Issue #157, 27th November 2015

This Week's Favorite


Slow Deployment Causes Meetings
4 minutes read.

Loved Kent Beck's post on the overhead slow deployments add to your organization. The same applies to utilizing "code freeze" as a way to increase confidence. The result is always backwards due to the increase in stress to "get it right" on the first time. This is something we always have to keep in mind as we scale our team, which often leads to being more defensive instead of proactively pushing towards a robust organization (and system).

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Culture


Programmers vs Cucumbers RELOADED
1 minutes read.

If you liked the cats vs. cucumbers you'd love this one. My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face.

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Flat Will Kill You, Eventually: Why Every Company Needs Structure
7 minutes read.

I agree that every company needs a structure. We often get an implicit structure, where roles, responsibilities and ownership are not clear but still work somehow. That's okay, at first, but can easily break as the company grows. Structure, like culture, is something you have to proactively define and adjust. My "agile" perception is do what feels right to the team & adjust as you go. Fall in-love with the people and the mission you're after, not the process and the solutions at hand.

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Five-Fifteens: A Simple Way to Keep Information Flowing Across Teams
5 minutes read.

The 15 minutes to write, 5 minutes to read approach is something I've encountered a few years back and always felt it could be a great replacement for performance reviews, as it can be done more regularly and feel less of a burden. The team at Lullabot now opened-sourced a tool you can use for doing so. Something I'm going to pick up and play with for sure.

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The Infinite Hows (Or, the Dangers of the Five Whys)
14 minutes read.

As I assume the most of you heard before about the "5 Whys" approach, this post will really make you re-think if this is an approach you'd like to continue to use going forward. One of the best posts I read this year, so I'm pretty confident it would at least open your eyes not only to the way you're using 5 Whys but also to the way you're doing retrospectives.

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Peopleware


Timeouts and Reflections
3 minutes read.

Enjoyed reading every single word by Daniel Schauenberg. Such a powerful post: "Just because I have been doing things in a certain way every day doesn't mean it's the best way to do it. The hard part is recognizing which things are even part of a routine. This is why it's important to me to have a lot of time for reflections... Monday I will drink coffee again. And it's gonna be wonderful because I know why I do drink it."

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What Is an Agile Leader?
10 minutes read.

Henrik Kniberg is a great writer, and his journey at Spotify produced many well articulated ideas, posts and videos along the years. If you're part of a big organization (I'd say 150 people and more), this post is as good as it gets when it comes to keep optimizing for the business needs rather than wrongfully chasing for local maxima (individuals and teams).

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Patrick Collison's (Stripe CEO) Bookshelf
5 minutes read.

I've been always highly impressed with how smart and passionate Patrick is on different interviews about his vision for Stripe. It's great to have a deeper view into the books that (to some extent) shaped his opinions. It also pushed me buy a few more books for myself, as I'm always on the hunt.

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Inspiring Tweets


@jbeda: Good Engineering Is as Much About Questioning the Question as Coming Up With Solutions.

@BenedictEvans: You Are a Docking Station for Your Phone

- 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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