Slashdot recently has published a question from a reader on the best way to manage geek. The reader has read a 1999 article on this topic and wonder if the new millenium has ever changed. There are couple of good response from geek themselves which should be a good trigger of thoughts. For example, some good comments from thesandtiger:

… 7) Managers who can manage. A boss’s job is broken into two parts: supervising me and protecting me. Supervising means getting work to me and letting me know what’s expected on it. I take a lot of initiative, but when I am handed a task, I would like to know what I’m supposed to do, when I’m supposed to have it done by, and (if applicable) what methods I’m required to use to do it (if I don’t have a choice). Protecting me means keeping assholes like Phil in business development from swinging by and talking my ear off for a half hour in the afternoon. It means not scheduling me for meetings that are a complete and absolute waste of my time. Basically, doing all those helpful things that allow me to do what I can do.

8) Be realistic. Let’s face it – at *least* 20% of my time is spent on shit like reading /. and other such stuff – let me do it without having to fear that I’m going to lose my job because I need a mental floss break. I’m going to do it anyway, so why not let me do it without stress? Even better – FAR BETTER – let me work on something that is blue-sky stuff for 20% of my time. One place I worked at actually bought me animation/3D design software to use and encouraged me to take up to a day a week to work on it – on their dime. It wound up coming back to them 10-fold: when they were updating their website, and needed a bunch of wireframes of various products to be created and converted to Flash, they had me on staff to do it, and saved a boatload of money not hiring an outside agency. I got to have fun and learn something new, and they made some money. Yay for everyone!…

In my opinion, number one tips to manage geek is – Just like any professionals that require creativity to complete their project – It is important to respect and appreciate their efforts and thoughts. Give them rooms to be creative.

Best Way to Manage Geeks? – [Slashdot]

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