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Driving Technical Change: Why People on Your Team Don't Act on Good Ideas, and How to Convince Them They Should


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Driving Technical Change

Why People on Your Team Don't Act on Good Ideas, and How to Convince Them They Should


If you work with people, you need this book. Learn to read co-workers’ and users’ patterns of resistance and dismantle their objections. With these techniques and strategies you can master the art of evangelizing and help your organization adopt your solutions.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend [this] handy and very useful book, to any managers, technologists, systems administrators, or engineers faced with strong opposition to any proposed technological change or enhancement. This valuable book will give you the essential tools to overcome any skeptics and their stonewalling of the proposed improvements.

- Blog Business World

At its core, Driving Technical Change is a fantastic book about design patterns. In it, Terrence Ryan clearly outlines common, problematic personalities—“skeptics”—and provides proven solutions for bringing about progressive change. It is certainly an unfortunate fact of human behavior that people are oftentimes resistant to implementing best practices; however, using Terry’s book as a guide, you will now be able to identify why people push back against change and what you can do to remain successful in the face of adversity.

- Ben Nadel

Chief Software Engineer, Epicenter Consulting

Politics is one of the most challenging and underestimated subjects in the field of technology. Terrence Ryan has tackled this problem courageously and with a methodical approach. His book can help you understand many types of resistance (both rational and irrational) and make a strategy for getting people on board with your technology vision.

- Bill Karwin

Author of "SQL Antipatterns: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Database Programming"

Ryan combines the eye of an engineer, the insight of a psychotherapist, and the experience of a soldier in the trenches to provide a
flowchart approach to your most immediate problem, as well as a fascinating overview of how to be more productive and less frustrated with your technical work. Driving Technical Change speaks in the language of the people who have the most to learn from Ryan’s success with organizational management.

- Jeff Porten

Internet consultant and author, "Twentysomething Guide to Creative Self-Employment"

This book covers a very important topic I have never seen covered in book form and answers questions every one of us in application or web development has asked. Terrence Ryan manages to create a fun and easy-to-read narrative with examples so accurate and familiar they that will often leave you wondering whether he was sitting next to you in a recent office meeting.

- Brian Rinaldi

Web community manager, Adobe Systems, Inc.

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About this Title

Pages: 146
Published: 2010-11-09
Release: P2.0 (2014-11-02)
ISBN: 978-1-93435-660-9

Finding cool languages, tools, or development techniques is easy—new ones are popping up every day. Convincing co-workers to adopt them is the hard part. The problem is political, and in political fights, logic doesn’t win for logic’s sake. Hard evidence of a superior solution is not enough. But that reality can be tough for programmers to overcome.

In Driving Technical Change: Why People on Your Team Don’t Act on Good Ideas, and How to Convince Them They Should, Adobe software evangelist Terrence Ryan breaks down the patterns and types of resistance technologists face in many organizations.

You’ll get a rich understanding of what blocks users from accepting your solutions. From that, you’ll see techniques for dismantling their objections—without becoming some kind of technocratic Machiavelli.

You’ll learn all about peoples’ “resistance patterns.” There’s a pattern for each type of person resisting your technology, from The Uninformed to The Herd, The Cynic, The Burned, The Time Crunched, The Boss, and The Irrational. From there you’ll discover battle-tested techniques for overcoming users’ objections, and strategies that put it all together: the patterns of resistance and the techniques for winning buy-in.

In the end, change is a two-way street. In order to get your co-workers to stretch their technical skills, you’ll have to stretch your soft skills. This book will help you make that stretch without compromising your resistance to playing politics. You can overcome resistance (however illogical) in a logical way.


Contents & Extracts

Full Table of Contents


  • Skeptic Patterns
    • Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?
    • The Uninformed
    • The Herd
    • The Cynic
    • The Burned
    • The Time Crunched
    • The Boss
    • The Irrational
  • Techniques
    • Filling Your Toolbox
    • Gain Expertise
    • Deliver Your Message
    • Demonstrate Your Technique
    • Propose Compromise
    • Create Trust
    • Get Publicity
    • Focus on Synergy
    • Build a Bridge
    • Create Something Compelling
  • Strategy
    • Simple, Not Easy
    • Ignore the Irrational
    • Target the Willing
    • Harness the Converted
    • Sway Management
  • Final Thoughts
  • Author

    Terrence Ryan currently works as an Evangelist for Adobe Systems. He focuses on the promotion of ColdFusion, Flash, Flex and AIR. As an evangelist his job is to encourage people to try new tools and techniques. Before that, he spent ten years in higher education overseeing the work of a team of developers, running code reviews, pushing standards, and trying to convince co-workers to come around to new tools and techniques.