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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.

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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.

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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


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.