One thing I really wish that my school offered for CS majors is a course on project management. All too often, we hot shot coders (or at least those of us who like to think we’re hot shot coders ;^) jump into the code and figure the details will work themselves out. Clearly we‘ve got some procedures in place, but I readily acknowledge that we can (and should) tighten them up. With that in mind, Chris and I headed off to Contrux‘s three day crash course on project management. These courses are taught by successful project managers (even Steve McConnell will teach it once-in-a-while). The course covered some really basic stuff as well as some complex stuff but does it in a very logical and well thought out method. In fact, they talk about managing a project while walking through the life cycle of a project from before it starts through to the post-mortems (which they very PC-like call retrospectives). I can see how implementing some of what they were talking about can have an immediate cost and efficiency impact at 3Sharp. I would definitely recommend finding your way into a course like this if you’re finding your “lead developer” role is turning more into a project management role!
With that in mind, did you know how easy it is to create a Gantt chart in Excel?!?