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Working With Developers

Monday, February 3, 2020

Guest: Abby Fichtner, Hacker Chick


For this session, there's reading and the following deliverables:

  1. NEW STUDENTS: Student Participation Agreement - To be signed by each student and sent to Jacey Taft by Feb 7. Scanned file from your phones is fine!

  2. Development Budget & Contract posted in the Assignment Master in the appropriate tab by 10am Feb 3

  • Break down budget requirements by item and by tranche over a timeline. See example budgets in the link on the assignment master.

  • Contract currently in process or an example you are working with to discuss terms among your team members (see Codementor blog below). For contracts in process, it's ok to do comment access only for Profs. Austin & Perri if there are any confidentiality restrictions between you and your developer.

  • Please come to class with questions on both budgets and contracts!

Required Reading

Recommended Reading

If you want to delve deeper into how developers think and work, these are good choices.


  • Frederick Brooks, The Mythical Man-Month is a timeless classic on software project management by the "father of the IBM 360" -- one of history's riskiest and most successful tech product development efforts.

  • Paul Glen, Leading Geeks, discusses how developers think, what motivates them, and how to manage them.

  • Facebook's Julie Zhuo has written a book on The Making of A Manager with many insights as a first time manager of technical people and designers.

Session Prep

In this session, we will talk about best practices for working with developers - from freelancers working with founders to full time engineers working with PMs at mature companies. Drawing from the readings and from past/current experiences, come to the session with questions about your search for developers, the contract and negotiation process and about working with developers in general. We will also answer any additional questions about budgets for PM102.

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