Laura Thompson has a new post to her site about the "dark craft" of engineering management and of her thoughts as to why it's as much a "craft" as writing the actual code.
Why is management a craft? It's a craft for the same reasons engineering is a craft. You can read all the books you want on something but crafts are learned by getting your hands in it and getting them dirty. Crafts have rough edges, and shortcuts, and rules of thumb, and things that are held together with duct tape. The product of craft is something useful and pleasing.
She goes on to fill out her description of what it really means to manage a development group including providing devs with the resources they need to master the subject and allowing them the autonomy to solve problems without having to be involved in every decision. You can read the rest of her thoughts here.