Issue #109, 26th December 2014

This Week's Favorite


Why Deployment Freezes Don't Prevent Outages
12 minutes read.

I've always wanted to write a post about this topic and why deployment freezes are ridiculous, but to be honest Baron Schwartz wrote it much better than I could ever do it. If there is one sentence that I believe should be carved deep into your understanding of software and business is "Undeployed Code Is Inventory; Inventory Is Risk"

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
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Culture


Less Works
1 minutes read.

As always, something to start the weekend with a huge smile on your face. You can print for your meetings room, so you could point a finger at it next time someone suggests adding "just one more thing" to your product.

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The Hidden Costs That Engineers Ignore
14 minutes read.

This post should be part of your company's onboarding reading list. Practices such as Design Review, Code Review and Pair Programming can and should be used to teach people in the team how to fight complexity. Share it with other engineers in the team, and ask yourself if you're doing enough to prevent complexity from sneaking in. Share it with your boss, and figure out together (on your 1:1?) what can be done to reduce existing complexity.

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Peer 1:1s
5 minutes read.

If you ever thought to explore ways to allow different individuals in the organization to give and receive feedback, this post offers an interesting approach. I like the fact that these 1:1s are not correlated to any compensation (as most Performance Reviews processes), and it can build trust faster between different people in the organization, if people leverage that for personal growth.

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We Invite Everyone at Etsy to Do an Engineering Rotation: Here’s Why
7 minutes read.

Every time I hear people say "there is no fun/innovation working at big companies" I point them to companies such as Etsy. Their focus on empathy is an interesting insight we can take and apply at our own place - "Understanding the work of your colleagues breeds empathy and it’s been great having a better understanding of what working at Etsy means to others."

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Learn About a Company’s Culture With These Two Questions
4 minutes read.

Hiten Shah shares two simple questions you can ask to grasp the kind of communication and values in any given company. If you were asked these questions, how comfortable would you be to answer them?

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Peopleware


How to Hire Engineers: Step 0, What to Look For
7 minutes read.

This post came close second to my favorite post of the week. Figuring out the set of values and traits you're looking for, and then coming up with questions you can use to assess candidates is much harder than it might sounds like. Having a solid process in place is a skill worth mastering. Why? Because smart people can smell bullshit, or as Jocelyn Goldfein wrote: "most actually great engineers will know that you don’t know what “best” means, and avoid you like the plague."

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Building an Incredible Founding Team
6 minutes read.

Do you consider to open your own company at some point? Who would you pick as your partners? What should you look for? Atish Davda with solid insights on his journey with EquityZen.

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Fabien Sanglard's Reviews
5 minutes read.

The most inspiring website I saw in a very long time. Fabien's style of reviewing the source code of games such as Doom 3, Prince of Persia or the well known source-control Git is a powerful testimonial for one's curiosity. I'm eager to do the same for some of the areas I've started to explore recently.

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Inspiring Tweets


@dcancel: "Tolstoy Had Thirteen Kids and Wrote War and Peace." - Steven Pressfield #Noexcuses

@kenegozi: *Your* (And Mine) Software Will Always Have Bugs. How Fast Could You Deliver a Fix Is the Real Question.

- Oren

P.S. Can you share this email? I'd love for more people to experiment and improve their company's culture.

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