Managing Programming Projects: Don't Lose Sight of Reality

If you're a project manager who came from a programming background it's amazingly helpful to dig back down into code for a day just to remind yourself of how the process really works. Regardless of the approach to project management (Agile, Waterfall, etc.), at the most basic level the development process remains an exercise in code / test / repeat. It's a very satisfying exercise, but it makes you appreciate that there is a lot of detail behind each feature or requirement.

It's my belief that the greatest productivity gain for programmers individually is to have as rapid a code / test loop as possible. This is one of the biggest advantages of interpreted script languages (e.g. JavaScript) over compiled languages. There are obvious productivity benefits to being able to see your work quickly and there are psychological/motivation benefits as well.