Issue #162, 1st January 2016

This Week's Favorite


Success at Work, Failure at Home
7 minutes read.

Without a doubt, one of my biggest fears is to sacrifice quality time with my wife and baby boy, too much maybe, in order to achieve my goals at work. I remember listening to a podcast a few days ago, where they mentioned the "just enough dad" concept. The idea was to stop thinking you can be perfect at everything, and instead find a way to understand and act on being present at the moment. It's about figuring out your priorities and certain aspects you'd like to fulfill (e.g. weekly date night with your spouse, taking your son to swimming lessons etc.), without striving to do it all, failing consistently and being miserable. Great article to read for this new year.

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Culture


2009: He Was Rejected by Twitter and Facebook. 2014: He Sold His Company WhatsApp to Facebook for $21.8 Billion
1 minutes read.

Pretty remarkable story, being rejected doesn't mean you're a failure! I think he turned out pretty well, even after Facebook and Twitter rejected him.

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Manufacturing Quality Time
5 minutes read.

"What matters is increasing the aggregate quality of your hours over the long term. Not to stress when you fail to turn out a perfect batch." -- David Heinemeier Hansson with some great advice on how to carefully question the time you invest. "Do I really need to be involved in this?" is a question I ask myself on a daily basis, trying to make sure I'm not spending my time in meetings that others can do perfectly fine. One more trick I'd add to it is making sure they know how a positive outcome from such meeting should be like: should they send a summary? What should it include?

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Mature Developers
6 minutes read.

Benjamin Reitzammer with a wonderful post on the different aspects that make up for mature developers. Often people ask me what is the difference between a software developer and senior software developer? The ability to not only execute but also to listen, teach and truly understand the business is not a trivial step. Mature developers master their understanding of the context they're in just as they master their technical skills. Great post to share with your teammates.

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Big Company vs. Startup Work and Compensation
10 minutes read.

Usually when comparing these two worlds, it only scratch the surface. Dan Luu goes much deeper into the differences between working for a big company vs. working in a startup. This is my go to post when I need to share a good reference for a friend seeking for more context.

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Peopleware


The Hardest, Shortest, Lesson Becoming a Manager
5 minutes read.

"...But then I get to the end of a day where I did not code, and I ask, how do I know I achieved anything today?" -- Cate Huston with another fantastic and honest post on her struggles of being a manager. This observation is golden, and probably the number one question managers should hold themselves accountable: "I feel bad when I suck at being an engineer, but sucking at being a manager would be a choice I inflicted on other people. That’s not fair."

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Proven Techniques for Increasing Your Engineering Impact
52 minutes read.

Edmond Lau has so many great and practical ideas, I kind of wished I could listen to him when only started my career. Working for Google, Quora, Quip gave him great experience looking deeply into how a culture of excellence looks like, and what we can take from it as software engineers. Listen to his talk on your next commute to work, there are so many gems in it.

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Discipline: Stomp Out Cynicism
2 minutes read.

Really short post, but something that is near and dear to my heart on our need to carefully manage the amount of poisonous cynicism we allow in our communication: "Skepticism is healthy. Sometimes, cynicism is the right reaction. But, I believe most of us could use a lot less of it." -- you have to make sure that leaders in your company, may it be managers or technical leads are mindful about it. It's so easy to create a culture of "us vs. them", where cynicism is so embedded that no longer you can praise someone else for their hard work.

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Inspiring Tweets


@holman: Startup: We’re Hiring People to Reinvent and Change the World! Interviewer: Please Shift This Char Onto This Array.

@sacca: #WWED What Would Elon Do?

- 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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