The Future of Work?

Just finished - The Year Without Pants: Wordpress.com and the Future of Work by Scott Berkun.

The title may be a bit ambitious here, but the book does explore an interesting aspect in the evolution of workforce: a totally dispersed global team. The lack of collocation brings up the need for highly autonomous individuals and for different methods and tools for collaboration.

Already an accomplished writer, Scott is experimenting with a one year job as a team leader at Automattic, the company that builds and operates Wordpress.com. Automattic itself is for-profit but operates mostly as an open source community, which is a challenge given Scott’s background at large, etsablished companies like Microsoft.

It’s a good software development memoir and an interesting study in management. Don’t expect anything dramatic — actually if you don’t work in software, it will probably be boring. It’s not about changing the world or hitting the jackpot with a revolutionary startup.

It’s about the day-by-day experience as an entry level manager leading a small software team. It’s about getting close to people and developing thier potential, making decisions about new features and unglamorous refactoring and driving results. It’s about tactical management at its best where it matters most — the small team level where the software actually gets created.

My rating: 4/5.