Issue #158, 4th December 2015

This Week's Favorite


The Manager as Debugger
6 minutes read.

Another masterpiece by Camille Fournier: "I have observed that the best engineering managers I know are often also great debuggers... We become better leaders by pushing ourselves and our management teams to really get to the bottom of organizational issues, searching for why so that we can more quickly resolve such issues in the future."

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Culture


Hacker Scripts
1 minutes read.

Share it with geeks in your team, you can thank me later. My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face.

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No Uninspired Compromises
2 minutes read.

This is something I've experienced myself three times in my career: "One truth I've found about startups as they transition to become growing companies is that decisions tend to get tougher - not easier." -- and what usually happens, unless you carefully guard your culture: "What happens then, at most companies, is that to get any idea pushed through they settle on uninspired compromises. They dilute their brilliant ideas down to something everyone can agree on, and lose all the magic and inspiration from that original idea."

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Blame. Language. Learning. 3 Tips for Learning From Incidents in Your Organisation (Video)
40 minutes read.

Lindsay Holmwood with a video you should watch if you're trying to build a learning organization, one that is actively seeking to improve and grow. One of the best videos I've seen on this topic, so highly recommended to listen to on your next commute to work!

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How Facebook Keeps Scaling Its Culture
6 minutes read.

I remember times in my career when we had to scale quickly, double or triple the team from 15 to 30 or 45, and how much pressure we had to hit those numbers. It's so easy to mess up in those moments, compromising on the quality of people you hire, and in the short term it might feel good as you see the team grows. But companies have to play the long-term game, and leaders have to think how they could scale without killing the company's ability to hire and execute at scale: "The first 100 people, the first 500 people, the first 1,000 people. If you're able to get that right, it's much easier to scale, because you have people that really get it, that care about bringing other people in, making sure it fits together. We've invested a lot in that."

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Peopleware


Why Even HR Folks Should Learn How to Code.
3 minutes read.

Vanessa Slavich from Square shares her journey to learn how to write some code, and how it improved her productivity: "Human Resources has lots of room for innovation, and if more HR professionals could speak (or write) the language and simplify their jobs, the better off everyone would be. Give it a go and see what happens!" -- wonderful story on how learning even the basic of programming can make your job easier, and more pleasant, as you can automate the boring and tedious parts of your day.

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How to Never Get Angry: 3 New Secrets From Neuroscienc
6 minutes read.

I always look for ways to improve when dealing with situations where I'm angry or frustrated. There is so much pressure in our life and work, and we often lack the tools to handle these situations. I feel that I'm letting myself down when I lose control. I want to be a better husband, a better father, a better friend, a better engineer, a better leader and a better individual overall. This post has such tools you can pick up from: "Don’t Vent Your Anger" and "Reappraisal" are both tools that I'd pay more attention to and utilize next time I'm dealing with such situation.

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A Process for Writing an Abstract
2 minutes read.

Short and pragmatic advice on writing an abstract if you're planning to give a talk in some conference. As I've always recommend leaders to put their people first, helping them build a personal brand for themselves, now you can also share the process of writing an abstract that will get them accepted.

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Inspiring Tweets


@mrtazz: There Are So Many Things Infrastructure Engineers Can Learn From Product Engineering and Interface Design. It’s Ridiculous How Little We Try

@shl: All Advice Should Be Followed With: "… Or, You Know, Don't."

- 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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