As the software engineering field has developed, much attention has focused on improving the associated technology and processes. Comparatively little thought has been given to the issue of human resource management. Some see it as central to productivity and software quality. However, little empirical research has explored the required nature of such management. This paper examines human resource management practices in the software industry in Ireland: An economy that is heavily dependent on the software sector, with a high level of foreign multinational investment. A survey of the 100 largest software organisations reveals the nature of human resource practices, and the relative unimportance attached to the management of human resources. Two of the organisations studied are selected as examples of preferred and poor practice, and more in-depth data was gathered from these companies. The authors consider that this comparative analysis reveals a difference that is central to the design of human resource strategies in the software sector: One company managed software engineers as individuals within groups, while the other focused on the management of teams.