Issue #168, 12th February 2016

This Week's Favorite


Spreading People Management Skills
5 minutes read.

Building trust within the team is required if you want to push people outside of their comfort zone, and inspire them to push each other without hurting the relationship, and having silos. Tom Bartel covers one way you can start delegating such feedback to junior engineers, by coaching senior engineers to improve that skill. As the team grows, spreading management skills such as providing constructive feedback can be key to a smooth transition, keeping moral and velocity high. Even if you don't agree with Tom's approach, how you can build a relationship between two engineers, so they could have such discussion and share constructive feedback?

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Culture


10x Developer
1 minutes read.

I have to get myself those micro fingers. My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face.

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Running a Learning Hour
4 minutes read.

I love this practice by Chris Zetter, spending an hour teaching your teammates new topics and tools. We have something similar called Architecture Topic, and it's always great to hear people share their knowledge. We had topics about ElasticSearch under the hood, design patterns for low-latency systems, explaining how react and angularjs work, Redshift secrets, probabilistic data structures, SaaS for engineers (coming up next by me!) and others. What would be a learning hour you'd like to be part of? What would you like to teach others?

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Growing Kids and Growing Companies
5 minutes read.

This is a real struggle. I've got so many things I'd like to do, and I always have this guilt of "Am I spending enough time with my family?". How much is it really enough? This comment by Michelle Stone is a great reminder to all of us big dreamers: "Stop worrying about how much time you have with your children; use the time you do have, to give them dreams, hopes, moments that become treasured memories and to make them feel like they are the most loved children in the world."

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The Era of the Conversational Office
5 minutes read.

As a heavy user of Slack, where we created many bots we can interact with to automate various parts of our operation, this post provides a great observation: the organizational discussion becomes more interesting, engaging and playful. Less applications to open, less UI to deal with, more natural interaction (chat) and plenty of humor. Exciting to see where it will go next.

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Peopleware


Creating a Career Path
5 minutes read.

Building a career path where each individual on the team feels empowered and motivated to reach it, is a critical skill and practice as a leader. Alexander Grosse with a wonderful advice on how you can build such path for your teammates, making sure that IC won't think that "management is the only way up". Great people expect no less.

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Quality Is Not a Tradeoff
4 minutes read.

Julie Zhuo is an incredible writer, her words are so powerful and inspiring: "I’m defining quality as how well something—a product, a film, a toy, a book—was executed... As in, experiencing it, you get the sense that somewhere out there in the vast and unknowable world, some person sat down and crafted something with her hands and the full dedication of her heart, so that the end product wears its maker’s love like a laughing child wears happiness... You get the sense that she would have made what she made even if it were just for herself and for nobody else."

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A Simple Guide to Saying No
3 minutes read.

Are you thinking of saying yes when you should actually say no? Make sure you're not adding commitments that won't match your goals. I loved this short post as a good reminder to stay focus on what I want to achieve this year.

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Inspiring Tweets


@johnmaeda: "A Leader Is Best When People Barely Know He Exists, When His Work Is Done, His Aim Fulfilled, They Will Say: We Did It Ourselves." —Lao Tzu

@joelgrus: "The One Key Skill for a Data Scientist Is Empathy." "I'm Not Familiar With That One, Is It in Apache Incubator?"

- 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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