Issue #197, 2nd September 2016

This Week's Favorite


If There Is a Talent Shortage, It Is of People Who Know How to Run a Hiring Process Like It Is a Business.
5 minutes read.

Amazing tweetstorm by Patrick McKenzie (aka patio11) on how we can, and should, look at hiring process just as we do on our sales process. This one is golden: "I know you like *your* company's hiring process, but your peers'... if your sales team executed like that, you'd fire them in two weeks."

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Culture


Sunday Nights... (Or Pretty Much Every Night for Me)
1 minutes read.

I hate it so much that I once had a dream where I had pen & paper to write my idea down, but then I forgot where I put that thing. It was a nightmare. My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face.

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Asking Good Questions Is Hard (But Worth It)
5 minutes read.

Asking questions is such an important skill to master. I still feel I have a long way to go when it comes to avoiding on my fears of feeling like a n00b again, and asking "junior level questions". Pride can be evil when it comes to learning. Julia Evans with helpful tips on how to do better jobs asking better questions. Share it with your teammates.

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The Four Laws of Software Economics (Video)
57 minutes read.

Really funny and well-delivered talk by Joe Glover! I love Joe's insights on how to execute as a company, integrating sales, marketing and engineering together, figuring out the different perception and economics involved. "Your development team will never be big enough" is a great axiom on how to deal with constraints as part of the game, very much like "Your production will never be bug-free" and the impact it had on the way we do QA today.

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Dual-Track PM Ladders
4 minutes read.

"If you’re happiest spending 80% on the product and no more than 20% managing, there should be an equally prestigious and lucrative path forward for you" -- I think that looking at career ladder for every position in your company is critical. People shouldn't feel that the only way "up" is by moving to management. We have a lot to lose by taking out technical people with no desire to lead others. Great read if you're thinking about the Product Management tracks in your company.

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Peopleware


Questions for Our First 1:1
3 minutes read.

Lara Hogan with a post you should bookmark on the questions you can use for your first 1:1 with your teammates. The "Grumpiness" questions are brilliant!

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Yes, Virginia, You Can Estimate That: When and How to Estimate Software Projects
6 minutes read.

Good tips by Camille Fournier on how to better estimate your projects. Her "Estimation Rules of Thumb" is good, and I'd add to plan for a 5 hours work day net. One thing I usually ask people to do is to break their 1d (their estimate) of work into many smaller tasks, that should take 30-60 minutes each. Then, I make sure they've included tests, monitoring, alerts etc. It usually ends up with about 10 hours of work, which means 2 days in practice, and not 1 as they estimated it earlier. When doing it at scale, you can improve your intuition about estimations as you're starting to see the inherent gaps (lunch, distractions, communication, reading etc.)

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Expose Your Constraints Before Chasing Additional Resources
4 minutes read.

Ash Maurya's thoughts on "Less is not always more" are important. MVP is getting overused, where people stop asking if it provides any value at all. Also, the following is key even when you scale the team: "it is far better to have a complete team than a big team. Think in terms of requisite skill sets than in terms of titles. You might find these skills across one person or five people." -- it doesn't mean you don't need experts, you do. The practice you need to apply is understanding the skills the team needs and make sure you have right people with you to complement each other.

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Inspiring Tweets


@queertypes: Programming Is 90% Making a Nice Environment to Create In.

@bcantrill: Real Reason We Open Sourced Everything: It's Easier to Search the Internet Than It Was to Search Our Internal Wiki

- 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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