Meetup with Tom Albers

Back in December I attended a project management meetup with Tom Albers.

While Tom has an impressive list of companies where he was either senior manager or vice president, the most notable and attractive was the fact that he was manager of web development at It seems like that kind of background allowed him to gather over 100 software developers and project managers.

It was interesting to learn something new from Tom’s experience as well as hear few insights about software development at MySpace. Although many his recommendations overlapped with Rework, I would like to point out two things which are basically must know and follow for anyone who related to managing software development:

  • Present the problem, not the solution.
    Unfortunately there are so many cases when customers or managers do not trust their software engineers and ask them to implement certain solution without disclosing the problem or saying that it is the only possible solution. But it is not rare when after long discussions it turns out that the initial ‘solution’ is either not that great or even may not solve the problem at all.

  • If you are not drawing, you are not communicating your team.
    Hopefully it is not true anymore but some time ago it was not rare when white boards were considered unnecessary. Also Tom pointed out that a tablet (iPad in his case) works as a perfect tool for communication with remote teams. It takes just seconds to draw something using touchscreen and then share (unlike traditional desktop applications since it take more time to draw using mouse and keyboard).

At the end just couple pictures taken with my cell phone.

Tom is explaining his vision on who senior developer is.


More (and better quality) pictures are posted here.

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