Issue #194, 12th August 2016

This Week's Favorite


The Great Re-Anchoring
10 minutes read.

A must read if you want to learn how to run a retrospective about the role of a leader inside the organization, and the impact of sharing your thoughts on paper. Check all of the links inside, the documents on "Design Leadership Principles" and "2016 Product Design Offsite (public)" can be a great resource to learn from. "In many cases, though, the discussion revealed that our current anchors were holding us back, or even that we disagreed on whether or not an anchor was important." -- Cap Watkins (VP Design at BuzzFeed) shares so many gems you cannot ignore, highly recommended!

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Culture


You Never Know When a Code Review Might Save Your Life
1 minutes read.

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

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Lowering the Bar
5 minutes read.

Moishe Lettvin (Software Engineer Slack) on our biases in interviewing candidates, mostly when it comes to white men pretending there is a well-defined bar: "Hiring and interviewing are much more akin to literary criticism or philosophy than they are to math. People are complicated and opaque and what you see in people has as much to do with you as it does with them... Low or noisy data situations are places where unconscious biases thrive. The best ways to fight this are to be aware of your biases, and gather more data." -- I also thought a lot about his idea of "mapping the potato" as a way to understand the complexity and different shapes behind exploring one's skills and personality.

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Hiring at Scale (Video)
65 minutes read.

Patrick McKenzie is such an incredible speaker and fun to watch. I love his geeky humor, and his thoughts and tips are always spot on. Watch it, share it with your teammates and thank me later on the Twitters.

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Bad Habit #5: Constantly Pushing the Team to Deliver Faster
5 minutes read.

Marcus Blankenship with a great post on pushing your team too far. Watch out for the pitfalls and warning signs, such as using the word "just" too often, the team's fear of making any commitment or trying to keep the deadlines etc. It's extremely easy to break their trust, so pay extra attention to the tiniest signals.

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Peopleware


Five Habits of an Introverted Leader
5 minutes read.

Mathias Meyer shares something I believe many leaders with engineering background can I relate to. Learning how to feel comfortable in such context is hard, and take many years. The following by Mathias is something I'd write as well, as I certainly feel that way: "I’d considered myself shy before then, feeling awkward trying to strike up small-talk conversations, even just talking to other people, and constantly feeling a need to hide in quiet places to get away from chatter and to focus on my own thoughts." -- One thing I'd add to it is to ask yourself how you can help others grow and focus on them. Knowing that I need to focus on them, makes my mind tick as I'm no longer afraid of having others focus on me.

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Refactoring -- Not on the Backlog!
3 minutes read.

Good recommendation on how to deal wth refactoring (leaving the room a bit cleaner, more organized than we found it). I'd add to it the need to have the right abstraction if you choose to increase the Technical Debt in order to release something faster (after all, who knows if this feature will be used by real users?). Having a good abstraction in place, it's easy to throw away code and replace it as needed, without feeling too much emotionally connected to it.

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The 100:10:1 Method: My Approach to Open Source (Or Side-Projects)
3 minutes read.

I like this notion of creating a pattern where you don't fall in love with one idea when you're still exploring around projects (open source or not, many people have side-projects, just like this newsletter is to me.)

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Inspiring Tweets


@brianm: Current Development Speed Is a Function of Past Development Quality.

@karen_meep: If You Act as if Your Employee's Future at the Company Is Unclear, Your Employee Will Do the Same. #Management

- 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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