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Java: Article

How to Go from Geek to Manager

You've got the job now what do you do?

From a manager's perspective I see a couple of questions that have to be answered when looking at migrating Swing applications to Web applications. First, does my customer need this? Currently, a number of different commands are run on an AIX or Windows command line to run the Swing applications. The internal customers feel it's easier to go to a browser instead of understanding command-line syntax to run the applications.

Do I have the skillsets on my team to transfer the Swing application to a Web-based tool?

My team is very skilled in Java and has experience in creating Web applications. I worry that there'll be problems transferring all the logic from the Swing-based applications to the Web-based applications correctly because of the current design problems that exist. However, this would be a perfect time to analyze the problems and correct them.

Are there enough people on my team to do this? This is the extremely hard part of being a manager. Estimating how long a project can take is not a fine art. If the estimation isn't done properly, time is wasted or not enough employees are allocated. The migration requirements must be gathered and sized. Once sized, a manager must support his development leads with the resources that they need.

These are just a couple of the things that I've chewed on my first month of experience. Perhaps, other first-time managers have had the same things happen in their department. Making management decisions is not an exact art but hopefully the situations I've described give you an idea of one approach.

More Stories By Benjamin Garbers

Ben Garbers is currently a 1st line manager at IBM where the department he
manages creates and maintains Java standalone applications and dynamic Java
web applications run on Websphere. Before his management position he was
the lead developer on a number of teams that developed standalone Java
applications.

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Most Recent Comments
Thomas Yung 09/20/06 10:21:49 AM EDT

Added trackback.

Thomas Yung 09/20/06 09:54:22 AM EDT

Great article Ben! Don't get bothered by the last person's comment. Simple is the best way to express things. No need to overcomplicate things.

NAVPREET SINGH 08/18/06 11:09:05 PM EDT

Can't understand what's the point of this article? If written any better, this could have been a mediocre article for a school magazine level - I honestly lost some respect for your magazine with this.....

AJAX News Desk 07/28/06 06:18:18 PM EDT

You're six-feet, 190 pounds and can type System.out.println faster than most people can say AJAX. You're a person who dreams about the Milwaukee Brewers winning the World Series and the correct data structure to be used when talking about a baseball player. You've spent five years of your life writing Java code and leading Java development teams. You consider yourself an expert in Swing, Struts, XML, and XSL-FO and feel comfortable talking about any other buzzword in the Java world such as JSF, Portal, and AJAX. You've had experience as development lead on a team with anywhere from three to seven people where Java applications were rolled into production well within the scheduled deadline. Now you have received a management position on an internal Java development team. Where do you start? What things do you look at from day one? What's your role going to be as a manager? What would you like to see happen within your team? Do you want to keep your technical skills? How do you rate your employees at the end of the year?

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