The phrase herding cats comes from the common saying that something involving coordination of many different groups or people is as difficult as herding cats. One of the commonly encountered uses of the term in technical fields is the phrase "Managing programmers is like herding cats" or "Managing engineers is like herding cats". In education it would be "Managing students is like herding cats". In reality, it would be "Managing cats is like herding cats." It refers to the individualism common in the stereotypical examples of programmers and domesticated cats. A similar phrase, allegedly of Irish origins, is "Minding mice at a crossroads".
by catherdmaster January 03, 2009