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SHAPE forrum

does anyone use this forum? is it worth the subscriptions of $60 for access?
the forum is here : http://www.geraldmweinberg.com/shape.htm

the person who runs the site is the author of the successful book called The Secrets of Consulting

eddy
Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Weinberg does not post guerilla ads. It's not his style at all. All of his books are fantastic ones, full of amazing revelations and also well written humor. I owe part of my success to his insights.

If you read his books, you know that people tend not to value free advice, so it's better to charge for it. Example: lots of people get good free advise here on JoS, then turn around and slam the people giving the advice. Why? Because they didn't pay for the advise and therefore don't value it.

Of course there are also those that look past cost and see the true value of things. But those folks are a tiny minority.

Dennis Atkins
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Er, I've spent time on SHAPE. The discussions are explorations of the social fabric of software development and particularly consulting. 90% of what goes on there is over my head and beyond my reach.

If you're the kind of person who demands to see lines of specific source code as an example of a concept, SHAPE would drive you absolutely nuts and would feel like touchy feely bullshit. Everything discussed there is metaphoric and "soft". Most of the members don't seem to work at things that are terribly applied (I guess that's the truest form of "consulting".)

I'm not certain it's terribly useful as a means to become a consultant. It seems more to be a form of group therapy for the members who already have their own professional reputations.

FYI.

Bored Bystander
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Im with the guerilla ad theory :)  that first post looked like a pretty straight forward example to me.

may not have been done by the author though, whats the bet he hires a marketing person who is stupid enough to think that this might be a good idea...


have you been tom http://www.zombo.com ?  you can do _anything_ at http://www.zombo.com

FullNameRequired
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I have been reading guerilla marketing a few times lately on JoS. Can someone tell me what _that_ is all about?

char* full_name()
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

They are suggesting that in this thread, the original poster "eddy" is not really an earnest seeker of useful information, but is actually either Gerald Weinberg, or one of his shills come into drum up interest in his forum.

In this particular case it is not so, Weinberg has better things to do with his time.

However, guerilla marketing is on the upswing - recent notable example being those ____ brand camera phones that Multinational Corporation ______ hired attractive couples to go into bars with and ask others to take their photos, giving the impression that attractive young couples were all using these ____ cameras.

The guerilla marketing I see on this board is usually like this:

"Hey everybody, I just made a web site, is it ok, can anyone give me pointers?" And then everyone goes and looks at the obviously professionally done site that is selling tools to programmers....

Dennis Atkins
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

err, i am just asking for opinions if it is a good idea to subscribe to that forum :). little do i know that i stirred up such responses.

eddy
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I agree with Dennis. Weinberg is a classy guy and he comes from the generation that didn't whore itself out for every nickle. He's a senior management consultant. Posting shill ads just isn't his style.

In response to Eddy, SHAPE used to have a sample thread that you could review before joining, and Jerry has always said he will refund anyone who feels that they have not gotten their money's worth.

Is it worth it? It is if you use it and if you like to have high level conversations about the peopleware aspects of working in IT.

Bored Bystander
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Geurilla Marketing is a book (q.v.), and all these allusions to it are really just ads for the book.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Good one Mark! Taking it to the meta level is always as good as a fine pun.

Anyway, Weinberg is not just a consultant but knows a LOT about psychology, particularly the pyschology of clients, customers, management. In the forum he gives lots of advice and mentoring to members. If you are looking to advance a career as a consultant or just want to know how to present yourself to get your ideas heard, then $60 is a bargain to have him as your personal consultant, giving feedback on ideas and the like.

He also does coaching for technical writing skills. There are a large number of essays written by SHAPE members on his website (available to the general public) - I was looking through them last night. Some are so-so, but others are truly fantastic. For example, see if this one doesn't just blow your mind, dispelling any myths you may have had that programming is not a mature engineering discpline:

http://www.geraldmweinberg.com/ReadingStuff/Each_Reading.html/Essays/Dan.What%27s.So.Special.html

Dennis Atkins
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Hi Dennis,

That's a fantastic article! Thanks for the link!

Regards,
JD

JD
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I was a member of the SHAPE forum in 1998 or 99. Like someone upthread indicated, I found it to be more about team leadership & people skills than a hard technical discussion. If you're a team leader or want to be one eventually, then it might be worth your time & money. I'd suggest taking a look at one of Weinberg's books (Becoming a Software Leader or one of the volumes of Quality Software Management). If that looks interesting, then the forum will probably interest you.

[In my experience, most of the failed software projects I've seen have failed due to people issues much more so than technical issues. I like Weinberg's writing and ideas, but found I just didn't have enough time to really partipicate in SHAPE.]

elmay
Wednesday, February 11, 2004

many thanks for all the responses esp from Dennis.  just one more question, do you recommend his books, Dennis? I know the amazon give pretty good ratings for his books, but I dun quite trust amazon's ratings nowadays. :)
thanks again for all who have replied.

eddy
Thursday, February 12, 2004

I read "Secrets of Consulting".  I think there are a lot of good lessons in there, but I am not a consultant (yet). 

An awful lot of what he says should be common sense, but it was fun to read an apply each lesson to what I am doing right now.

I do think it has helped me communicate things that I already knew, but didn't know how to say.

Scott
Friday, February 13, 2004

I recommend both the secrets of consulting books for sure. Even if you don't want to do consulting the stories are so funny and there are plenty of good lessons about human nature in general. Get the first one, if you like it get the second. They are extremely expensive though and its almost impossible to find with much of a discount used.

His famous Psychology of Computer Programming was great for its time but its pretty dated so, I'd get it in a bin at the library , but I wouldn't buy one new.

The ones on becoming a project leader (I don't have the name at hand) I'd like to get but I'll wait until I have a chance to peek through it at a technical bookstore someday.

He's good astonishing insights and is a FANTASTIC writer. The writing is so good and the presentation so logical that you read the books effortlessly and yet retain ALL the information. He has a LOT of expertise on the psychology of learning and his books are a great example of the best that can be done in terms of presenting information so that it can be understood and retained.

Dennis Atkins
Friday, February 13, 2004

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