Issue #195, 19th August 2016

This Week's Favorite


When Big Meetings Are Better
2 minutes read.

This post really hit a chord with me as my team is facing the same challenge, where we want to have effective meetings but as many decisions have a bigger impact on many people, we find that paying the "alignment tax" (bigger audience) is worth it. If your team is more than 10 engineers, this is a must read. This is the golden rule to follow: "Big meetings are terrible when many people think their role is to debate. You get nowhere fast. But big meetings can be great if everyone understands their role, and you can make decisions as you did previously."

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Culture


"As You Can See, Our Open-Office Floor Plan Really Helps With Developer Productivity"
1 minutes read.

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

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Healthy Tension in Product Teams
3 minutes read.

I often tell my team that "we should be comfortable with passionately debating, with strong disagreements, if we also know to respect boundaries and support the owner regardless of the decision they made." -- After all, when you bring great people you cannot hold them back from expressing their opinions and thoughts. You need to utilize it, not hide it. You have to make sure they deeply care about the customer and the product. That means they will go beyond their boundaries, and you should set an environment that celebrates it. Great post by Emmet Connoly!

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Wealth, Health, Work, and Weight
2 minutes read.

Short post, but a powerful one. I feel that my health (and weight) suffers when I don't invest in myself, taking care of my body: "Seeing my own data is a powerful insight & a clear reminder: if we aren’t actively investing in our success (work, life, friendship, etc), by default we are falling behind." -- I'm indeed falling behind, and there is no excuse for that. This post was the wake-up call I needed.

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Challenges of Scale (Video)
140 minutes read.

Great talks on how to scale different parts of the organization. Listend to it while flying to NYC and really enjoyed all of the sessions. Listen to it on your commute to work, or if like me, you have a long flight.

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Peopleware


Thoughts on the Technical Track
6 minutes read.

Never thought of it like that before, but looking back on my career this is a powerful observation: “I will now tell you the secret to becoming a manager in a growing company: just wait…. If the job is already getting done, then filling the job is clearly not a pressing need. Technical promotions are something that happen when it's convenient, which is generally never… someone with the power to bestow promotions has to be your fan” -- so many thoughts running through my head, I'm sure it will make you think as well.

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How a Single Conversation With My Boss Changed My View on Delegation and Failure
3 minutes read.

Margaret Gould Stewart shares a great 1:1 feedback with her manager at Facebook, and one great observation: if you feel that everything feels good in your team, then you're probably micro-manage them. Some failures are needed, some experiments should happen, not everything has to work flawlessly for you to feel in control.

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Watch Your Words: Feedback Analysis
3 minutes read.

Tom Bartel has some great posts on how to provide critical feedback, from structure to specific words analysis. Noticing the words you use is a critical part of providing helpful feedback.

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Inspiring Tweets


@ceejbot: Code Is Never the Challenge. Well-Rested Comfortable People Who Feel Emotionally Safe Have Solved Every Problem I’ve Put in Front of Them.

@jessitron: "I've Done Enough Rails Stuff, I Don't Want Magic in My Code." - Archetype of Senior Dev

- 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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