Stay ahead and focused
Apr 29

Active Management via Source Version Control

Most of the shareholders are not developers, but in order for them to manage the developer team effectively, he needs to learn how to cop with the team's routine.

Things you want to do

The thing is that even if you don't know programming, you might still want to do some work (business wise) like:

  • Fixing a typo
  • Adjust some font
  • Rewrite the headline
  • Duplicate a page
  • Delete a paragraph

They are not things requiring years and years of programming training, as long as you know how to use a text editor and a bit of pattern matching skills, you'll be just fine. Not only nerds will like you better, but also they'd appreciate your contribution, especially from the higher level. Besides, developer does not like a constant typo change request, trust me.

New things to learn

So you might ask where to get started. Simple.

Take a moment go watching developer's life for just couple of minutes, you'll notice that they constantly commit their programs into something called Git repository, somewhere they believe it'll be safe if code is there. And they can go home and checkout the same code that they worked and continue working until they pass out.

The purpose of Git is to manage a project, or a set of files, as they change over time. Git stores this information in a data structure called a repository. Understanding Git

Why don't you just get a copy of what they have? No worries, just ask one of your tech to setup one "repository" for you. It'll take no more than 5 minutes.

Working with a code repository like Git is as easy as using a text editor, since majority of the code is written in sort of text format. so open your favorite text editor, and start editing. So if you don't know which file to start, go ask, you are part of team now. Don't be afraid that you'll slow the team down, the worst is that you don't make any changes after you find it it's too much for you.

What do I get out of this

So you might ask, why bother spent 30 mins doing things that a tech person can do in a minute. Actually it's a lot more than what you think in this case. Other than the typos that you can correct, you can also

  • Be aware of who's working on what
  • Be aware of how much progress we're making and how fast
  • Be able to propose a missing feature

You could collect quite a bit of info out of Git, especially when you are not sitting and eating with developers every day.

Project fails sometimes due to the frustration of the manager thinking the project is not going to the right direction. In fact, they have a perfect tool in front of them to figure out how to manage the project and team. Use it wisely.