Issue #185, 10th June 2016

This Week's Favorite


Steve Jobs on "Think Different" - Internal Meeting Sept. 23, 1997 (Video)
16 minutes read.

What a brave and inspiring leader Steve Jobs was. Amazing talk about Apple's core values, by one of the best we had.

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Culture


Misalignment in a Single Photo
1 minutes read.

My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face. Seriously though, we should all do a better job at overcommunicating.

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The Principles of Quantum Team Management
10 minutes read.

I like this observation by James Everingham (Head of Engineering at Instagram), where by looking into the project you actually might kill your team's motivation (e.g. micromanage the situation), or limit the possibilities the team can execute on. One thing I'd do differently is to coach your teammates to start talking and pushing information rather than you needing to pull for it. This one is golden: "Consider putting 10 minutes on your calendar before any meeting to think through which questions will be helpful and won’t interfere with your team’s ability to win."

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The First Rule of Prioritization: No Snacking
3 minutes read.

Great insight by Hunter Walk: "It’s the low-effort, low-impact work that can kill you, because it’s so attractive... The default position for a smart team without a clear plan is to snack." -- came at a great timing for me as I had a similar discussion with one of my teammates, and we thought of ways to build a proper plan to avoid such "snacking".

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Crafting an Effective Security Organization (Video)
44 minutes read.

My team watched this video together as we're dealing with similar challenges, and it was a great reminder for how much a shared set of values can help your team work well together. Etsy puts a lot of emphasis on building an enabler security team, a team that can get things done and push it to production. To take it up a notch, they get it to scale by getting everyone at the company to care about security rather than "dealing" with it.

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Peopleware


Learning to Like Technical Design Documents
4 minutes read.

Julia Evans writes what I wish I did. Learning this skill of writing design documents is one of the best ways to move the needle for software engineers' personal growth. Encourage people to practice it and help to cultivate an environment where people will provide feedback.

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Growing Your Tech Stack: When to Say No
6 minutes read.

Jessica Kerr explains the various risks of growing (and changing) your tech stack, and how you should approach it. A pragmatic view you can use even if you'd consider the risks differently, as you can build your own set of concerns based on Jessica's style of presenting it to the team.

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Convexity for Programmers
3 minutes read.

Ken Beck with a short and fun learning you can apply from Nassim Taleb's "Seven Rules of Convexity in Research" to programming.

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Inspiring Tweets


@sean_a_rose: The Difference Between Mentors and Managers Is That Mentors Believe in You Without Being Required To.

@paulg: "The Bigger a Company Gets, the Harder It Is to Change Direction, So Growing a Bad Business Only Makes It Worse." – Paul Buchheit

- 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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