Managerial Machinations

Dr Stuart Woolley
CodeX
Published in
3 min readJan 16, 2023

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Being convinced that you’re always correct frequently highlights your ineptitude and inflexibility.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels

A short missive on the presumption of infallibility by the panopticon overloads that even now still roam the deserted offices of erstwhile software engineer labour camps. Yes, you know who I’m talking about.

I’m sure there are good managers around, somewhere, even though I’ve experienced very few of them during my decades spent in the trenches of the Grand Game of Software Engineering.

To me a good manager is a facilitator, someone who can remove problems that I shouldn’t have to deal with, provide the equipment I need to do my job, and at all other times just stay out of the way, hidden, ready to spring into action if needed.

Sure, they can even buy me lunch once in a while — as long as they don’t engage me in conversation about gym memberships, company cars, or how amazing it is that PowerPoint has some new animated slide transition or other.

What they shouldn’t be doing is bothering me all of the time about endless pointless company processes, attempting to repeatedly schedule meetings with me, or in any way interfering with the creative art form that is software engineering.

I mean, if you wanted a hand in the process, why didn’t you become a software engineer in the first place?

Thing is, when I voice my concerns (something I frequently do via the medium of humor if you’re a regular reader of my endless, often surreal, observations) I often get one of several general comments describing how people¹ feel some kind of benevolent divine empathy for me that I haven’t found the right job, that I have always somehow worked in dysfunctional environments, or that I should keep looking to find some environment that will allow me to be nurtured and somehow grow into a ‘model engineer’.

Somehow I get the feeling that they’re always trying to convert me, mould me into someone else, to become a part of some bizarre chino wearing, tie knotting, shoe wearing cult.

I genuinely think that it’s part of the management manufacturing machine that brings such individuals into existence, stamps them with an occult symbol of corporate compliance, and laminates their certificates of PMP² before folding…

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Dr Stuart Woolley
CodeX

Worries about the future. Way too involved with software. Likes coffee, maths, and . Would prefer to be in academia. SpaceX, Twitter, and Overwatch fan.