Issue #141, 7th August 2015

This Week's Favorite


You May Have Seen My Face on BART
6 minutes read.

This story got so much attention in the past week, and rightfully so. Isis Anchalee, a female software engineer working at OneLogin, shares her story of participating in the company's recruiting ad and how it spawn so many harmful comments - "I didn’t ask for any of this attention, and I’m rather uncomfortable with all of it. I’m just a human and I prefer to keep my life simple/reserved, but it blows my mind that my fully-clothed smiling face with unbrushed hair and minimal makeup on a white wall is seemingly more controversial in some communities than this simply because of my gender" - the only bright side of this story is to see the support she got and how the #iLookLikeAnEngineer movement was created. Amazing story to follow on Twitter as well.

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Culture


Star Wars Makes Everything Better
1 minutes read.

As always, my humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face. Low quality humor, I know, but still true.

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What We Got Wrong About Self-Management
5 minutes read.

"I now believe that, for us, seeking a flat structure was a misperception of what self-management means." -- interesting post from Leo Widrich of Buffer, dealing with some of the challenges in finding a balance between self-managed teams and figuring out how to keep the team effective and happy. Maybe above all, what we should take from the team at Buffer is their courage to try new things, learn from it, admitting mistakes, make adjustments and sharing it with the world.

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No. Agile Does Not Scale.
5 minutes read.

Jurgen Appelo explains why and where Agile gets it wrong at scale. Spot on: "It is not people over processes but bottom-up rules over imposed constraints. Not working software over documentation but holistic development over schismatic thinking. Not collaboration over negotiation, but positive communication over negative assumptions. It is not responding to change over following a plan but scaling out over scaling up."

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Diversity Debt: How Much Does Your Startup Have?
9 minutes read.

While many talk about the need to reduce the diversity debt in our industry, not many offer pragmatic solutions to deal with it. Andrea Barrica from 500Startups will make you think, and hopefully act.

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Peopleware


What Do You Make as a Manager?
3 minutes read.

An inspiring story by Marc Hedlund (ex-VP Engineering at Stripe) on the long-term impact managers can have by serving their teammates and paying attention to the people elements inside of the complexity existing in software development. I feel that in a world where, as a software engineer, we can get the immediate satisfaction of seeing our code working in production, it's even a bigger challenge to play the long-term game. Focusing on helping others to improve their craft, making hard decisions, taking ownership and constantly wondering if you're doing a lousy job can drain your mental energy. It's hard, but stories such as this is what also makes it exciting and compelling.

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Utilization Is Not the Final Answer
3 minutes read.

Short one, but really resonated well with me: "At work we are moving away from the cold numbers into a more strategic team organization. I expect utilization percentages to go down. I also expect us to make much more money."

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On Building a Daily Habit of Continuous Learning
5 minutes read.

"Most of what’s written about deliberate practice is about things like athletic performance, musical instruments, or even computer programming: “Do the thing for around 10,000 hours and you’ll be an expert.” But developing a “continuous learning” mindset through a habit of daily learning isn’t about repeating a behavior to become proficient, it’s about building a positive habit that can crowd out negative ones, as well as have positive side effects on other parts of your work and life." -- Focusing on building positive habits is something I need to have in mind more often, as I often feel my learning is incomplete thus inefficient. Learning to appreciate the fact that I know a bit better about a given topic should by itself be worthy.

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Inspiring Tweets


@orenellenbogen: Tragedy Is When Implicit Expectations Meet That Brutal Moment of "Shit Hits the Fan." Broken Trust Hurts More Than Broken Software.

@rands: My Lack of Response to Your Unsolicited Sales Email Was the Response. It Is Also My Response to Your Follow-Up Inquiry.

- 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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