Issue #150, 9th October 2015

This Week's Favorite


Open-Sourcing Our Entire Company Handbook
15 minutes read.

Alright, this is how you do it: Benefits and Perks, Employment Policies, Onboarding Documents, Hiring Documents and pretty much everything you need to run a great company, everything completely open. When people talk about "Transparent Culture", this is it. The team at Clef earned a lot of respect on my side, being so brave to share it with the world, and better educate their employees (e.g. check Guide to Your Equity document). Truly inspiring!

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Culture


Not Giving Your Developers the Access They Need to Production
1 minutes read.

My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face.

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How to Build Engineering Teams (Video)
28 minutes read.

Really enjoyed the talk by Alexander Grosse (ex-VP Eng at SoundCloud, now VP Eng at Issuu) on his experience with scaling engineering teams. The Q&A was also spot on with practical advices: Alexander talked about how to build teams around "customer-driven microservices" while encouraging the people in the various teams to switch teams often, to keep communication open & effective for the long run.

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Remote-First vs. Remote-Friendly
5 minutes read.

Zach Holman is always interesting (warning though: some language in the post). Zach's observations on how our industry changes into a remote-driven work force, triggered some interesting debates when I've talked with some of my friends. Food for thought, even if you don't agree: "If you’re not working in a remote-first environment today, not only are you not going to have a remote-friendly environment tomorrow, but you’re going to eventually have a hard time retaining talent and keeping competitive pace in the future."

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Inside the GitHub Systems Where Open Source Lives
7 minutes read.

There is so much you can try to take away from GitHub, both with their approach for tools - heavily using Ruby on Rails & mysql, without the urge to chase the latest technology - and also with their attention to building a remote-driven culture and using tools to enable that (e.g. Hubot, which is now open-source). What would you take from it to your company?

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Peopleware


Legendary Productivity and the Fear of Modern Programming
12 minutes read.

It's not the fear of modern programming that I took from this post, but rather the joy of being extremely effective with the tools you already mastered, and put your mental effort with learning new thinking paradigms rather tools. It's not a zero-sum game, but you have to make sure you're mindful about where you're spending your time.

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The Real Work of (Software) Management
5 minutes read.

Management IS real work: "Any view that fails to put your management responsibilities first will fail you in the long-term. You might get away with it for a while, and at times it might seem like it’s working for you, but it’s a losing strategy." -- important to understand, mostly for new Engineering Manager who often fall back often to write code all day, instead of thinking how to help their teammates and company become X10 more effective and happier.

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To Be a Better Listener, Embrace the Awkward Pause
3 minutes read.

This is a practice I should definitely try to approve. It's really hard to deal with complete silence, and we often miss out the real insights (or root cause) due to our impatience: "When you’re impatient, it’s tempting to pick up the conversation in those moments. You ask further questions, you start talking about your point of view, you possibly even change the topic thinking that there’s not much more to get out of it."

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Inspiring Tweets


@bhalligan: You Want to Get Promoted? Hire and Develop Stars Under You That Are Ready to Take Your Place.

@jasonlk: A Great Mentor Can Be Someone Just 12 Mos More Successful and Further Along Than You. They Will Know So Much.

- 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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