Sunday, January 10, 2010

BOOK: Complete MBA for Dummies

[This was originally posted at]

I'm always been intrigued by the non-coding aspects of a project that are necessary for that project to succeed. Much of this includes people and business skills. I keep hearing of co-workers who take business classes, and it sounds fun, but it takes more time than I have right now (building snow-dinosaurs, sandboxes, and Christmas lights for the kids takes a lot of time). So I settled for the next best thing: reading the Complete MBA for Dummies. I was impressed.

The book is a casual 400-page read, and certainly lives up the the "for dummies" genre. It offers an overview of starting a small business, from the basics of management to HR to accounting to marketing and economics. I liked the practical tone.

While a book like this doesn't fundamentally change one's view of business, it is useful to get one to casually think about business-concepts during the normal work day. For each project, it prompts me to ask questions like:

  • "where does the revenue come from?"
  • "who is paying for this project?"
  • "how will this project help the business?"
  • "can this thing I built actually be marketed?"
  • "who are the customers for this product?"

Continually keeping these types of questions in mind also helps a developer relate to business-sponsors, who are the people that ultimately write the developer's paycheck.


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