No matter the department or level within an enterprise that a graduate of the Yale School of Management MBA program may land, management of software development projects and developers will be a requirement. That is the thinking behind the addition to that MBA program of a Management of Software Development class, in which students should gain “the skills and language to successfully manage software developers,” according to information provided by the school.
When the school’s Director of Entrepreneurial Programs, Kyle Jensen, and Yale graduate Miles Lasater developed the class, they also reserved 40 percent of the seats for students outside the MBA program, hoping to foster even more variety in perspectives on technology. Lasater is the founder of Higher One, an education software company, and a lecturer on entrepreneurship in the School of Management.
While students are not expected to complete the class ready to go out and code up a storm, they are exposed to common software development languages and management philosophies, like agile. They also work in teams to create a mobile web application.
The class is valuable, says Jensen, because “almost all of them will be in organizations that are using, producing, or being disrupted by software. It helps them dramatically to learn about software, to be able to create technologies themselves, and to manage people producing technologies.”
Though a one-off class may provide just enough information to make a graduate dangerous, the skills necessary to manage a successful development team are gaining more attention in the workplace, as companies race to establish products and markets. Brainscape Founder and CEO Andrew Cohen writes at Entrepreneur about the real-world challenges that managers of these teams have to balance: Software most definitely will have errors and bugs; features will be conceived and added continuously; young, fast coders may lack other skill sets; and developer turnover can cause the remaining team members to spend lots of time relearning and getting back up to speed.
And the projections for hiring rates for all those newly graduated developers needing management and direction keep rising: Fortune reports today that an IbisWorld report says software development is among the top six most promising industries for the class of 2015: Smartphone app developers alone will see a 37.6 percent growth rate in demand.
Kachina Shaw is managing editor for IT Business Edge and has been writing and editing about IT and the business for 15 years. She writes about IT careers, management, technology trends and managing risk. Follow Kachina on Twitter @Kachina and on Google+