Driving Technical Change (PragProg)

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.

Terrence Ryan

edited by Jacquelyn Carter @jkcarter

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.


"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


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