Issue #171, 4th March 2016

This Week's Favorite


How to Deploy Software
12 minutes read.

Zach Holman is an artist. The way you address the process of deployment is actually more about process and culture than it is about technology: "Deploying major new features to production should be as easy as starting a flamewar on Hacker News about spaces versus tabs" -- I love Zach's writing style and the visualization he uses. Wonderful read for the weekend!

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Culture


Meet the Queen of Comically Dreadful Robots!
1 minutes read.

My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face - This made me laugh so much!

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Microservices, Monoliths and Laser Nail Guns: Etsy Tech Boss on Finding the Right Focus
15 minutes read.

"I’ll be even more descriptive about it. I would say that we want to prefer a small number of well-known tools... I would rather have carpenters because they’re really passionate about solving hard problems, given the choice between them and those candidates who say, “I don’t care what I build. I just need to use the laser nail gun.”" -- I can understand and relate to the sentiment by John Allspaw, looking for clear and repeatable patterns so the team could remain focused and effective working on the problem. Here is an important distinction though: it's not because of the decision to keep the number of tools small that they are effective, it's because they managed to bring in people who believe this is the right thing to do, and made it their strength.

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Hacking Performance Review Meetings in a Startup
5 minutes read.

Performance Reviews can be a huge catalyst for people's growth. You have to assume that people will learn new technologies, languages, libraries or techniques in almost every company they'd work for, so ask yourself: "How can I personally, as their direct manager, and the company, help them to grow in 6 months in a way that they won't receive in other places?" -- This will require you and them to think of bigger goals, making the most out of the process. If these goals don't make you both excited about the possibility of achieving them, try again. Make it count.

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What I Learned Building Medium (So Far)
4 minutes read.

Old one by Ev Williams but still highly relevant. This insight is spot on: "Even if they’re awesome, having too big of a team will slow you down." -- Ask yourself if you're really need to grow, and what would be the purpose of such growth -- "Capable people need meaty challenges. There are no meaty challenges in the very beginning except defining what it is exactly (or approximately) you’re doing. That’s a job you can’t divide up too finely. And the communication costs of keeping everyone in sync with the daily changes is daunting."

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Peopleware


Can We Be Both Makers and Managers?
8 minutes read.

Everything you need to know about setting rituals (and respecting them) to allow yourself being a successful leader, yet also contribute and make things that you enjoy doing. Loved this framing: "If your systems are your skin and bones, then your schedule is your wardrobe — no matter what you choose to wear each day it has to conform to the shape of your body."

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Giving Better Code Reviews
4 minutes read.

Code Reviews provide a very explicit method to keep quality high, and expectations clear regarding how you want to build software. Joel Kemp with some solid insights on how to improve your code reviews sessions, insights that you should share with your teammates.

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Slack, I’m Breaking Up With You
9 minutes read.

I love Slack, and we're using it for so many things these day that I couldn't imagine going back to emails and running between rooms to answer questions simple (bot) automation can solve for us. That being said, Samuel Hulick has a great point regarding the need for not being too obsessed of missing out, becoming "always available" when the chat notification signal disturbs your flow.

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Inspiring Tweets


@hnshah: It’s Not Enough to Have Values in a Company. They Have to Be Understood and Practiced by the Team or They Might as Well Not Exist.

@Epic_Women: Allow Yourself to Be a Beginner. No One Starts Off Being Excellent.

- 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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