Issue #187, 24th June 2016

This Week's Favorite


Returning From the Threshold of Misery as a Software Engineer
4 minutes read.

One of the best posts you'll read about how to build a sustainable culture, where engineers are happy and engaged with their work. Share it with your teammates and discuss different areas of the product and technology, and how close each engineer is to that Threshold of Misery: "Yes, you’ve crossed the threshold and decisions don’t seem to matter. They do still matter, and anything that suggests otherwise at this moment is an illusion."

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


Culture


“If You Can’t Do Without Tools, You’re Not a Real Developer”
1 minutes read.

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

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


Startups' 10-Year Options Exercise Periods Make Sense
5 minutes read.

Adam D'Angelo (Quora's co-founder & CEO and ex-Facebook CTO) thoughts on options exercise window is so important, as it often puts employees in an impossible position. If you're building a startup or working at one, this is a must read. I truly hope our industry will embrace this direction, we owe our employees nothing less: "This transparency is important for employees, but it’s also necessary to enable true market competition between compensation strategies. Part of why I think the 90 day exercise period survived for so long is that most employees were unaware of the consequences when deciding to join their company."

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


Tradeoffs in Coordination Among Teams
4 minutes read.

Considering how to get teams and projects coordinate effectively is something that keeps me busy all the time. Reaching gradual and consistent alignment (versus agreement) is probably the hardest yet most important thing you can work on, mostly asking that from your senior engineers. Great post by Jessica Kerr, even though I'd reach different conclusions, based on the company's stage (growth, number of employees, yearly goals etc.)

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


Scaling a Technology Business Is About Unscaling Technical Debt (Video)
55 minutes read.

Jeff Szczepanski (COO at Stack Exchange) with a great talk about how to manage and "unscale" your technical debt. Made my commute to work pleasant and interesting, mostly thinking about how to judge different type of Technical Debt, one that will make you embarrassed but pretty contained while other will hold you back from scaling your product and team.

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


Peopleware


A Manager’s FAQ
8 minutes read.

Henry Ward (CEO at eShares) with shares some of his best Q&A session with his employees. Take the time to read it, it's packed with so many gems in such a concise style. Enjoyed every minute of it, but above all, this two are so good: "Why can’t I just tell people what to do? Because the more responsibility you have, the less authority you have" and "Startups start at zero and earn points along the way. We expand our strengths instead of minimize our weaknesses. There is no maximum score. Steady progress, not expected outcome, is the measuring stick."

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


If You See Something (This Is Your Responsibility)
4 minutes read.

Being a bystander for too long can make a wonderful company to work for, with a great culture to a horrible one. Moishe Lettvin is right on the money: "A hard thing about being an engineer who does interviews is that sometimes it’s easy to only look at the technical parts of the interview... The interviewer’s job is to ask in questions what can’t be asked in questions. This means assessing a candidate’s emotional maturity and empathy and curiosity... Do what you can, as often as you can, to build a culture where it’s okay to bring this stuff up. [...] The older I get the more I realize that the single most important quality of a workplace is a pervasiveness of empathy, and sensitivity, and kindness "

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


I Used to Think Really Fast, I Think I Am Losing It, How Can I Get It Back?
2 minutes read.

I'm not exactly old, but as I get older I think that I'm losing some of that magical "mojo" I had in my 20s. Auren Hoffman with a good reminder on the importance of learning where to compete as you grow up.

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


Inspiring Tweets


@destraynor: “Don’t Cling to a Mistake Just Because You Spent a Lot of Time Making It.” as True in Product as It Is in Life.

@Shpigford: I Like to Treat 2FA Token Expiration Like a Countdown to Disarm a Bomb. Makes for a Very Dramatic 2 Seconds.

- 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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