You make very good points and arguements from your perspective however your points tend to demonstrate a lack of professional courtesy. Dont get me wrong, but you points of “paying dues” and not making an investment in someone is far different than when you started. Back in the day a company made a larger investment in your career than nowadays (they just hire someone else with more experience or for cheaper), back in the day an average person could not only afford a decent lifestyle, but also pine away for tomorrow, today’s youth dont have that luxury. Our time for establishing a decent life has a smaller window of opprotunity especially with the declining pensions, hence the impatience. Some people out of college roll into a sweet job, most have sinking debt and doing menial tasks that experience the “not my problem” attitude from our elders. Part of this attitude is the stupid pay your dues attitude, fear of a younger replacement. Truth is there are plenty of positions for anyone in this field, the reality is there isnt because we dont want to invest in one another bringing the outsourcing giant into power. To me that is extremley stupid.

          What chaps my hide is the “if I invest in you and train you, you will go somewhere else and I will have to retrain another.” Well duh…, that is the role of a manager, that is business. People talk of loyalty, and a well rounded resume with experience. Well how can today’s youth achieve this without these factors? Are we supposed to stay at one job and wait for firings or terminations to move up the ladder while our pay remains low by all standards? Today’s youth doesnt want to take other jobs away from the senior elite, just make our own future and it is quite understandable as well as quite difficult. Success is on everyone’s mind, young and old, the only difference is you got where you are today because you had opprotunities that are better than most starting out and sit higher in the hierarchy tree. If you had to start all over as a youth today the frustration would get to you too when doors slam in your face or “not my problem” attitudes come from the people that are supposed to shape you into something more. Funny we call a teacher a horrible teacher if they do the bare minimum to teach children the fundamentals of education, but we praise a manager that has the same apathy towards a colleague? What our field is concern for all of us, not just people who paid their dues because before you know it we will all be out of a job or forced to work well below a standard competing more fiercly with outsourcing. But that is just my opinion. I do get your whinning gripes though, sometimes it’s a little hard.

          BTW I am 35 next month and the path of a better lifestyle in computers hasnt netted me the stability that was prosed to me to join this vocation. I am not blaming the world for my problems, I made some poor choices during my life in applying myself, that’s my cross to bear no one elses, but empathy for a fellow

        • #3131725

          Points and not so

          by jkaras ·

          In reply to Perspective

          You make very good points and arguements from your perspective however your points tend to demonstrate a lack of professional courtesy. Dont get me wrong, but you points of “paying dues” and not making an investment in someone is far different than when you started. Back in the day a company made a larger investment in your career than nowadays (they just hire someone else with more experience or for cheaper), back in the day an average person could not only afford a decent lifestyle, but also pine away for tomorrow, today’s youth dont have that luxury. Our time for establishing a decent life has a smaller window of opprotunity especially with the declining pensions, hence the impatience. Some people out of college roll into a sweet job, most have sinking debt and doing menial tasks that experience the “not my problem” attitude from our elders. Part of this attitude is the stupid pay your dues attitude, fear of a younger replacement. Truth is there are plenty of positions for anyone in this field, the reality is there isnt because we dont want to invest in one another bringing the outsourcing giant into power. To me that is extremley stupid.

          What chaps my hide is the “if I invest in you and train you, you will go somewhere else and I will have to retrain another.” Well duh…, that is the role of a manager, that is business. People talk of loyalty, and a well rounded resume with experience. Well how can today’s youth achieve this without these factors? Are we supposed to stay at one job and wait for firings or terminations to move up the ladder while our pay remains low by all standards? Today’s youth doesnt want to take other jobs away from the senior elite, just make our own future and it is quite understandable as well as quite difficult. Success is on everyone’s mind, young and old, the only difference is you got where you are today because you had opprotunities that are better than most starting out and sit higher in the hierarchy tree. If you had to start all over as a youth today the frustration would get to you too when doors slam in your face or “not my problem” attitudes come from the people that are supposed to shape you into something more. Funny we call a teacher a horrible teacher if they do the bare minimum to teach children the fundamentals of education, but we praise a manager that has the same apathy towards a colleague? What our field is concern for all of us, not just people who paid their dues because before you know it we will all be out of a job or forced to work well below a standard competing more fiercly with outsourcing. But that is just my opinion. I do get your whinning gripes though, sometimes it’s a little hard.

          BTW I am 35 next month and the path of a better lifestyle in computers hasnt netted me the stability that was prosed to me to join this vocation. I am not blaming the world for my problems, I made some poor choices during my life in applying myself, that’s my cross to bear no one elses, but empathy for a fellow colleague shouldnt be shunned. If we invest in one another only then will our field become stronger, not weaker.

          Are there some really good managers? Yes, but not enough in my opinion, hopefully that will change.

        • #3117213


          by ou jipi je ·

          In reply to Perspective

          Although I agree with you for most part-

          May I kindly inquire what procedures have you established in your oganization to encourage the “youth” to do something “positive” instead of passive complaining?

          It is easy to write down “essays” after a few beers — the hard reality of todays IT world is budget cuts resulting to staff/ managers hanging schizophrenically to their positions as much as they can (often with negative impact on the IT organization).

          There is no black and white, only shades of gray there days in IT world. And that is why there is so much problems. A computer knows only 0 and 1. It does not give a damn about 1.5, or 3.2, no matter how important on nice it is.

        • #3122499

          Only one thing, and it’s not procedural

          by amcol ·

          In reply to Perspective

          Too many people don’t understand the role of management (even managers themselves). We’re not here to be psychologists, parents, buddies, or anything else other than MANAGERS. Managers manage…I know that sounds awfully simplistic, but that’s it right there in a nutshell. We’re paid to deliver results, and in order to do that we have to figure out how to get individuals and teams to work to the highest levels of productivity and quality. That’s a business issue, not an emotional one.

          It’s not my job to establish formal procedures for staff/team members, young or old, to avoid engaging in passive/aggressive behavior. That’s a personality issue, and as I said I’m not your shrink. All I can do is maintain an open door policy and make sure I’m as approachable as possible, which means making time for people when they need it and listening carefully without being patronizing or giving the impression I’m just paying lip service to their issues. That’s part of how I maintain my credibility.

          There’s a downside to operating this way, which is people tend to overstay their welcome and start bringing up all kinds of silly stuff. Just the other day I got an earful about why the soda machine is stocked the way it is, from someone who couldn’t put a minor issue into its proper perspective. I’d rather have to sit through things like that than be the kind of manager whose people feel they can’t talk about anything, even though it means I occasionally get my time wasted.

          People love to complain, but complaining does nothing more than provide a momentary panacea. It’s just an aspirin, and it doesn’t cure the basic illness. After you’re done complaining, what have you accomplished? Better to take an action, any action, than passively smolder.

        • #3122430

          How about those times …

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Only one thing, and it’s not procedural

          … when the manager, in the best interest of the company, has to turn, face the CxO, and tell him (or her) “No, it simply can’t be done the way you want it to be done.”?

        • #3122315

          How about it?

          by amcol ·

          In reply to How about those times …

          Proving my point that managers are supposed to manage. Managing is not directional…you don’t just manage your staff, you have to manage down up and sideways. What you describe is something all managers dread, but something we all have to do…deliver bad news upward. And it’s a far cry from the passive/aggressive behavior we’ve been talking about, as a matter of fact it’s just the opposite.

        • #3123565

          How it can be done

          by goingmobile ·

          In reply to How about those times …

          Thank you for the good point that sometimes managers must stand up the CxO. However, if they want to be managers much longer or move up, they need to follow that line with an answer of what CAN be done. This is where the manager is now asked to do the impossible and stand on their head much like they ask of their staff.

          Execs are not the problem solvers; that’s why they hire VPs, Directors, Managers, and staff. They set strategy and want people to implement it. An good exec may not take “no” for an answer, but they will take “here is how we can solve your request” for an answer.

          Making that leap is not obvious (at least it was not for me) for many IT-minded people who are by their nature analytical problem solvers: tell me the problem and I’ll solve it. We must realize, and this takes time and experience to figure out, how to define the real problem. It’s a step beyond the technology. As complex as technology is, people are more so. This is hard.

          If you want to understand your manager, realize he/she may not have the answer or even understand the problem. Many of them could if they had the time. Since they don’t have the time, they have a staff.

          Good luck. This is hard, and I’m still learning how to work with seemingly impossible execs after 19 years of IT & business experience! If it weren’t a challenge, I’d be bored. And the challenge is why I love IT.

      • #3132130

        self-assured smug arrogance?

        by wordworker ·

        In reply to Give me strength

        Gee it sounds from your smart-alec reply that you’re the manager who inspired the post. “If you take it personally that’s your problem not mine,” you say later, but isn’t that exactly how you responded?

        • #3132427

          Not guilty

          by amcol ·

          In reply to self-assured smug arrogance?

          Self-assured, no. Smug, no. Arrogant, definitely not. Took the original post personally…please. I speak for myself, no one else. I don’t represent The Royal And Distinguished Order Of Managers, they’re all perfectly able to do so on their own.

          You may not like what I said or how I said it, but I at least took the time and trouble to construct what I meant to be a reasoned response and then took additional time and trouble to expand upon my position. I did so for the same reason I make any post…to add to the collective body of knowledge.

          Have you noticed that the original poster has not once re-engaged? My original premise was this was yet another in an interminable series of whining rants by someone who thinks they’re way wise beyond their years and is simply interested in venting, nothing more.

          Looks like I may have been correct, irrespective of the way I chose to express myself.

        • #3132301

          Being Correct is one thing

          by stargazerr ·

          In reply to Not guilty

          But expressing an opinion in a certain way is another…The original poster may not have come back but the rest of us think this is a discussion worth continuing…and if we are not careful this discussion may soon turn into a discussion about “How to express a healthy opinion”.

          Everyone tries to justify themselves, but it wont hurt to sometimes put yourself in the other person’s boots and try to understand his point of view.

          You told me that I should not personalize…isnt that exactly what you did in your first post?? You even accept it in the post you made (the one I have replied to). None of us are responsible of a whole community. Just our own actions and thoughts.

      • #3123138

        It says your senior management

        by darkangles ·

        In reply to Give me strength


        Since when does senior managment take the time to flame someone that is just starting out in the business? How about something constructive?

        I have worked for 2 of the largest companies in the world (for their fields…plastics) and bad managers can be found anywhere.

        What a lot of people that are just starting out don’t understand is that their view of the situation is only 1 mile high. More than likely the reason for the “hair-on-fire” approach is the managers (or his boss’) inability to stand up when there is a problem and let people know that it is being taken care of. He is calling you every 10 minutes, because someone is calling him every 10 minutes.

        If your peers are confident about your company’s IT staff in general, then they will give you the breathing room you need to do your job.

        This might mean that you need to think faster than your boss, and be Johnny on the Spot with a solution as much as possible. Eventually you might start getting phone calls every 15 minutes instead.


      • #3123106

        Reply To: Are there any good managers left?

        by renwarb ·

        In reply to Give me strength

        Hello amcol,

        Unfortunately there are no HTML settings to indicate humor, sarcasm, etc. When I titled my post “Are there any good managers left”, it was somewhat in a joking manner after reading another thread. I prefaced my post by stating that I do understand that MOST managers are incredibly qualified, and have attained a certain status in their career because they are actually GOOD at what they do. I am not ready to “give up on managers as a life-form.”

        My grandfather & his father were mechanics, my grandfather went on to work in the corporate side of GM. My roomate & friends are roofers. My grandmother was a sergeant on the police force. True, I’ve only known a few plumbers. My father was an electrician.

        As for my circle of friends…I have friends of various ages (mostly older than I), of many religions, and from various countries, which are employed in a wide variety of professions.

        I take offense to your suggestion that I have little or no respect for others. My grandfathers have taught me much about respect, and I have no problems following orders, or the chain of command. I have an incredible amount of respect for my elders, and I usually become friends with people twice my age, because I respect and value their life experience and I understand that they have much wisdom to offer me.

        I never stated that I had an immense amount of experience in the corporate world. I never stated that I expected to be very well respected. I understand that with youth, comes a responsibility to PROVE my worth. I think that it’s actually presumtuous for you to formulate such a conclusive view of the type of person that I am from such a few paragraphs of text.

        If you really want to know what my parents have done to make me appear arrogant in any way…When you see your parents getting high, when you see them making poor life decisions that affect you as a child, and when you see them failing to mature beyond the point of a teenager, it tends to make you a little less apt to respect someone simply because they have been living for a longer amount of time. Thank God for my grandparents, and their involvement in my life.

        I cannot judge you as a person from a few sentences, but I can say that you seem to have an issue with prejudging/classifying people.

        • #3123079


          by old guy ·

          In reply to Reply To: Are there any good managers left?

          renwarb, I was wondering where you went after your initial post on this. I was rather amused/amazed at the amount of fierce opinions you ?incited?.

          Having worked with young people in a youth group setting for the past 18 years, which included not only Christian teaching but counseling, as well, and following these young people into their adult lives, I have found that young people, especially teens, are the best people in the world. I have a high respect for their commitment, when channeled correctly, as well as their respect of other people.

          Yes, there is a sub-class to every generation that wants everything handed to them. However, I have seen a lot of folk in my generation that fit your description of your parents. I, too, am from the “baby boomers”, (I hate that title) where we grew up in the sexual and drug revolution and the me syndrome. Yes, a lot of parents have failed their children in this respect and now that we are getting older we expect this younger generation to act real responsible like we do now–conveniently forgetting all the junk we had in our lives.

          Unfortunately, this thread has weaved in and out of IT through personal views and prejudices. But, opinion and debate is good. Actually, some of what most folks have said, on both sides of the generation thing, have been correct and viable.

          I guess, in essence, what I?m saying is generalizations and stereotyping very rarely works, and probably never is a good thing. That’s why we are individuals…

        • #3123041


          by techlizard ·

          In reply to Reply To: Are there any good managers left?

          renward, you may be young but you drafted a very classy, respectful response to the posts above. (no I am not a manager, he he)

        • #3122997

          Ground already covered

          by amcol ·

          In reply to Reply To: Are there any good managers left?

          It doesn’t sound like you’ve read my other postings in this thread but I’ve already expressed my regrets for the flame-like tone of my original posting.

          I’ve also made it pretty clear that I did not intend any remarks to be taken personally. I was speaking in the general case, using your posting as a jumping off point.

          We all speak from our own perspectives. Mine is the result of a long lifetime in the business world, being the father of two adult children about your age, and the experience of working with a pretty fair number of the members of what’s come to be called Generation X and Generation Y.

          As to the issue of respect, every generation thinks the one that comes after it is less respectful. My generation’s parents thought that about us (they were right) and we think that about your generation. It’s hard to argue that commonly accepted rules of behavior no longer apply. I think you’ve made an excellent point about parental example…it’s the same point I made in previous postings. As a firm believer in the principle of personal responsibility, it’s my view that parents who set a bad example by not applying the same rules to themselves that they asked their children to abide by have only themselves to blame when those kids find it difficult to become fully formed adults, just as employees who can’t get their jobs done represent a management failure.

          You’re lucky you had grandparents who could set the proper example for you. I’m lucky I had parents who did that. I hope my kids feel lucky that they had the same (they sure turned out great, no matter who’s responsible). Not all of us are quite so lucky.

          Keeping with the theme of personal responsibility, it bothers me greatly when people make all kinds of rationalizations and excuses to explain away whatever’s wrong with their situations but never seem to point any fingers at themselves, or identify themselves as the architects of their own solutions. It especially bothers me when those complaints are the same old same old. My management is terrible, my boss sucks, my CEO doesn’t know what he’s doing. It’s so easy to assess blame, and it’s really simple when you blame the same factor as everyone else. No one’s going to argue with you, because after all…EVERYONE’S management is terrible, EVERYONE’S boss sucks, EVERYONE’S CEO doesn’t know what he’s doing. It’s amazing any real business ever takes place anywhere. OK, great. So have you added anything to the collective body of knowledge the rest of us can use, or have you just heaped more wood onto a fire already burning? Thanks, but it was warm enough.

          Don’t you agree that action generates reaction? That taking a step in the right direction, any direction for that matter, is better by far than just sitting at your desk with your head in your hands and lamenting your fate? That’s how your original posting came across, and that’s why I posted as I did.

          I’ve had dozens of managers in my career. Some were incredibly bad, one or two were incredibly good. Most were just trying to do the best they could under the circumstances. I’ve been a manager myself for more than 25 years, and I tell you with no conceit or ego that of the hundreds of people I’ve managed there are a significant number who would tell you I’m a pretty good manager, while only a handful would tell you I suck. I know this because I ask them, because I believe that one of my most important jobs as a manager is to provide feedback and in order to do that effectively I need some too. I know this also because there have been a pretty impressive number of people who’ve followed me from one company to another, which I find rather flattering. I’m telling you all this because I hope you’ll find, as I have, that at the end of the day most of us are just trying to do the best we can. We can ascribe all sorts of nefarious motives, suspicious agendas, incompetent behaviors, whatever. Most people aren’t really all that complicated. Take positive steps, perform positive actions, provide positive proaction and most things fall into place. Sit around and complain and not much results.

          BTW…I said this in another post, but I STILL find it very interesting that this is a thread you started a week and a half ago in which, to date, there’ve been well over a hundred postings, and yet you’ve only reengaged once…and for no other reason than to refute my comments. I stand by my original evaluation…you’re action averse and just like to complain. You’re not going to get very far in life that way, my friend.

      • #3122919


        by pedwards17 ·

        In reply to Give me strength

        I couldn’t agree more, and it does appear as though we baby-boomers are the parents at fault. I think it’s the responsibility of every generation to make it better for the following generation. The main difference, as I see it, is that the baby-boomers KNOW they have it better than their parents. The offspring of baby-boomers believe that they DESERVE to have it better than their parents, hence the entitlement. I’m sick of it.

        I’ll stop now.

      • #3122147

        Give me a break

        by powerbroker3000 ·

        In reply to Give me strength

        Five years of experience as you say. Give me a break and grow up. You are going to find out the hard way in life that the world does not go the way we want it. Get some experience first, learn a little humility and patience.

        You’re 23 and yes, you still don’t know everything. We ALL have something to learn

        The world is far more complex than you could ever imagine and not quite as simple as you think it might be.

        Remember this as well. When life serves you lemons, make lemonade!

      • #3121903

        HA HA HA HA HA

        by keyguy13 ·

        In reply to Give me strength

        I knew it was you amcol, before I even scrolled down to see that you wrote it. As usual, I agree. Damn kids don’t have the slightest clue how good they have it.

      • #3128364

        Maybe it’s what we didn’t do….

        by professordnm ·

        In reply to Give me strength

        Re: amcol
        “The younger generation. My God, what have we as parents done to you that you all have this insanely overdeveloped sense of entitlement and self-assured smug arrogance? ”

        Maybe we should have sold these children to passing caravans in the night?

    • #3130761

      Good Managers and Leaders

      by jdgretz ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      There are a host of excellent manager and leaders out there – sounds like your company may be lacking in that aspect however. The type of leadership you are seeking comes from the top and is a cultural thing.

      I have had many managers who have the talents you desire in your managers. If I was a betting man, I’d bet your mid-level managers are all relatively young and that senior management is not a bunch of 50+ year old veterains either.

      Us older guys tend to take a larger view of what’s going on and make sure what is being asked actually fits the overall business plan for the company rather than be in a firefighting mode most of the time.

      It’s tough to be a effective manager/leader. Business schools don’t teach that.

      When I have interviewed for management positions (I have been at the Director level) many of my questions about the people revolve around the type of support they have – what do they have on their desktop? What is the training budget? When was the last time each person went to a vendor sponsored training session? What’s the morale like? What are the complaints the folks have? This is after finding out what the operating parameters for the job are (projects, reporting structure, etc.).

      I don’t blind side my management and do not accept it from my employees.

      My biggest job as a manager is to isolate my folks from management so they can do what they know best and are paid to do. I handle working priorities with the rest of the management team. No one other than the CIO or CEO can walk in and give direction to my staff and have them follow it – and I had best be kept in the loop as to why this did not come through me (I could be at lunch with my cell phone off, or in an airplane, etc).

      Emergencies do happen, but that should not be the norm. If it is, then the company has bigger problems and one should think about the wisdom of staying in that environment.

      • #3130676

        There are good managers out there

        by kansaigirl ·

        In reply to Good Managers and Leaders

        …I worked for one.

        IMHO, good managers have the ability to set expectations so that their employees are well-respected by the community they serve. They know what you are doing, but do not micromanage. They keep their doors open, but keep confidence when sensitive matters are discussed. When an employee is going through a difficult time, they acknowledge it and cut that person some slack where possible. They are tough but fair. They need not be down-in-the-trenches technical, but having IT or project management background helps in this field.

        I can’t speak highly enough of this particular manager, nor can I accurately describe his particular skill set. I’m sure I’m omitting many good criteria. I moved back to my hometown because the job market dried up where I was after the dot-bomb, and from what he tells me, IT jobs continue to be scarce. Regardless, I would more than gladly work for him again, in just about any capacity.

      • #3123686

        Additional 2 cents

        by cpr ·

        In reply to Good Managers and Leaders

        I once worked with a manager who said that his job was to remove any obstacles that prevented employees from doing their best work. He was a cheer-leader, encouraging his team to work at 101% capability – if his department was successful, so was he (think of an athletic team and coach).

        I also believe that even though a manager may not have the detailed knowledge that some of the team members have, he should not permit an idividual to do anything that the manager would not do him/her self. Rather than phoning to see if an overnight emergency was completed, I would show up with a pizza and do whatever I could to help resolve the issue (even of that meant being a go-for).

        • #3121664

          Be patient and learn from it.

          by zyphlar ·

          In reply to Additional 2 cents

          I’ve been a network administrator for almost two years, and I work for an excellent company. The atmosphere and cohesiveness is wonderful, but the company is young and going through growing pains. (We’ve hired over 20 people in my office since I began 9 months ago, and I hear about a new multimillion dollar project every few weeks.) Some things are definitely not optimal about the company, but I couldn’t ask for a better place to work.

          My manager is about 30 years old and doesn’t understand the value of being a cheerleader, but he’s personable and with some patience he can be good to work with. He’s skilled at putting me in check, but at the same time we’ve upgraded and expanded our capabilities tenfold in my short time here.

          My fellow young IT warriors, I just described what you might call a hardass sadistic accounting manager who got stuck with managing IT.

          In a battle between you and a bad manager, not only will you be out of a job but you’ll also lose a good opportunity for personal development. Being able to perform under a difficult manager is an extremely valuable skill. Not more than 6 months after being hired, I helped hire employees below me– I discovered that I would rather hire a patient, unassuming, eager newbie with a passion to learn than any presumptuous hacker. I can teach a willing newbie easier than I can fix some kid’s bad attitude.

          I know that I’ll be going places in my career not because I’m full of myself, but because I’m devoting myself to doing the best possible job I can, regardless of the circumstances. Develop a passion for learning, and even horrible managers will have something valuable to teach you.

        • #3121660

          Sit back and learn

          by welshbilly ·

          In reply to Be patient and learn from it.

          I totally agree. Working for a bad managers give you the exclusive lesson of “this is not how to do it”. The important thing is to take note, and remember. As long as you do that it could be a very big learning curve.

      • #3123146

        Roles & Responsibilities

        by techsnr ·

        In reply to Good Managers and Leaders

        Folks I have read though 75% of this discussion and have felt its changing into a finger pointing exercise. Lets get things into a bit of perspective.
        A manager’s job is to “manage”. As far as I know “it” (dont mean to be sexist) manages professionals, resources, projects/assignments and time. In all of these only professionals are “resources” that “feel” something when juggled around. Its a company culture thing, if professionals are seen as mere resources, be it any field. And its upto professionals to choose to stay or move on in such a culture.
        Back to my point: If managers think they dont need to know IT to manage, then they are not eligible to set deadlines, at least not ANARCHY-ially (pardon my lack of vocabs). TIP for Managers: Involve your IT Staff in setting deadlines and then get them to account for it. Simple. Its called delegation and works much better than dictatorial managing. On the other hand if managers think they know about IT then set/commit deadlines that you think you can achieve as a team not “from” your team. A manager and a team is a separatist concept. A manager is “part” of the team. And if deadlines are not met the “Team”, which includes the manager, is responsible, not just professionals.

        Some tips for professionals. If you think deadlines are tight, complete only the macro parts of the task. Compromise on quality as best as you can. Dont be perfectionists, as most IT pros tend to be, to prove their knowledge. Its business, for you as well. If you dont have the time, only develop what looks good on the outside, doesnt matter if somethings dont work on the inside. Its a compromise the manager/sales force has to live with.
        A manager is good if he can lead his workforce into completing something. “It” can push them from time to time to train them for tougher times but pushing staff all the time is just gonna derail the whole team. Its upto managers themselves to decide whether they are good or bad based on these measures. I cannot generalize on whether there are good managers or bad ones out there.

        And just to continue the finger pointing culture, the previous quoter said “It’s tough to be a effective manager/leader. Business schools don’t teach that.
        “. We IT pros know its not easy being a manager. But NEITHER IS DEVELOPMENT/PROBLEM SOLVING. And for your information, its NOT taught at IT Schools either. If a manager thinks its a tough job, then definitely “it”(un-sexist) is in the wrong job. :-).

    • #3130602


      by jdmercha ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      “Inability to grasp basic technical details concerning products/services which are being managed. (I.E. Setting a deadline without understanding the amount of time required to complete a project)”
      Perhaps that is your job, not your managers. Managers need to be sure that their people know the details, so they have the time to manage the big picture. Most time deadlines are driven by business needs. You have to find a way to get the project done in time to fill the need. That may mean more manpower or more overtime.

      “Committing to providing a service/implementing a solution that your staff does not have adequate knowledge”
      Personally I’d never refuse work. If your manager refused this kind of work you’d probalby be out of a job. Be happy to have the opportunity to expand your skills.

      “Consistently selling/bidding services that we are unable to provide.”
      Again that is how they make their money and keep you employed.

      • #3130593


        by stargazerr ·

        In reply to Perceptions

        We shouldn’t ever refuse work given…even if it means overtime..

        But, the managers should at least set a few more achievable goals…which includes giving us a little more time if we need to educate ourselves to complete something. Not too much to ask, is it??

        • #3130556


          by jdmercha ·

          In reply to Agreed

          I would say that the lack of continuing education/training is the biggest problem with corporate America.

          As far as goals go, you should work with your manager at review time to set realistic goals for yourself. If you manager presents you with an unrealistic goal, put your objections in writing.

      • #3122291

        Reply To: Are there any good managers left?

        by james b. ·

        In reply to Perceptions

        jdmercha, I hear your points in rebutting the original poster, but I think you were reading more of what you expected him/her to say, and not so much the wording he/she used.

        To wit, the point about sales promising things that can’t be done is an incredibly valid argument depending on the details. If the customer says; “sure, I’ll buy your xxxxxxx tracking software, but I’ll need you to build the customer facing webpage to add to our site too” and you have no-one who does anything with web-publishing, how is that fair? Certianly withing reason one should learn new skills as needed, but the OP I think has valid points to make.

        I would also take an unknown skill as a challenge to expand my knowledge, and have several times. But I think the symptom a lot of IT faces is that non-IT people, including a lot of IT managers (which is fine to an extent, they are there to manage) tend to toss anything that requires a keyboard to do at the IT department and expects them to figure it out. Just because I can program Oracle databases doesn’t mean I can do Java scripting, or make front end graphics for a website. The scope of a project is also an issue. Some non-IT minded folks have no idea about the developement cycle of creating programs, of generating a professional website. They simply have no grasp on how long it takes. That in itself is not an issue, even in management. Not listing to the people who do know how long it takes is.

    • #3130587

      Have not seen any…..

      by wayne ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      When I read your comments it seemed as though I had written them, I have been in the IT field for over 13 years and have seen the same things that you are experiencing across the spectrum. I have survived and make a good salary because of one simple axiom. I no longer expect anything of my managers. They only want like minded people in their “fraternity” and geeks are not welcome. However, the good news is this, they are not getting any smarter, and will always need you to buttress their position.

    • #3130568

      Managers don’t get training either. Duh.

      by dc guy ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      What makes you think your manager has any better luck than you do at getting the training he needs to do his job better–or even well? Managers are even more pressed for time than you are; they’re offered training even less often than you are, and when they get it they’re pulled out for “emergencies” even more often than you are.

      Add to this the fact that IT is notorious for promoting people into management because they have distinguished themselves as technicians, or because they have put in their time and “deserve” the promotion, not because there’s the slightest reason to suspect that they might be good managers.

      You’ve had some training. With some exceptions, mostly involving people who get back-door IT experience in end-user organizations, a person can’t get a job like yours without some diplomas or credentials or accomplishments suggesting that they’re a good candidate. Most people get into IT management based on absolutely NOTHING! We need someone to manage project XYZ. Suzie doesn’t complain, her code runs, and she works 60-hour weeks. She’ll do.

      There is, ironically, a wealth of course material available for managers in IT and any other field. I’ve developed and delivered PMI certified courses. Most of the students in my classes were government employees and federal contractors. What about the rest of you? Most private sector employers don’t understand that management is a profession and professionals need training. You can easily spot the ones that DO understand that, they’re usually the leaders in their industry.

      We used to all start our careers by working for an extinct type of creature called a “supervisor.” That person didn’t spend their whole day in meetings and writing reports, but rather mentoring us into good employees. Their own leadership skills rubbed off on us. If they were good at supervision they’d get promoted to management. If they weren’t good they became the butt of office jokes and the people who worked for them still got an education, by the time honored method of negative example.

      You got promoted to supervisor by luck, putting in your time, and not showing up drunk, but at least you’d spent some time in the presence of someone who usually set a good example. The process was self-perpetuating.

      Then the workstation revolution came along. The organizational pyramid was squashed flatter–not “leaner” as it’s erroneously called, just look at the picture and you can tell the difference. The positions that were squashed out by the infernal contraptions were secretaries, clerks, and supervisors–all the people who kept the company running because they actually knew where everything was and how everything worked.

      Now you can watch an manager spend half an hour trying to center a heading on a report. You can spend two hours trying to find a document you misfiled. And you can spend a lifetime never reporting to someone who A. Has any training in management skills or B. Spends enough time mentoring you to know whether you’re management material or to even have turned you into management material in the first place.

      So yes, Ren, most of your managers probably do not actually know what they’re doing. Especially the young ones who have had very limited opportunities and little encouragement to learn their job skills.

      But in some cosmic sense it’s not really their fault. Blame computers and the people who place way too much faith in them.

      Oh wait, that’s us, isn’t it?

      • #3130561

        Training Still May Not Be Enough

        by illilli ·

        In reply to Managers don’t get training either. Duh.

        I so agree with you DC Guy. Of course, even with training, some managers will still fall short. I always try to remember that my manager is a person and will make mistakes and then defend those mistakes. I do the same thing on occasion unfortunately. I guess what I am saying is that good managers sometimes make bad decisions and bad managers sometimes make good decisions. I’ve always tried to persuade change in bad managers and propagate high praise for good managers while overlooking their mistakes. Somewhere in there, I’ve always managed to get the job done either despite my manager or because of ’em.

      • #3130531

        Agree with That

        by stargazerr ·

        In reply to Managers don’t get training either. Duh.

        I absolutely agree with this argument.

        However, non existent, there still are some managers out there who dont listen to the voice of reason. For example I am tryng to get my manager to buy an antivirus, but he insists on using AVG free for everyone in the office, which is only for home users. We could get fined big time, but he absolutely refuses to listen to me. What do you do with a guy like that??

        • #3131796

          This came up on another thread

          by dc guy ·

          In reply to Agree with That

          Or maybe it was you there too.

          If your manager is doing something that is going to get the company in trouble, you have to do the risk analysis and decide whether it is worth it to you to blow the whistle. Assuming you’ve already tried to reason with him or you wouldn’t be here talking to us, you have to go over his head, probably to corporate counsel. The down-side of this is that you won’t be getting along very well with him from now on.

          If he’s ordering YOU to do something that will get YOU in trouble it adds a whole lot of clarity to the situation. Do you want to be in legal trouble and possibly have a big fine levied against you? Or would you rather just have your boss be really mad at you?

        • #3132300

          Yep it was me there too…

          by stargazerr ·

          In reply to This came up on another thread

          I have already gone and talked to his superior in the company (who also happens to be a techie 🙂 )after someones (your ??) advice in my post…My boss has agreed to look into the matter…

          I certainly would rather have my boss mad at me then to get the whole office into legal trouble..

      • #3131791

        Ode to Supervisors

        by too old for it ·

        In reply to Managers don’t get training either. Duh.

        HAving started in the Marine Corps in `74, (and except for the years between ’74 and `80) the observation about managers is painfully true.

        One other thing that a person learned as a Supervisor, and then hopefully as middle-management, was how people worked. Maybe even more so: You learned that you needed good people to do what they were skilled at in an adequate manner to make the whole operation tick. (And maybe you got to watch, rather than participate in, what happens when “flaming hair” decision = whole company on the picket line next day at 7:00 AM.) I digress.

        The reason why a lot of young managment seems wet behind the years is that they are young. They have no seasoning. They are bereft of any experience other than surviving 4 years of college at Brewski U and a string of jobs for 7 years or so. They are hired by the same CFO’s who think programming is always entry level work. (I bet Sony wishes they had farmed their DRM program off to someone with a few more years experience just now.) Had they not taken a job as manager at Zippy Company’s IT department, they would be makign equally annoying decisions at the local Wendy’s franchise.

        My supervisor at the first aerospace job I had was with the company for 25 years. Our department manager had 30. The QA technician I was mentored by had 2 jobs since high school: 20 years in the Marines and 20 years with the company.

        Go figure.

      • #3121565

        Basis on Manager is chosen for the job

        by welshbilly ·

        In reply to Managers don’t get training either. Duh.

        What interests me is there should be some sort of basis as to why that person was chosen to be promoted to a Managers job. I would have thought this sort of position requires several soft skills. How do you establish that person has those soft skills in order to do the Management job, when they have been a developer for 3 years?

        Also, why have companies stopped sending Managers on Management training? Shouldn’t this be just as important as the Manager’s team getting the latest technical skills. Is this something that is not seen as important these days? Or is it a case of there is not enough budget?

        I agree with DC Guy that organisational structure is a lot flatter these days than they used to be. Where is the scope for people to learn these soft skills when there is no Team Leader, Supervisor to work to and learn from?

        • #3114038

          Basis for choosing managers

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Basis on Manager is chosen for the job

          Quite often the most experienced techs are chosen. This obviously isn’t the best criteria. Great techs do not always equal great people managers.

          To answer your question on where those vital soft skills are developed – project management. A project manager needs influence skills, time and task tracking skills, budgeting skills in many cases. A “people” manager just tends to do those same things more formally.

          I haven’t been on much in the way of management training. I took a “finance for non-financial managers” course which had some value. I took a “managing at XXX(fill in the blank)” course where they basically filled us in on all the systems we could use in our interactions with HR. But mostly I’ve been thrown in the deep end of the pool. I had a lot of the soft skills but could have used more info about how the company really operates.


    • #3130481

      There are some GREAT managers out there. And I know this…..

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      ….to be a true and verifiable fact, because everyone in my department works for one!

      I’ll comment on the rest of your message a little later. But right now, I have to go yell at a couple of people, even though they don’t deserve it; figure out how to assign a task so that it’s impossible to achieve correctly (so I can yell some more); turn down some vacation requests, regardless of the stupid funeral excuse I’ve been given as a reason for wanting it; and complete my list of reasons why nobody will be getting a raise next year, so that it will justify the big bonus I’m suggesting for myself — and will undoubtedly get, since my goal in life has been sucking-up to the CEO. (And man, do I have him fooled!)

      By the way, how do I get this stupid email client software to work right? I’ll go yell at somebody for that, too!

      More later…..

    • #3131790

      Bad managers

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      I always find it interesting to note how bad managers seem to just follow the same people around and around, regardless of where they work or for how long. Some people attract bad managers like cow dung attracts flies, I suppose. I wonder why that is? Maybe somebody should do a study.

    • #3131776

      your 6 bullet points were interesting…..

      by tpsboston ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Your 6 bullet points were interesting and worth some merit.

      However, the unprofessional rant that followed sounded juvenile. You need to grow a backbone and push back at times. I bet that there are some people within the very organization you speak of who are happy. YOU need to manage people’s expectations and not let them put you in precarious positions. If they continue to do so, apply for employment elsewhere.

      Remember the old adage in business: You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.

      You clearly have not mastered the skill of negotiating to get what you think you deserve.

      Check back in with us in 10 years. We’ll do a status check on your career then. There are two paths you can take: you can flourish or you can wallow. Which is it going to be?

    • #3131775

      Where in the world do bad managers come from?

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?


      Are they born that way, or is it a learned skill?

      Is a prerequisite of becoming a bad manager being a bad employee first?

      Are good employees elevated to the position of bad manager as well?

      Does a good manager ever become a bad manager?

      If a bad manager manages good people, at what point to good people become bad people?

      Does a bad manager automatically make for a bad company?

      How many bad managers does it take to change a light bulb?

      None — they don’t need a light bulb because they’re always in the dark!

      • #3131724

        New Jersey

        by jdmercha ·

        In reply to Where in the world do bad managers come from?

        Just kidding 🙂

      • #3131982


        by too old for it ·

        In reply to Where in the world do bad managers come from?

        Actually, they start out in college and get a Bachelors degree, generally in liberal arts, poly sci or business. Then at 22 they enter a MBA program, and get out 2-3 years later at the ripe old age of 25. They get their first job as IT manager, and are given the directive from the executive suite to “keep those IT guys in line, keep the budget in line, maximize profits, and there is no budget for improved technology.”

        And no they aren’t all bad. I used to think so myself, until I got away from the firm that was owned by the guy who mixed religion and work, and was anal about it. Now that I avoid places like that, small family run businesses, places that want to cut expenses and throttle technology as a plan to prosperity and basically any place that seriously does NOT need a systems/network admin with 15+ year experience, I have found the management to be quite good.

        Sure, I don’t get all the emotional strokes that the younger generation seems to need, but I never really have (see my memoirs on high school) and likely never will (see my doctoral thesis regarding returning students in the traditional college setting).

        Eventually a company realizes that, by hiring “managers” who are still sobering up from 4-8 years of keg parties just to enforce the CxO’s “IT is an expense” attitude, they have signed their own death certificate, and are just waiting to fill in the date. (Yeah, paraphrased from Peter Coffee.) They will then find some people who have come up through the ranks, supervised people, bent a little, know how to interface rather than be “Baghdad Bob”, and really manage the IT department.

      • #3122130


        by old guy ·

        In reply to Where in the world do bad managers come from?

        That was cold. Funny, but cold…

    • #3131773

      Okay, here’s what you do

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Send him an email with the subject-line “Required Reading”. The only message in the email is the following link:

      However, you don’t want this email to come from you. Instead, you’ll want to infiltrate the company email system, and make it appear as though it came from the CEO of the company! That’ll get him going, don’t you think?

      Yes, I’m serious! No, really I am! Have I ever led you astray?

      • #3131529

        WOWEE !!! Treasure !!

        by stargazerr ·

        In reply to Okay, here’s what you do

        I am certainly going to email that thread to MY manager….

        Cross your toes that he has time to read it 😀

    • #3131767

      Communications Plan

      by wayne m. ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      One of the responsibilities of management is to establish a Communications Plan. From the initial description, this appears to be lacking, though one can take the initiative to resolve the shortcoming.

      A Communication Plan is a formal written document that sets expectations for all involved. Although it may sound bureaucractic, the lack of this document leads to the problems described. Part of this document should contain a problem response plan. Who should respond to the problem? What status needs to be provided to whom, when, and how often? What service has been committed to by the organization. If your manager has not written a document like this, why not suggest it to him and write a draft? One page should be sufficient. This way the worker can address the issue at hand and know when to break and provide status. The manager can know when status will be provided and not have to interrupt and ask for it.

      Part of a Communications Plan should also include kick-off meetings and periodic status meetings. These are appropriate times to discuss schedules and implementation selections. If a schedule does not appear realistic, propose an alternate. “We can get this done by the due date and complete the remainder by this later date.” If a choice of a specific implementation is questionable, ask why it was chosen. “Why are we using this instead of that?”

      A Communications Plan sets guidelines to avoid potential difficulties. If your group’s Communication Plan is either non-existent or not working, talk to your manager about creating one or improving the existing one. Remember also, communications is a two-way street and you must also play your part. Ask questions and suggest alternatives or improvements. Talk to your boss, it is more effective than venting in a discussion list.

    • #3131736

      They are few & far betewen, but they are.

      by jkameleon ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?


      – Fair. Does not take advantage of your geekishness, if you still have any.

      – At least some hands on experience with computers.

      – Blunt, direct, sincere.

      – Not manipulative. Does not fiddle on your feelings.

    • #3131714

      I have a good manager

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      She has a pretty good grasp of the technical side of things; and generally lets me do things the way they need to be done.

      I’ve been rebuffed on some issues I thought were important but overall she has been a pleasure to work with. It helps that she has had to help with IT before getting funding for my position.

    • #3117447

      Optimistic, Realistic, and Proactive…

      by matthew moran ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      There are a few things I will note here:

      One, at 23 I would consider your career as just beginning. Beware falling into the IT has not future fallacy. I continue to see amazing opportunity and the fact is a slow economy and a necessary correction in the industry (yes, the late ?90s was an abominable time for IT) has prompted a litany of disaffected IT pros.

      It is important to note, in that regard, that the unhappy are who you hear. The happy ? the busy ? are..well..busy. The do not frequent discussion forums a whole lot. They are busy building their careers.

      I recently blogged the IT estimated growth on my blog. These are Bureau of Labor Stat numbers. Over 40+ years the BLS has been relatively accurate in its projects. No, the government isn?t that efficient in how it spends our money, but it does maintain some good records and does a decent job of predicting trends.

      BLS Stats Blog:

      Two, if you are not respected at your job, I?d find a new one. One of the reasons that I like IT ? and this is mirrored by many professionals I know ? is that you are respected for intelligence, specialized knowledge, and as a problem solver. IT is a great performance-based career.

      Most employers do not care about your education or your tenure, they care about your ability to produce solutions that meet the business needs of the company.

      And remember, a job is simply an agreement between two parties trading something of value. If you do not like the agreement, change it or find a new one.

      Lastly, most managers are decent and want to do well. Are there bad ones? Sure, of course. That is true everywhere and in all jobs. There are a few really good producers, a majority of so-so producers, and a few bad producers. This is true of IT staff, IT management, executives, business owners, waiters, accountants, police officers, etc.

      I would indicate, however, that as you reach into the higher-level positions in any field, you get a qualitatively better producer of work. The Dilbertized notion that all managers are pointy-haired and incompetent is just as often a smoke screen being dissatisfied and unable to work well in a team.

      Read: Corporation are Evil ? Whaaaa!!!

      I warn my kids all the time. Beware the disaffected employee clique. It will always pull at new employees and try to stop them from advancing in their career. If you pull from that group, expect to be ostracized and belittled (brown nose, sell out, etc.).

      MC Hammer ? the ?80s rapper wrote about watching crabs in a seafood tank. They all clamber on top of each other. As one reaches the top of the tank to escape, it is pulled down by the others. Beware the crabs in life.

      Of course, as I wrote in the blog below, I am optimistic, realistic, and proactive.

      We do not create our own reality (I can?t make a bus a bar of gold) but we do determine our actions and reactions to the reality that exist.

    • #3122186

      Managers are just people..

      by simon.reiter ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      I Have been working within the IT Industry for 5 years now and so a similiar amount of time as the originial post.

      in this span i have done system administration, network management, web page development, desktop support, district support, and generally second level networking and server support.

      Ive had a range of Jobs from being a network manager to being a desktop support member workign closley with other team members, in this time ive had about 6 or so different managers in the various jobs. 2 of these managers i must say have done what the originial post described while the rest of them have been really great and excellent, ive even had managers who are not technical but who are really supportive and ive found the ones who usually dont understand technology are the most supportive in times of a crisis.

      As i always say just because some people are managers doesnt mean they should be managers! i think this goes for any industry not just IT, there are bad managers everywhere its just finding the right job where they treat you with the respect that you earn by providing a valuable service to their company.

    • #3123759

      They Do Live!!

      by danielle ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      I was in a horrible situation, with a non-technical manager who thought he knew everything about technology. In reality, he was just interested in the “toys,” so he could prance around showing them off to his peers. His management style was awful and, basically, if your skirt was not short enough, you were toast. I could detail the horrific treatment I endured under his “regime,” but I really don’t want to go back to that place. Needless to say, after I resigned an investigation into his practices was launched and he is no longer with the company. There is hope, though. I am now working for a company who hired a manager (CTO, actually) who not only is compassionate, but truly will stand up in battle for his staff. He is willing to provide us with any and all training necessary to get our jobs done. He is “technical” and knows not only the business, but the technology involved in getting the job done. He rolls up his sleeves and gets right in the trenches with us. I can’t wait to get up in the morning to come to work (WHAT A CHANGE!). He always has a smile and a kind word. Mistake me not…when there’s a job to do he’s as serious as a heart attack, but he’s right there with us, side-by-side and in the end the job gets done. He also would never ask us to work overtime without giving us comp time to make up for it (at time and a half no less). So, keep your head up and keep looking…there really are good ones out there.

    • #3123733

      Reply To: Are there any good managers left?

      by bill.affeldt ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      I used to complain about them too…. now I am one … and I still complain about some of them.
      There are 2 types of IT managers I have problems with…. Those that do not know the difference between a bit and a byte and those that do not have a clue how to do anything other than code,configure, develop….

      Depending on the level an an IT manager has to have a certain amount of technical expertise. A CIO does not need to know how to use java beans, but better know the difference between a main frame and a server. A good CIO has enough technical knowledge to know whose opinion to trust in his organization.

      A first line web develpopment manager needs to be knowledgeable about what languages, technologies
      BUT they do not have to be proficient or the experts. That is why they hire young technologists. A good manager should not have enough time to be the technical expert because their job is to MANAGE.

      Concerning deadlines…. you betcha I push my team to give me aggressive dates. However I make them give me realistically agressive dates without cutting corners on things like ….. ohhh say testing.

      My teams know that I will be in a far worse mood if they put in a pice of code that does not work because of lack of testing, than I am if they miss a date by a little bit. (but they better not surprise me with the missed date and should have a good reason)

      Someone posted about an 18 year old with 5 years of coding experience. I find this pretty hard to beleive. 5 years of unstructured hacking I would beleive. And I also believe they are probable VERY intelligent and taleneted. However they do not have the experince looking at the big picture, probably know nothing about maintainability, don’t have a clue as to what limit testing is, would rather redevelop something rather than perform regression testing after a change. But they are probably brilliant at the latest technology and how to make it do some pretty wild things. My job as a manger is to help those people see the big picture, teach them about the proven values of structure, organize and prioritize their worload.

      What I find is that inexperienced IT whiz kids do not understan that a software bug in a game will irritate some people in the market, but a software bug in a commercial or life critical system can be catastrophic.

      If you ‘youngsters’ ( said tongue in cheek) want to see something amazing , take a look at how many code reviews the space shuttle software or air traffic software goes through.

      Also for the pups… If you want to be a manager some day,,, be prepared to give up some of the fun parts of technology. But be prepared to learn the fun stuff about making a business run.

    • #3123710

      Part of the problem or part of the solution

      by plalberti ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Years ago as a 2nd LT in Korea my peers were lamenting the same thing about our superior Officers. Inappropriate deadlines, didn’t understand new tools and equipment, etc. Then a Major – highly respected by the LTs (unusual as that was!)gave us advice that I remember even today – “remember these complaints when you reach the levels of responsibility and leadership of those you are complaining about today – will your subordinates be saying the same about you? Will you be part of the solution or part of the problem?”
      I am a LTC – Army Reserves and upper level GS in the government -I think I have been successful as a manager and a leader, definately not perfect. But I have been where you are – you have not had the opportunity to be where I am. I hope you will be able to fix the problems that you complain about now when you get here. Good luck!

    • #3121598

      Getting less all the time

      by alxnsc9 ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Dear colleague,

      “Just the thoughts” of a qaurter century seazoned veteran… Good managers rarely come to existence and often seize to exist due to the fact that “good” is hard to achieve and easy to distroy. “Right” choices are very rarely “good” choices regardless of the fields of activity and IT is not an exception but in the IT-field the creativity life expectance is much shorter and people rarely have time to evolve to good managers…

      • #3123156

        Evolution or base ability

        by jim.allen1 ·

        In reply to Getting less all the time

        Managers don’t evolve they exist at a very young age. The ability of a two year old to manage his mother to cook a meal when she does not want to do it is good management – screaming the place down evolving from being unable to gently pursuade is poor management at all times. The simple understand of what is required when it is required and who can do it comes from instinct not evolution – instinct brings home the prize – evolution creats pollution

    • #3121583

      Keep looking

      by duckboxxer ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      There are good managers out there. Some of them you may not think are the best, but in reality they are. A former manager and I didn’t always get along. He wasn’t Mr. Personality either. But he did a lot of protecting his team from the rest of the company. We didn’t have to deal with a lot of the crap the president dished out. He would definately go to bat for us when we needed more hands, even himself filling the gaps when we needed more programmers. Again, he and I weren’t best of buds and I wouldn’t really want to go out drinking with him, but I sure owe him a few beers.

      Now another former manager and I were definately on the same wavelength and even today still keep in touch. My current managers and I (my first encounter with a female manager) work well together. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve had bad ones too. I think a huge key is communication. I seem to work best with people that have been in the trenches. People that have come up from somewhere in the technical field. Maybe not web development (my forte), but somewhere near there.

      As a developer, I understand I have to earn a manager’s respect and trust. The good ones reciprocate; the bad ones don’t. You move on if the environment isn’t great. I’ve learned that is really important to a job; for me, that ranks up there with salary and benefits.

    • #3121572

      The more things change the more they stay the same

      by jhadaway ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Hmmm….After 42 years in the business…I hate to say IT because it has evolved into so many
      fragmented interpretations of just what Information Technology used to be. As an old
      mainframer who also does communcations, lan/wan,
      servers, midrange, desktops, security et al, I see
      the same issues over the years have not gone away.
      Finding your way thru the minefields of management
      folks who have obstensibly ‘reached their level of
      incompetence’ can indeed be very trying. But take
      into consideration the fact that the need for
      IT technical people has doubled many times over
      in recent years and that dictates that many ‘managers’ have been created to fill the
      middle management needs to try to manage the
      hordes of younger programmers, system administrators, repair, system architects and the
      glut of ‘new’ positions that go with the exploded
      IT job opportunities. These ‘managers’ usually
      do not have much more experience technically or
      personnel wise than the people they are managing.
      So in most cases they are learning on the job. They need help probably more than they need criticism. There are probably a couple of levels
      of management above them that are in much the same boat. And the boats have very impatient crews of CFOs and CEOs who expect the same level
      of management skills as the old IT managers who
      are now retiring and taking their 30 to 40 years
      of experience in handling all the issues you bring up with them. Unfortunately I do not see
      the industry taking advantage of the lessons learned from the mainframe days in terms of software development, project management, system
      requirements and all the other tools refined over
      the years. We have become an off-the-shelf, instant gratifcation set of IT practitioners. In
      the days of internal software development and
      deployment one had to be very attentive to the things you point out in order to successfully
      get an application up and running on time and
      most people were on the same page (except for
      marketing…and having done that also I know
      that I would promise them anything based upon
      the level of confidence in my technical troops).
      In the distributed processing world a lot of these core disciplines have been diluted or not
      taught at all. So in some cases we have the
      blind leading the blind. The same issues you point out exist in every industry however, including manufacturing, the trades, public sector, education, health…the management is
      almost interchangeable, the issues are the same,
      they are NOT unique to IT.

    • #3121559

      A broader perspective

      by iamwenk ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Yes, there are still good managers out there, I am one of them. There are also poor managers out there, I have worked with and for several of them. I have also worked for some of the best there are. Being a good manager is not an easy task. Manager’s have a heck of a lot of responsibility, at least in my organization they do. I could write a whole book on this subject alone, but suffice it to say that being a good manager requires excellent multi-tasking skills, people skills, and caring about your employees.

      I am not being sarcastic here, but you are only 23 and still wet behind the ears. There is much yet to learn and skills to develop. One of those skills is how to deal with poor managers and work around issues to get what you need. Take a positive approach in doing this, it will get you farther. I spent 16 years in the business world before earning my role as a manager. Changing careers did slow down the process, but it was a lot of hard work and commitment to get here.

      In regards to some of your points, have you spoken to your manager about the constant distractions of their 10 minute phone calls? Have you suggested an alternative that would work better?

      You will find that many, many companies do not have adequate training programs. This is not always within the maanager’s control. As a manager, I do my best to teach and coach my employees. I also have very high expectations that they will do whatever they must to gain the knowledge necessary to understand their job. We cannot sit around and blame management for no training. We have the ability to pursue any kind of training on our own. This is how I learned as much as I have. I sought it out on my own. I also made a lot of mistakes, which is a great learning tool. People often ask how I got to know so much about the job, I always say, ‘because I screwed it up at one point or another and had to fix it.’ The same applies for management. Managers often get no training on how to even be a manager. I know I didn’t. I learned by trial and error. This is one of the reasons there are so many poor managers out there, they haven’t been taught (some just don’t care).

      Regarding pay and salary increases, again, my comment regarding your low pay (I don’t have a clue how low it is, mind you) is please remember that you are only 23 and will not (and should not) be making as much as people who have been in the business longer than you have. I am a firm believer that a high salary must be accompanied by a high degree of ‘sweat-equity’ (A LOT of hard work to earn it). I have had several young people come out of college expecting to receive high salaries (by the way, I have no college degree…working on it now). My remark is, ‘sorry folks, you haven’t paid your dues yet.’ Also be aware that most of the time your manager does not have total control over the amount of increase you get. There is a lot involved with this that you have no clue of. Also, look at the state of the economy and the health of your company when thinking on this. I know I have recently gone two years with no increase and a few more with very minimal. That is because of the industry I am in and the poor health of the company. You know what? I did not mind. It was more important to me that I help the company to survive so I can keep my job in the long term, versus getting a larger salary increase for the short term.

      There is a lot to think about on the bullets you mentioned. There is also more than one way to look at them. I would encourage you to take a step back from the problems, depersonalize it, and look at it from every direction. This will help you see a larger picture. Please also remember that you have a lot to learn yet and with time you will be able to work around many of these problems if you are up to the challenge.

      Also remember, even the best of managers are human and all managers make mistakes and have annoying habits. That will be the standard throughout your career. The object is to learn how to deal with them in a manner that is successful for you.

      • #3123097

        Very Mature Thoughts

        by techsnr ·

        In reply to A broader perspective

        I am very impressed with the thoughts and analysis presented by IamWenK. Its important that you do your job as best as you can. And it is difficult at a beginner level (< 5 yrs experience) to judge if you have/have not done a good job. The focus is more on money. It is important that career building and communication skills be enhanced to benefit you in the long run. Similarly it might be difficult to judge your manager when you are at a beginner level. If you think you are stuck with an "obviously" bad manager, then "do try" a better and recommended manager in a different job. That might make your life easier as a beginner. But I do agree that managers have a tough job and so do techies. But most importantly there should be no room for "shouting", "un-reasoned" decisions et al. in a work culture. Again I emphasise the fact that a company has to "develop" a work culture by having effective channels of feedback and communication. This is important to enable the business people and employees understand the work culture of a company better and make sound judgements on "good" and "bad" management/output.

    • #3121550

      Reply To: Are there any good managers left?

      by iamwenk ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Coincidently, I went back to work after my last post and was reading my email. Our company provides a digital library of books on various topics that we can read. They just sent a notice out that they included the following in the library. I thought it might be useful for you:

      A Survival Guide for Working with Bad Bosses: Dealing with Bullies, Idiots, Back-Stabbers, and Other Managers from Hell by Gini Graham Scott
      AMACOM ? 2006 (222 pages)
      ISBN: 0814472982
      Most people, at some point in their careers, will face the difficult challenge of dealing with a “boss from hell.” This guide provides practical, savvy advice, and easy-to-implement strategies for surviving–and thriving–in spite of a bad boss.

    • #3113951

      Yours are fair complaints. Even from those with more time in the industry.

      by hypnotoad72 ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      And I must say that while negativism can be draining on the soul, your observations for somebody so young are not just astute, they are sadly and incontrovertibly correct.

      On the plus side, we still have jobs. Well, for now anyway… Too many people don’t. And apparently that’s because we’re all stupid and need education. Or that’s what we’re told…

      The reality is, it’s much cheaper to pay somebody halfway across the world in a government hostile to our own who pirates up to 90% of its software 1/8th the salary that the best in the IT field would command here in the United States. And yet STILL complain that way too much money is being spent on “grunt work”! Meanwhile, the customer base, too stupid to do anything on its own while saying a lower price is good for the economy and forgetting that without jobs to pay for the goods there’s no POINT in having goods in the first place, merely accepting the asinine situation and buying the same products again and again and whining again and again when the same things happen again and again. “Dude, don’t buy a Dell…” is all I have to say to these fools, but it’s just the bottom line to them. People aren’t assets. They’re tools to be used, abused, and discarded when obsolete. Hmmm. The wrong people are being called stupid… It’s not those in IT. It might be those we serve who are! Well, for all too many “used to serve” is sadly more apropos. Sorry to smoosh so much into one paragraph, I tend to get riled up in needlessly illogical situations.

      Meanwhile education becomes exponentially more expensive, along with the base necessities of life. Can you hear a very loud flush from right outside your window? I thought so.

      Yours is a voice in the chorous. Pity we’re singing to the deaf, blind, and greedy.

    • #3043761

      From a bad manager – in defence

      by willh ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Deadlines – Generally these are driven by business need and sometimes a lack of planning/awareness further up the tree does make life uncomfortable.

      Staff knowledge of new systems – I expect you to be able to manage technology similar to what is already in use. I’ll arrange for training on completely new topics.

      Consulting staff – I don’t always get the time to discuss every aspect of our plans with staff. It’s not a democracy – get used to it.

      Hair-on-fire – When there is a crisis I take a lot of heat from senior management and they or I may be prepared to accept deliberately introducing a new future problem in return for fixing the immediate issue.

      Are-we-there-yet? – I need to know, so you need to schedule reporting. Make reporting part of your focus or get a junior to manage the verbal reporting – keeping people informed in a crisis is essential.

      IT is a viable career choice but you need to realise that success/progress hangs on your ability to handle people not your ability to handle technology.

      • #3123179

        Reply To: Are there any good managers left?

        by abhinav.behari ·

        In reply to From a bad manager – in defence

        deadlines: Dont overcommit and expect your team to do wonders!

        Staff Knowledge of new System: Atleast inform of new systems….dont assume because you know every1 else knows

        Consulting Staff: atleast communicate a little…dont expect them to be dumb machines!

        Hair-on-fire: Every day??? Man u need to learn planning!

        Reporting: u think trust is dead??

        U say…”IT is a viable career choice but you need to realise that success/progress hangs on your ability to handle people not your ability to handle technology.”
        …the above points will help u manage ppl better!

      • #3121847

        Culture of Project Management

        by too old for it ·

        In reply to From a bad manager – in defence

        Nothing here that a solid dose of Project Management couldn’t cure.

        A decent PM certified project manager and an assembled team should be able to exorcise the “total crisis management” you are experiencing.

    • #3123183

      Sorry…good Mangers are Dead!

      by abhinav.behari ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Hey Renwarb,

      why do u assume that life would be better in India?? II proessional here are overworked (US timing can kill your biological clock!)and underpayed (no wonder the outsourcing buzz)…the habit of promising stuff that cant be delivered is even worse here!!

    • #3123175

      Lack of IT knowledge in managers

      by tony85 ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Many of us complain about this, but just let us think – how does a manager who has not been an IT professional know about IT?

      No-one really does a simple “IT for managers” overview.

      Thus they learn by being on the receiving end of IT. These include things imposed by previous management.

      If you think about it, if all they have seen is a complex piece of IT rolled out without problems, then their perception may be one of unrealistic expectations. They did not see the months of planning and preparation.

      IT is seen only as a cost – very rarely is it seen as a benefit. It is highly likely that your manager is not given enough money or resources to be able to do what is really needed.

      I support a number of small businesses where I am their entire IT department for an average of 1 day per week. One recent example – when I took over, there was not even a tape drive in the server, no RAID disk, and no-one had any idea what to do if they had a problem. I try to educate the people I work with so they come to trust me and know that they can trust me because I then deliver the service that I promised. When people say “I know it is a dumb question” I tell them that there is no such thing as a dumb question – it is just that no-one has explained it to them properly.

      And yes, sometimes these things slip – like when it took more than one month to get a disk with a slipstreamed service pack for an upgrade to work.

      For small businesses, there is never any slack in the infrastructure – thus major work that prevents them working has to take place at evenings and weekends.

      But now, my “managers” who are my customers, know what I can do and what I can be relied upon to do.

      Think of your IT manager as one of your “customers” – their success is dependent on your success. You are in it together. You may know much more than them, but human nature is such that older people do not like being told by younger people that they don’t know diddly squat. A manager typically has a great breadth of knowledge and experience, but no longer deals with any particular topic in any detail. Therefore you are bound to know more than them. The skill you need to learn is how to abstract from the level of detail what they need to know so that they can at least grasp the issues, even if they do not understand the detail.

      The longer I live, the more I realise I don’t know, despite the fact that I know more than when I was younger.

    • #3123165

      the problem through the ages

      by jim.allen1 ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      This poor mamagement system has been rife throughout UK industry all my working life – technical manager with no spacial concempt – office manager with no idea that clean desk principles only work on day long projects not minute by minute work require all items to be on the desk – managers who think 1 inch on the map equates to one minute on the road – seen them all worked for many – yet the organisers below these management failures – who work by agreement and concensus are considered not fit to be managers but merely cattle fodder to be chewed up at every opportunity by these verbally agressive idiots and bullies – who fight their way to the top then are unable to do what they faught so viciously for..
      Bitter Yep that’s me 54 years old bullied out of my Job by an idiot young enough to be my son who thought abuse was part of acceptable management – so for all those incompetent managers out their you are affecting other peoples lives with your behaviour – the young just starting out in their careers and the old coming towards the end – your manners your approach your behaviour is neither funny nor acceptable.

    • #3123163

      Are there any good managers left????

      by gs_2005 ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Let me start the reply in introducing my self as a manager with more than 20 years in the line.

      I agree with several of the topics mentioned by ‘renwarb’. Only, I wish to make certain points clear to all young aspirants to this IT field.

      First, it is good to recognise that some one has risen to his / her present position by some qualities which the management has seen in him / her. Techinically speaking, today’s youngsters are far ahead of technology than the managers (this was true in my younger days too!!!). But technology is not the only thing that organisations need to run business. A whole lot of other techniques / capabilities are required (business development, planning, administration, management, customer handling, contacts handling, project management, recruiting, et al). Your manager might (will) have some of these other qualities, which the organisation wants to utilise. He may not know in depth Linux or Oracle. That is why you are there! Respect his other abilities. You will also need these as you grow up the ladder. No one can be a general manager just by knowing an operating system or database or language.

      Having said that, I agree that if some one is behaving in the manner described in the note above, that needs correction. No manager worth his salt can do these (agreeing to timeframes that are impractical, asking for feedback often, not giving his staff opportunity to give their opinion on new projects, not getting their buy-in for rigid (non-negotiable)time frames etc.). Part of management development is inculcating these very skills in managers. Senior management in that organisation should take note of this and act so that young technologists do not get frustated.

      Hope the above is useful.


      • #3123064

        Slight Correction there

        by techsnr ·

        In reply to Are there any good managers left????

        In the first para GS_2005 mentions “some one has risen to his / her present position by some qualities which the management has seen in him / her”. A bad management cannot distinguish a bad manager from a good one. Thats what makes bad managers rise to the level where they are. So its not entirely their ability but somewhere the management’s inability to judge good/bad managers too that bad managers are around. I can agree to “some” managers rising to their level due to their abilities, NOT ALL of them.

    • #3123153


      by gr6120 ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      I just got out of the auto repair field Let me tell you there is no respect , if you think IT is tough try working with those Cry Babys,
      if you want imposible dead lines and having to stay late ,and be late for picking up your children GO FIX CARS, IT is the best field to be in right now for anyone with a little education

    • #3123151

      Bad management wont go away

      by n_clarke ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      I am 33, I have been in the industry for 14 years. I had to start at the very bottom and can relate to a lot of what has been said in this discussion.

      I have been with some good and some bad managers to eventually become a manager myself, I have worked alongside some great people and have had to work with some swines (sorry managers) who have their own agenda and dont care how the job is done so long as its completed when they say.

      The biggest failing I have found is communication and the lack of it to the right people.

      I am a technical manager, I recently left a great job where I was managing 10 great technical people. We where continually told to jump through hoops and where being dictated to buy a sales team who thought they could cobble together a technical solution. renwarbs comments on the following rang so many bells to me;

      The Sales Team : had the inability to grasp basic technical details concerning products/services which are being managed. (I.E. Setting a deadline without understanding the amount of time required to complete a project)

      The Sales team would commit to providing a service/implementing a solution that we did not have any/adequate knowledge.

      I was never consulted and on many occasions and therefore could not implement any form of training, when I complained about the lack of comminication with regards to the new products they where selling, I was told that “You have never failed to deliver before” but that was not the point, did they think that a half arsed compliment on our techical ability to think on our feet would resolve the issue?

      I protected my team as much as I could ensuring the jobs where done, getting my hands dirty as much as I could to help eleviate any build up. I ensured their voices where heard when there where problems I resolved any issues, I managed their training and development to help keep up with the change of products.

      When there was a problem with a company car I even gave up my own company vehicle to ensure my engineer did not suffer for lack of the directors forethought (when I brought it to the directors attention I was told the engineer could wait even though he was promised a vehicle within 3 months) so I decided to give him my car.

      I put myself on the line for my team and they where some of the best people I have ever worked with, we all worked well together and we got the best out of each other, I repected each and every one of them.

      If things get too bad…. get out! After being shot down in flames for poor management in a sales department I had nothing to do with (I was TECHNICAL MANAGER), I decided it was time for me to move on. I had the confidence to hand in my notice without a job to go to, walk out of the door walk into another job, I am good at my job and my skill set is in demand.

      A note to any manager out there: Care about the people you work with, shouting / barking demands is so NOT the way to get respect and get the most out of your team.

      You can get repsect in the IT Industry, you do have to earn it by proving yourself, but I think to compare IT to a trades person is difficult. At the end of the day if someone push that god almighty button and destroyed everything, It wont be and IT engineer who would be in demand.

      IT is a good career choice and you can make a lot of great friends / colleagues and the comradery (if thats even a word) is very rewarding. You just have to find your niche with a good crowd of people and a good employer. Keeping it that way is a completley new challange, the business will evolve people will come and go, it will change you just need to be able to change with it or move on.

      • #3123088

        got any jobs

        by jim.allen1 ·

        In reply to Bad management wont go away

        Hi there you sound like you are like one of my old managers – do you have any vacancies reckon you might be a 1% er ie 99 %^ rubbish

        • #3129611

          Your low self-esteem

          by n_clarke ·

          In reply to got any jobs


          One of the things I take pride in is my respect of others and their opinions, you obviously have issues with certain aspects of my posting, however they are just my menial moanings in a discussion that I thought I might be able to contribute.

          How did your reply contribute to this posting?

          I found my style of management got the best out of the team I was leading and surpassed all KPI’s, I have worked my way up to become a director of every company I have worked for.

          I have tried several styles of leadership and I have found this one works best for me. I ensure everyone is rewarded for what they do, its the team that get the fat bonus at the end of the year and everyone performs to the best of their ability.

          Every one is different. I respect your comments but until you have experienced my management style in person, you really have no grounds for comment.

          And yes there are positions available.

    • #3123109

      No such thing as a perfect manager

      by mswanberg ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      The real issue is that, no matter what, a good situation will turn bad. It’s upper-level management, IMO, that needs correction.

      See, any good situation will change. It’s the nature of the beast.

      Good programmers will not turn to management, if they know what’s good for them. And if they do, then their coding skills begin to diminish immediately. And even if you have a good manager who can handle x number of underlings, their good work will not go unpunished and before you know it they’re trying to keep up with 2x or 3x subordinates.

      I’ve had good managers (usually stressed to the breaking point) and bad managers. A good manager for me might be bad for my cube-neighbor. You say you don’t like micromanagement, but the truth is some people NEED it to stay focused. You say you don’t like the “hair-on-fire” approach to issues, well some people need to see their managers upset to get the full grasp of the gravity of the situation.

      All in all, the only way for a manager to be perfect is if he or she only manages one person: themselves. As soon as you start throwing other people in the mix, the perfection immediately begins to break down.

      Finally, you need to try to see things from the management perspective. All your points are from the underling perspective, but the manager has goals and budgets and pressure from on-high. Things that may not be a big deal to you may very well be career-making or -breaking to them.

      In the end, if you have the luxury, find a manager that you work well with and just be the best you can be. If you’re human, like the rest of us, then just learn how to deal with your particular manager and realize that we’re all human.

      Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

    • #3123104

      possible new category “dangling rope”

      by skyzyx ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      our management is the dangling rope variety…standing on the gallows waiting for the big boss to pull the lever…as a result of this they’ve become scared, ineffective stooges and take their frustrations out on us…team meetings are one way diatribes, really sermonettes and responses to their questions are met with eye bulging, red faced anger with the standard response of “wrong answer”…sad really…really sad

    • #3123070

      I have a different perspective

      by tantor ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Earlier in my life, a “career” in retail found me. By age 21, I was a store manager, by 23 a District manager and by 25 I was a management trainer and recruiter and I hated every second of it. By most accounts, I was a good manager and people liked working for me. Problem was, I didn’t want to do what I was doing.

      It was a case of being stuck in Golden handcuffs. Hated the job, loved the money.

      Through training managers I found a lot of people who fell into management the way I did. Not necessarily because they were great, but because they were the best of what’s available. Some adapted to it and shined, some didn’t. The rest of them were people who wanted to be management because of the perceived prestige and they didn’t have a lick of sense. On a rare occasion did I find someone with aptitude and drive to be in the position.

      I just didn’t like running the show, plain and simple. I could do it, I was good at it, but I hated it. Mostly for the things “upper management” made me enforce. I couldn’t be two faced and tell my people what the higher ups wanted me to tell them. I couldn’t stand behind policy I disagreed with. And eventually the fight against overall mismanagement got too much to bear.

      I stepped back, asked myself what I’d do if didn’t have to worry about money. I couldn’t play professional hockey, so I decided computers was worth a shot. Ten years in, I couldn’t be happier. I have no people responsibilities and a clear career path that doesn’t lead me to management. I have a good manager who understands how I work and gives me free reign to do what I want. Conversely, he doesn’t do any of the things listed in the original post. That can’t be a coincidence.

      I always thought my past life as a management trainer and recruiter made it hard for me to work for anyone else because I constantly nitpicked them. I kinda laid that down for my last two bosses, but overall I think a lot of managers out there really shouldn’t be in their positions. I’ve worked for some real boneheads. You just have to let it go. Do the best you can.

      But most importantly: give them what they ask for. Because if it’s wrong, it wasn’t your idea. It helps if you have their directions in written form.

    • #3123069

      Not really.

      by staceyfra0207 ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      I’ve been in IT for 10 years with only two managers worth being called good IT managers.

      Unfortunately, many companies still believe someone with strong management background makes a good IT manager. That is a complete falsehood.

      In addition, these ‘IT’ managers don’t feel the need to upgrade their skills beyond ‘power-user’, because they have people underneath them to down delegate their responsibilities to. The flip side is that one wrong move on your part, then you are a complete failure in their eyes.

      Since they won’t upgrade their knowledge of IT, your desire for professional development is a threat to them. It doesn’t matter whether or not you pay for your education yourself, you are a threat to their coveted position. So they resort to childish antics (i.e. politely ignoring your input at meetings or bypassing you on projects).

      I advise anyone whose dealt with this character to: 1.)remain focused on your job and team work; 2.)remain cordial and professional to this person as they will use anything against you to terminate your employement.

    • #3123045


      by jdowney ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Yes, some or maybe most, managers expect too much when dealing with service issues. I’ve also found technicians getting frustrated with required updates.

      But as a manager, you hvae a responsibility to both the internal and external customers to provide information. How long can we expect to be down, will we be able to process when we come back up, or should I just tell customers that we have no service and they should go somewhere else?

      “We’re working on it” just doesn’t cut it. “The issue is with the server and we have a team on it” works much better.

      Then 10 monutes later – “We have identified the issue as the xxxx – no estimated time to fix just yet.”

      Then 10 minutes later – “We have identified the problem and will have a new part installd in 25 minutes.”

      Then 15 minutes later – “We have the unit installed and full service will be restored in approximately 30 minutes.”

      Etc., etc., etc.

      All parties have a job to do and simple communications is the key to synergy and a reasonably happy workplace.

    • #3123039

      Are we there yet?

      by pete1978 ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      renwarb stated “The ‘Are-we-there-yet?’ phone calls. (When I am resolving a major issue, it wastes critical time, and disturbs my focus to answer calls from my manager asking for details at 10 minute intervals.)” as being a problem.

      This is a critical issue and I, too, have held that complaint. It is also a balance act for management. Usually, in the situation you describe — resolving a major issue — the management is under pressure for a resolution. Good managers will check (though not every 10 minutes), but the check will include “is there anything I can do to help” type statements.

      Status checks will happen when working on mission critical problems — for mission critical problems, these calls should happen. Every 10 minutes is too often, but accept the check calls. You are only one step in the chain. Your manager is probably fielding similar calls from higher management as well.

      Next time, try asking the manager for something. For example, “I could use another tech to help.” or “I need access to ___ to get the job done faster.” These will not be viewed by management as a personal technical weakness. Instead, they will be viewed as your realization that the problem is critical and as your attempt to take action that will help solve the problem faster. Good management will see such requests as positive team-oriented actions.

      Take a look at the Paul Glen book “Leading Geeks”, it gives good insight into such situations.

    • #3123036

      Judgment is best done after 40…

      by gordon.rudd ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      First, let me say that I can empathize with you and your plight and I do think some of the responses are a little harsh. However, I tend to agree with amcol. You very well may be in a bad situation, but then how would you know what a really good situation really is for you?

      I have found over the years that I look back on my career and the managers that I loved and hated and I took something from each one. I can honestly say that as I progressed through various management positions I sometimes exhibited all of the tendencies you dislike. Usually, the specific performance of an individual was the cause of my behavior. There are specific behavior patterns that will cause any manager to do any one of your five traits and with good reason.

      Your age and your educational background will all bear on your attitude. If you don?t kow what?s going on from a management perspective?how can you be more than just an observer? You did not mention your educational background, but you tend to leave the impression you went into IT without going to college and did a significant amount of OJT and perhaps certified in two or three areas. And I did not take the time to lookup your profile. Having said that?it may be time for you to take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself some tough questions?about you.

      • #3123029

        The Bottom Line

        by f22 ·

        In reply to Judgment is best done after 40…

        Over the years in IT it has been my experience that most managers have a specific style that is neither bad nor good. It’s just the way they do things, and you are not going to change them.

        So if you want to get noticed and or change things, then you must present yourself and ideas in an orderly and complete manner with boldness.

        I have always felt that a manager should direct and his subordinates take the lead. But some managers (my current one) gives generalities and expects us to fill in the blanks. You supply information, and maybe never hear from him again about it.

        But that is again his style.

    • #3122987

      You want to be Managed?

      by mkalyebi ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Oh dear! Oh dear!

      At five years you should have set the momentum for yourself and made clear you do not need to be managed! You get managed when you set, or accept, impossible targets and deadlines.

      Feel free with your boss and accept (and challenge) targets, with enough room to beat while maintaining quality. If you are consistent about it the boss will adjust their expectations accordingly, implying (s)he will stop promising impossibilities.

      From what you write you never sit down to discuss departmental or divisional performance and communication seems to be one way.

      Give all those you work with the confidence to trust you to deliver on every promise you make, and insist that nobody makes promises on your behalf expecting you to meet them. Request that you are asked an opinion as a sign of respect for the person that you are. It is part of a value system that will help you belong. You are a RESOURCE that is HUMAN not any other, and this is a big distinguishing feature. Besides, your work depends on the state of your mind, it is not hard labour such as digging a pit!

      If this is of any value and you require more advice, send a note. I have reached the level of a manager, and I can assure you it is possible to get more out of willing staff than whining ones!

      Best regards.

      Kalyebbi B Magoola

      • #3122949


        by straightshooter ·

        In reply to You want to be Managed?

        It has always been interesting to me that the technical folks are required to be well trained and even certified. How many managers do you know that have even attended one management training class? Obviously, the hardware resources are more important that the human resources. Or is it that management doesn’t require any training?

      • #3122129

        100% Agree…

        by cloakedrun2001 ·

        In reply to You want to be Managed?

        About a year ago I had a co-worker do this to me. It was our Operaitons Manager (who is NOT part of senior management). I was a seasoned coordinator who was also the acting department head (different department). He made a commitment that required me to drop everything “at once” so that I could do my part prior to delivery to a customer.

        When I called him on it – in front of the company owner – he tried to make light of it. I was VERY firm with him about this. I insisted that he NEVER make such a commitment involving MY time without at least asking me first. In this case I had already made commitments regarding my time.

        Because of this man’s inconsideration, I had to call in favours to reschedule other people and projects – all to accomodate his offhand attitude.

        I gave it to him with both barrels right in front of “the boss” – “You don’t make commitments involving my time without asking first – this is a matter of respect and I refuse to be treated like this! Don’t do it again.”

        Funny thing, he has never done it since. The worst part is that he is a fair bit older than me (late 50’s) and has, supposedly, had much more experience than I. This is something I would NEVER do! It is a provervial no-no. On the whole he does his job well, but he has to be watched like a hawk. If he thinks he can by-pass policy or procedure to take a short-cut to suit himself – he will. Sometimes he gets caught, and it leaves me wondering what we might eventually find out after he has retired!

        Be that as it may, as a professional you deserve respect regardless of your age. Just make sure you SHOW the same respect for those that have been around longer than you have.

        If you cannot get treated with respect by your co-workers and management refuses to rectify the situation, then it is time to polish up the resume.

        If you can get that respect, then try to align yourself with someone who is on the inside track – perhaps someone that can mentor you. This does not have to be your boss. It could be someone who you get along with that is in another part of the company. Once you have established a level of trust with this person, express your concerns and LISTEN to the advice that you get in return.

        As others have said, bad managers are everywhere, in every work place, and in every profession. The best you can do is learn to navigate around them, and – hopefully – learn not to get used by them.

    • #3122961

      In a nutshell

      by diva1970 ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      You have summed up my entire “IT” experience in a nutshell I have been in this field for over 10 years and have been blessed to come across two managers that knew how to treat me. They treated me with respect. They cared about my needs and my concerns in the workplace. It’s rare to find managers today who care about their employees as individuals, but their out there don’t give up. At least stay in this field long enough to have a good manager its important before you leave this field that you experience the difference between smart and down right stupid managers.

    • #3122953

      Dilbert Principle, or Peter Principle

      by old-timer ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Same ole’ same ole’. After 20 years it never changes.
      We the unwilling; managed by the clueless.

    • #3122951

      Welcome to IT

      by maldain ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      There are a couple of issues you raise. The hair’s on fire kind of management style is typical of small to medium sized shops which are understaffed, under trained and miss applied. That means the hair really is on fire and it’s not just a managment approach.

      The phone calls every 5 minutes about a specific project usually means that the project is more politically charged than normal.

      As far as committing to provide a service or impletmenting a solution with out talking to staff every manager on earth does this and always has reguardless of the field. The fact is these decisions are generally made in a meeting where this idea is sprung on the manager and a response is demanded. Your job is to help your manager out of the mess by either delivering or coming up with a reasonable explaination why the service or solution can’t be delivered with in the requested time frame or if it can’t ever be delivered. All of these happen to good managers. The difference is that with the good managers they don’t get paniced by them and they don’t pass the panic down the food chain. The bad managers do panic and do panic the troops which causes the failure of the project.

      As far as a lack of respect, welcome to the IT world where everybody who’s ever picked up and glanced through a copy of PC Magazine feels they know how to do your job better than you do. It’s the only profession in the world where Joe from marketing will put in his two cents on the approaches to a project just be cause he knows where the power switch on his monitor is located. That’s the life you chose it’s just the way it is and by the way while Joe in marketing thinks he knows your job, he’s downright positive he knows your bosses job.

      Just a word about myself I started writing assembler business programs back in the late 1970’s. I also wrote micro-code for terminal controllers (we’d call them servers now). I coded in everything from machine language to APL to SQL. I became a database administrator back in the early 90’s and am currently in charge of a data center with a few hundred servers. I’m responsible for the operations, applications and user perception of my department. And yes even the owner’s secretary believes she knows more about my job than I do. The only one that doesn’t believe that is my boss. Guess what he’s the only one that counts.

    • #3122945

      Worst of all

      by avid ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      how about a manager who is NEVER AT WORK ! i get so tired of running this place for ungrateful owners who are hardly ever at work.

    • #3122943

      You’re right.

      by conquistador ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      After 28 years of experience including both the IT profession and the CPA profession, I think your comments are insightful and impressive for someone your age. Bullies and bad managers exist because we put up with them. Unfortunately, it is not going to change. Bad managers will always be the first promoted into management positions; and lack of respect for the most competent professionals will always exist no matter what profession you choose, as long as we tolerate that type of behavior.

    • #3122925

      What sort of sad state are we in as a profession?

      by golfloon ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Judging by the comments I have seen here I am appalled by the huge rift that seems to still be dividing our profession. On one hand we have managers taking the high ground and on the other technical staff who feel undervalued.

      As an IT Manager I know my ability to deliver is based largely on the very able team of people who work for me.

      Whilst I was once technical the reason I can still command respect from my team is not the fact that I can configure a cluster but the fact that I listen to them, I take time to understand their problems and above all I take the flack when things go wrong or the heat is on.

      I communicate upwards and don’t constantly ask for updates from my team as they understand the importance of communication and update me with any progress as soon as it happens in a crisis situation.

      At the end of the day good managers still exist as do good techies the really sad thing is as a profession the one skill we seem to have lost is the art of communication…..

    • #3122916

      It’s not just IT

      by stephen ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Hey sorry to break this to you, but it’s not just IT that has bad managers. At the ripe old age of 34, I’ve been in the Army, IT recruitment, IT support, dot.coms and various other jobs/roles and can tell you that bad managers are in every field, in every career. Ask a mechanic, plumber, doctor, solicitor etc if they have bad managers who want something done yesterday, loose it in a crisis etc, they all do because these are management, no… human failings that everyone has!

      Perhaps you think you’ll be a better manager when it’s your turn?????

      We all think that, but where do these “bad” mangers come from??????????? These managers probably thought the same way you did when they were young, what’s to say you wont end up the same?


    • #3122869

      Manage Your Manager

      by ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      You make a couple of good points, nothing more pathetic than a manager who doesn’t understand the basics of the area they manage (CFOs who think they can be CIOs), or those that do not bridge with their staffs to make things run smoothly for all. One bit of advise on self-training, learn to manage your boss. That means, you have a simple choice, bitch, or deal with it. You already do that in your own domain, but you also need to do it in regard to your boss. If you have a boss that makes unreasonable deadlines, then warn and deliver the best you can. If you have a boss that manages by crises, then learn to anticipate your own crises before they occur, dont depend on the manager to task you. This will lead to your own growth as a “manager”. If you find you are involved in an area you dont understand, then get resourceful and find out about it on your own. This will lead to your ability to work independently, and give you a sense of accomplishment. If your boss seems to want it yesterday, then call him/her before they call you and say “here is where we are, here is where we will be in a day…”. If he/she doesnt like that, then make a project plan of your own, and get signoff on the dates BEFORE you start. Always smile, and always remember – you are your own best friend, regardless of recognition, or salary, you have a job, and you have a chance each day to be better at what you do.

    • #3122862

      Reply To: Are there any good managers left?

      by cottay ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Work, all things considered both the good and the bad, should be a positive factor in your life. If it isn?t, change it. If you can?t change it, find other work.

      If, along the way, you get fired ? and many a good person does get fired ? make sure you are fired for reasons of which you can be rightfully proud.

      In your situation, I would suggest these steaps.

      1) Stay aware of the job market and your many potential niches within it.

      2)Seriously ask yourself what behaviors of yours are contributing to current problems. Do what you can to change them. Document your efforts.

      3)Seriously ask yourself what new behaviors of yours could perhaps make the situation better. Do what you can to make them happen. Document your efforts.

      4) If you are still unhappy on the job, find other work just as quickly as possible before some important part of you dies.

    • #3122859

      I hear you loud an clear!

      by cloakedrun2001 ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      On my first job out of college I felt much the same way. I do not know how you are, but I was eager, and very intuitive. I hated “office politics” with a passion then and still do some 25 years later.

      I had almost a sixth sense. I spotted the major problems the company had, and acurately predicted what must be done to rectify them. And when I tried to put forward my ideas, I was poo-poo’ed simply because of my age and supposed “lack of experience”. Hogwash. You will likely find that your age and lack of experience will be used as an excuse by those who are threatened by your insights. Within 6 months of my analysis, the directors fired the CEO. The new CEO came in fresh, just as I did, performed an analysis, just as I did, and then implemented every corrective measure I had recommended (and then some!).

      You must be VERY careful who you express ideas to. If you choose not to play office politics, fine – but you must at least be aware of who is who at the zoo. If you say the wrong thing to the wrong person you could get fired. Or even worse, you could have a “more experienced” co-worker steal your idea and take credit for it. That happened to me a couple of times. When you protest, it is like there is a mental block in many managers that you could not possibly come up with a good idea because you are so “wet behind the ears”.

      This is not to say that every idea you have is good. Sometimes management does not communicate the “big picture”, and you don’t know the whole story.

      Basically, the best advice I can give is cover your butt. Document everything you can IN WRITING. Don’t let people take credit for your work and ideas. And practice prevention – know who’s who, be aware of office politics. But some times you simply will not be one of what I call “the chosen” or “the pets”. Some people have honed the fine are of butt kissing to a science. You will not move your career forward being around such people – or the managers that allow themselves to be kissed up to like that.

      And finally, you need to consider the excellent advice others have offered here! Sometimes a bad manager literally creates a “toxic” work environment. If it is clear that upper management is not going to do anything to remove this person – or worse if upper management IS the problem, then you might seriously consider a change of work venue! You know what they say, it is easier to get a jon while you have one!


    • #3122108

      Hi Tech Labour

      by ajebakumar ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Hi There,

      Calm Down Mate, We are the HI Tech Labour Force That includeds me 🙂 (I call it any way). 🙁

    • #3122057

      I actually have a good manager

      by desmodeus ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      I think I may be unique in having a good manager. He accepts that I know a lot more about my field (telecommunications) than he does and listens to my advice. When I tell him how long something is going to take he believes me and best of all (and I’ve never seen this in any other manager) when some idiot from another branch makes an unjustified complaint he tells them to piss off, the sheer joy of it. Of course the Director of Information Services is a complete dolt but you can’t have everything.

    • #3122054

      not quite the right signs…

      by jennyn ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      I have seen good & bad.

      “I get frustrated by low pay, a company who does not wish to invest in me, managers who throw me into… ”
      If this is your work environment, this is probably your manager’s too. They may not be trained on how to manage, how to build a team, how to communicate or any of the necessary skills for thier job. They may have just been good techs, good visionaries, good initiators or just good schmoozers. Unfortunately management skills don’t necessarily come with the above, and need to be learned and supported. If you want to be a good manager in future – get cracking on developing the right skills for it.

      On to your criteria for bad managers:
      “inability to grasp basic tech details” this is not necessarily a managers job. You will find that after you’ve been in the biz 10+yrs, you aren’t so interested in the all the little tech details. That’s what your team is for. They can hold that knowledge. The manager holds the big pic. Just take a look at old GW Bush – plenty of vacations – not so much concern for details… the little folks look after those.

      2. “solutions for which staff doesn’t have adequate knowledge” unfortunately this is true of most new tech solutions. They are normally a learning process for EVERYONE. Expect a life-time of that.

      3. “failure to consult staff” – this is a managed hierarchy, not a cooperative. I have a cooperative management style & I like flat teams. I’m lucky enough to work in a flat team now. Both flat and hierarchy have their pros & cons. Perhaps what you are experiencing is a manager with poor listening skills. It is a good thing for a manager to hear the concerns of a team – even if those do not sway the final decision.

      The other two are certainly issues often called – “crisis based management” and “micro management”.

      Go learn some organizational development (OD)theory, and some grounding in group dynamics to go with your tech skills, and you can be the manager you never had.

      This can also give you a keen insight into where your org is going and what they might need to get there, and you can become highly respected by other non-tech managers and be set for future IS director.

      • #3123500


        by too old for it ·

        In reply to not quite the right signs…

        The whole of his writing indicates a company run under “total crisis management”.

        How do companies survive, obtain and retain good wpoeple when all they do is careen from one crisis to another?

        • #3123332

          Believe it or not

          by maldain ·

          In reply to Actually,

          There are good people who enjoy that type of pressure. For myself I have enough stress from actual crisises so I don’t need to manufacture more for myself.

    • #3127689

      do I smell a lot of narcissism in this thread?

      by ou jipi je ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      This discussion is seriously starting to resemble the british sitcom “The Office”. Yes, there is a moon, the grass is green and bad managers exist.

      Answer your self three questions and you will never post a useless post like this again:

      1.) What is important _to you_?
      2.) What are you afraid off?
      3.) What is the problem, really than?


    • #3127668

      practice what they preach

      by cantfinditican ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Do they ever practice what they preach? Hell no,when they fail to get all the customer’s info..that’s o.k. but when an employee doesn’t get all the customer’s info..different story!
      And why can’t a manager answer the phone or dial a phone number!

      • #3127530

        Amen to that!

        by staceyfra0207 ·

        In reply to practice what they preach

        You’ve hit the nail on the head.

      • #3129417

        Manager .v. Khan

        by ·

        In reply to practice what they preach

        The manager knows all under his/her charge is their personal resonsibility, and the members of the crew are joint owners – the manager is presumed to be able to do all task he/she expects and needs members of their crew to do. a rewarder, and mentor.

        The khan takes no personal responsibility for either the crew or the work, usually a punisher and not a rewarder, usually a finger pointer not a mentor.

    • #3128362

      No there aren’t

      by raycatch9 ·

      In reply to Are there any good managers left?

      Today we have scared little, been counter, MBA, idiotic, bottom line driven, mission statement happy, bureacrats that do not have the balls to actually run things. And if there is the rare individual who has the balls to actually manage ( LEAD ) rather than just administrate, they castrate him early in his carreer to drive out any entreprenurial spririt that he might have right out of him.

      • #3128184

        MBA Castration

        by golfloon ·

        In reply to No there aren’t

        Whilst I am business savvy enough to read a balance sheet and P&L and understand that technology is a business enabler not the end product. I still run with the ball and lead from the front and challenge bureacracy at every turn.

        As for being castrated I haven’t found a CFO big enough or brave enough to try yet…..

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