Issue #167, 5th February 2016

This Week's Favorite


On Net Promoter and Data Golems
7 minutes read.

It's so easy to use a tool in a distractive way, just for the sake of having a process. Made me think a lot about NPS, and the gains we can extract from it. Matt LeMay's final section on "A new approach to NPS" is a must read, as it truly talks about the essence behind NPS. Also this is so true: "In today’s data-driven business world, we face an increasing demand for hard numbers and quantitative scores. And in our efforts to meet this demand, we have created a few monsters. Net Promoter is one of them."

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Culture


I Fuc$ed Up Git So Bad It Turned Into Guitar Hero
1 minutes read.

Every person who works with Git played this "game" before. My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face.

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You’re Either Venture-Backed or a Lifestyle Business: The Big Lie
2 minutes read.

This, so much this: "The profitable seventeen person company with an enterprise value of $20 million, 90% owned by its founder? That’s awesome even if you’ll never read about them in TechCrunch." -- wonderful post by Hunter Walk. Also worth checking the comments, good discussion there.

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Shorter Feedback Is Not Always Bett
3 minutes read.

"You walk into a room and it’s too cold. You turn up the thermostat. It’s still too cold. You turn the thermostat up again. Still too cold. Again up. Is what you are doing sensible? It depends." -- Kent Beck with an intriguing insight. Can you apply it to your customer development sessions? To how fast you decide to pivot the business? To your 1:1s? Performance Reviews? NPS score?

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The Complexity of Simple
3 minutes read.

Figuring out a simple path (or even helpful one) is a complex task, may it be in planning a product or figuring out a path to scale the team. This paragraph really got my brain going, thinking of some ideas regarding how we're doing things in the company I work for - "Larry Wall, who created the programming language Perl, once said, When they built The University of California at Irvine they just put the buildings in. They did not put any sidewalks; they just planted grass. The next year, they came back and put the sidewalks where the trails were in the grass."

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Peopleware


Heisenberg Developers
5 minutes read.

This post takes a strong side on getting engineers the autonomy they need to practice their craft and be active in leading features, without asking for time estimations or setting deadlines. I like this approach better, by one of the commenters: "I am 100% for autonomy, but not if the team is autonomously fixing the wrong problems... If you want to be allowed to work autonomously you need to provide some transparency for the management... At the end of the day people are paid to ship, not to polish."

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Three Common Mistakes of the First Time Tech Lead
4 minutes read.

Wonderful post by Patrick Kua, sharing his experience on where first time Tech Leads often fail. Patrick's point on "Forgetting about Cultivating Team Culture" is, I believe, one of the most important reminder when mentoring Tech Leads. They have to help the team scale, not only the technology.

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Why I Taught Myself to Procrastinate
5 minutes read.

This post reminded me of a book I read recently called "Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency", where in order to allow creativity to emerge, you have to learn the context (i.e. what is the desired outcome), and slice the execution of it. The example of writing a draft for a post, and getting to it a few weeks later is a good one. The same applies to leaving an unfinished code before you go home, and let your brain think about the best way to solve the problem, for the day after.

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Inspiring Tweets


@collision: The More Emails You Deal With, the More There Are. It's Like a Tower Defense Game.

@iamdevloper: On the 7th Day, God Did a Sprint Retrospective.

- 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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