Tuesday, June 27, 2006

analogy: chefs and PMs

I've just finished reading Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential for the n-th time. If you've not read it at all, go find a copy and consume it immediately.

For the PM crowd (and I appreciate your sticking with me over the last few weeks of more-infrequent posting) this book will remind you of something. It will remind you of how you got to be a PM in the first place.

PMs and chefs come about through roughly the same process of tutelage. You learn your craft in a crucible, working through different roles, suffering alongside other travellers in a number of "kitchens" until you know enough of your craft to take charge.

That is not to say that PMs displaythe same penchant for bad behavior as M. Bourdain and his colleagues do. But if you've ever spent any time in a kitchen during the dinner rush, you'll see some similar parallels between that experience and, say, system test. Or "launch week". Both of which can produce their share of thuggery.

Except we don't get to play with knives on the job. At least, not around here. YMMV.

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