This is too close to home to be funny.
The only sustainable strategy I’ve found for managing software developers is:
- Make sure they are people you like and trust, who are engaged with their work.
- Talk to them – everyone needs to talk things through especially from a technical perspective. One of my old bosses used to play “Cardboard Programmer” which is a really good description of the role – you aren’t really doing anything other than be a sounding board.
- Develop a sense of shared business & technical context – some of our best wins have come from this.
Oh, and one final practical thing… programmers keep a lot of state in their head. If you want to talk to them you’ll get a happier outcome if you ask them to let you know when they are ready, rather than barging in and causing them to lose their thread.