You Need a Hero: The Project Manager

This article is for you, the plucky entrepreneur with an app idea in your heart and a bit of cash in the bank. The diagrams that you’ve scribbled on cocktail napkins will disrupt the entire world, and dump trucks full of money have already been dispatched to your house. To ensure that they arrive on time, here’s some simple advice for making your production cycle run smoothly.

Why You Need A Project Manager In The First Place

“Computer programs are the most complex things that humans make,” says Douglas Crockford.

You may not have heard that name before, but he’s pretty famous for a programmer. He’s currently a senior software architect at PayPal, and he has pioneered all sorts of cool technology that is beyond the purview of this article. He is someone who knows a great deal about working on large projects.

As for myself, I’ve been programming for 13 years, and even now, at some point, every project takes me into uncharted territory. There are so many different technologies out there, and new techniques are being devised at such an alarming rate that I never feel I’m completely on top of what’s going on. While every project has its unique challenges, there are some constants:

• The project has time pressure.

• The budget is smaller than I would like.

• I am a more expensive than the client would like.

• I do not listen as perfectly as the client would like.

• The client does not explain things as perfectly as I would like.

Clearly, we need a babysitter. Someone has to step in to establish the ground rules, keep everyone honest and make sure that we’re not forgetting anything important. Someone has to facilitate communication between all parties.

This someone, this hero, is the project manager.

To read the remainder of Ethan’s article, please click here.


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Ethan James has worked on many different stacks, but always returns to his first love: JavaScript. He delights in connecting RESTful APIs to painstakingly-engineered front-ends using AngularJS, or whichever other framework provides the best user experience for the project. He writes clean, semantic HTML5 and CSS3 and is as responsive as the sites he builds.

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