Gerald Weinberg

(1933-) Also known as JerryWeinberg

Gerald M. Weinberg, consultant and prolific author on software development issues. Jerry has been a leading influence on software development thought for many years now.

You can view Jerry's personal site 
or read a brief biography about him
or the Dorset House Publishing Co. site,, where you can order most of Jerry's books.

Jerry also wrote the classic, AnIntroductionToGeneralSystemsThinking.

There are a lot of good GeraldWeinbergQuotes.

One of Jerry's greatest strength is taking an accepted axiom, such as "Quality is conformance to Requirements" or "Adding developers to a late project makes it later", and showing why it is actually a special case of a more general systems rule. -- TomAyerst

Jerry operates the SHAPE Forum at This requires registration and a Fee. In return you get focused, low-noise discussion on people-oriented topics. [I wonder how long it will be before Jerry corrects "to to" on that site.]

He's also a host at the AYE Conference, run by a number of his colleagues. For a real face-to-face, one-on-one experience of Jerry, this is the place to be.

Jerry Weinberg is a long-time thinker, writer, teacher, and teacher of teachers on the people side of software engineering. He's written a number of influential books, including ... Recently, his writings include QualitySoftwareManagement, a series which blends SystemsThinking, metrics, and psychology.

Jerry and staff hold two popular workshops: ProblemSolvingLeadership (PSL), and the ChangeShop? (CS), and an advanced Software Engineering Management (SEM) group. NormKerth is on their faculty, and a number of Wiki folks are PSL grads. -- DaveSmith (PSL 94,CS 97, SEM 98)

Not Anymore. I was lucky enough to attend the last ChangeShop? in 2002 -- Jeff Winchell

I particularly like SecretsOfConsulting. It gave me the confidence to become a consultant at all, and later the confidence to extend beyond HyperPropellerHead? work. -- KentBeck

I have to get this. I fear I've been spinning the propeller far too much -- MichaelFeathers

NormKerth introduced me to Jerry's works and I am forever grateful. The SecretsOfConsulting is a treasure. I think about it all the time and it acts like a kind of gyroscope for my consulting practice. -- JoshuaKerievsky

Joshua, that's heart-warming to hear. And your gyroscope is a timely metaphor, as my newest book, More Secrets of Consulting: The Consultant's Self-Esteem Toolkit, is going to appear in a month or so (it's now October 18, 2001) - and the gyroscope is one of my own tools. Thanks to everyone here for all the kind things they've said - I'll look here from time to time (I hadn't known there was a page with my name on it (actually two, including JerryWeinberg). -- JerryWeinberg

Becoming a Technical Leader had more impact on me than just about any book I've seen. My favorite anecdote from it goes something like this: If a group of people ask you to help them, ask them what the problem is. If they tell you about a solution, ask them again what the problem is. If they again tell you a solution, walk out of the room. There is nothing you can do to help them.

Not something you'd really want to do, but it points out one thing that I suspect is universally true. If people spent even an eighth as much time examining a problem as they do trying to mend flawed solutions when they are stuck, they'd be much more productive. See HearProblemFormSolution. -- MichaelFeathers

A bunch of ExtremeProgramming enthusiasts recommended MoreSecretsOfConsulting (ISBN 0932633528 ), which is now my most recent Weinberg read. It is really a quite wonderfully subversive book. As much (and as little ;-)) to do with consulting as ZenAndTheArtOfMotorcycleMaintenance has to do with motorcycles. Nicely done with bite sized nuggets... tools from a tool box is the metaphor, a short chapter on each tool without too much "read in this order" dependency. Humorous, succinct, and salient examples illustrate the ideas, very helpful. The humor is what makes it subversive, lets one absorb new ideas by bypassing one's defensive filters. One of those "you get out of it as much as you put in" kinds of books, though I'd guess that even a quick/light read would plant some seeds... -- DougPhilips

For my money, anything Gerry writes is worth getting; writing one great book is an achievement but 30? Thanks, Gerry -- StewartBaird

Just had a SecretsOfConsulting "moment" - the customer is paying for my time not the solution. After wrestling with a somewhat uninspired customer (too busy to commit to her project), my wife reminded me of Gerry's quote. I laughed out loud and then went home.

I've adopted "Becoming A Technical Leader" for my Information Systems capstone course this semester. Some students are unable to understand why I am using such a touchy-feeling "stupid" book for a technical degree program. They see little or no value to it. I tried to explain the difference between getting degrees in IS, CS, CompEng? and an Associate diploma in Applied Technology. I think some -- though not much -- light began to shine. -- Murli Nagasundaram,

I read "Exploring Requirements" years ago and highly recommend it. It is one of the few books that actually come off my bookshelf after they go on. Many of the problems software development has experienced are not due to technology but knowing what is required, and that requirements evolve. And "Secrets of Consulting" should be handed to to every new consultant when they get their consulting license:) -- Dave Wylie

I concur. Everytime I ask a knowledgeable software person what is a good book on requirements, this is the only book they mention. -- JeffWinchell

Is Gerald Weinberg still active and managing his sites? I went to his "readings" web site, which said "every week" there will be something interesting, but the last listing appear to be 3 years old. Also the SHAPE forum mentioned above appear to be addressing small team level matters, instead of larger issues such as OutSourcing, WorkForceManagement?, etc. -- dl Oct05

I'm still here, but I stopped putting articles on my site and began putting them on other sites, mostly the AYE Conference Articles section <> and my own two blogs (Weinberg on Writing <> and The Secrets of Consulting <>).

As for the Shape Forum, for example, there are 17 threads in the archives that discuss outsourcing. Work force management is discussed so many times under so many titles that I can't count them, but there are hundreds of articles in the archives. - JerryWeinberg

There is a heuristic about projects that I have gained from Weinberg: that they will not succeed without the possibility of CongruentAction.

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