Issue #164, 15th January 2016

This Week's Favorite


Sharing Our Software Development/Leadership Career Ladder
15 minutes read.

Drop everything and read this. If you ever find yourself trying to define the engineering ladder in your company this is an amazing resource! Print it, read it, share it and talk about it. It's that good.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Culture


Why Is This Code Here? We Don't Need This
1 minutes read.

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

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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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How I Structured Engineering Teams at LinkedIn and AdMob for Success
8 minutes read.

Great insights by Kevin Scott on how to build great engineering teams that help your company win the market. Many gems inside, my favorite were this great take on focusing on the business "If you lead a team of engineers, it’s better to take a CEO’s perspective. Your job is to figure out what it is that your company, your business, your marketplace, your competitive environment needs. Apply that to your engineering team in order for your company to win." and Kevin's focus on writing down your engineering manifesto. It gave me a lot of good ideas to think about this weekend.

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Five Years, Building a Culture, and Handing It Off
5 minutes read.

Kellan Elliott-McCrea writes about his 5 years as Etsy's CTO, and it's packed with so many gems you'll enjoy. Do not miss the sections about "Technology is the product of the culture that builds it" and "Software development should be thought of as a cycle of continual learning and improvement rather a progression from start to finish, or a search for correctness."

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Rethinking the Org Chart: Areas of Responsibility (AoRs)
4 minutes read.

I'm reading a lot lately around the idea of scaling an engineering team without forcing the traditional management layers, and concepts such as AoR are an interesting path to explore.

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10x Not 10% - Product Management by Orders of Magnitude
14 minutes read.

Critical read if you're trying to build a winning state of mind for your team and company. This trap is so easy to fall into, even more so for successful companies at scale: "Modern companies and management hierarchies are designed to avoid losses... This only increases as companies get larger. As the management hierarchy increases, tolerance for risk-taking and failure subsides. Consider the expressions we use: under-promise and over-deliver, slow and steady wins the race, a bird in the hand, nobody ever got fired for buying IBM. Most companies are more enthralled with growing by 10% than by 10x."

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Solving the ‘CEO Said’ Syndrome
6 minutes read.

How do you defuse people blindly following the "loudest" (or highest ranked) members in the team? Marc Barros offers some great advice, talking about his experience as a CEO for the 2nd time. My favorite takeaways were "Understand Who Else Has Reviewed The Work" and "Have Feedback Processes".

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Peopleware


On Being A Senior Engineer
15 minutes read.

Already shared this post with my team, and kind of wishing I had it available 6-7 years back, to guide me in my own journey at the time. Spare some quality time and read it, it's one of the best posts I have read this year.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


This 90-Day Plan Turns Engineers Into Remarkable Managers
14 minutes read.

There are rarely posts that are in that quality as the one by David Loftesness (ex-Director of Engineering at Twitter). One of my favorite parts were Loftesness's "event loop" as a way to track your progress as a manager. I've done something similar and wrote about it in my book for conducting "code reviews" for your decisions as a manager. Having a feedback loop in place is extremely powerful. Share it with other Engineering Managers or potential managers in your company, it would save them years of trial and error.

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Share it via Twitter or email.


The Keys to Scaling Yourself as a Technology Leader
12 minutes read.

Fall in love with the people and the mission, not the process and solution. Adam Pisoni's focus on defining the roles and responsibilities, breaking it apart from titles, allowed Yammer to grow with a lot of flexibility into how things being built. Plenty of great gems from Adam that you can take and apply in your company. Also, even if you're short on time, read "Managing Tension" section towards the end. An extremely important observation there.

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Talk-To-Think, Think-To-Talk, and Leadership
5 minutes read.

Lindsay Holmwood is a brilliant writer, and this post is one of those rare observations that you can learn from and apply immediately to practice your leadership skills. Learn to distinguish between these two communication styles, and when it's best to use each. It can provide a lot of clarity to your teammates.

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Share it via Twitter or email.


Warming Up to the Manager’s Schedule
5 minutes read.

How well do you manage your own time as a manager? Trust me when I say that Danielle Morrill's post will get you thinking on how you want to block your calendar to better fit your goals.

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Inspiring Tweets


@shl: No Pixel Left Behind.

@auxesis: 🚀 to 2016

- 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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