Issue #202, 7th October 2016

This Week's Favorite


Moz Returns to SEO (The Hard Thing About Strategic Choices)
17 minutes read.

Wow, it takes so much guts to keep your core value of transparency when the company struggles and shifting direction. Rand Fishkin shares it all: the pains in letting go of great people, closing down products and re-focusing management and the entire team on their new goal. I cannot recommend this post enough if you'd like to have a deeper view (including numbers!) of how hard it is to build a sustainable business.

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Culture


Infosec Team Dealing With Cyber Attacks
1 minutes read.

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

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Team and Strategy
5 minutes read.

Fred Wilson's post started a great discussion around the role of the CEO in the company, although I find it to be very true for every manager in the organization: setting strategy and hiring&mentoring the team to execute on it. Read the post and then go over the comments, a lot of wonderful aspects of leadership to find in it.

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On Writing Product Specs
10 minutes read.

I think this is the best post I have ever read about the importance of Product Managers and the way they communicate product requirements (and specs). A must read if you're a Product Manager (or planning to be one) and also if you're a software engineer who deeply cares about the product, and want to influence it for the better, including the process which eventually generates customer value.

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25 Tips for Diverse Hiring
6 minutes read.

I took many ideas from this post, mostly raising my own awareness of certain things we all take for granted, e.g. how we write a job description, how we think of the interview process or we utilize our own network for hiring. Plenty ideas here to experiment with.

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Peopleware


The Problem With Tech Leads -- Transitioning From Managing Technology to Leading People
10 minutes read.

Brent Baisley on the transition from an individual contributor to a Tech Lead, with great tips and some pitfalls to avoid. If you're facing such transition or planning to get there some day, grab some coffee and read it. Then navigate inside the links, as there are many great references inside the post worth your time.

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What Does It Mean When Code Is “easy to Reason About”?
7 minutes read.

How often do you hear software engineers argue in vain? I feel that we have to do a better job teaching others, rather than trying to convince each other. Preethi Kasireddy's post is a great example of how I believe we should argue about code, and how we can use code reviews as way to teach critical (and pragmatic!) thinking.

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A Recipe for an Interview
7 minutes read.

Jocelyn Goldfein (ex-Facebook engineer) shares a great method you can apply when interviewing software engineers, focusing on behavior and critical thinking and not only coding skills: "But don’t stop with assessing coding — one thing we know does predict performance, and that’s a high-quality behavioral interview. Too many startups skip them — we focus on coding, discuss experience, maybe a get-to-know-you lunch, aka “beer test.” But behavior is much different than likability, and it can apply to any number of job skills."

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Inspiring Tweets


@kellabyte: Give Raises & Promotions to Ppl Who Reduce Risk & Make Prod So Good It’s Boring. Don’t Reward Risky Ppl Perceived to Be Hero Fire Fighters.

@karen_meep: TLDR;Anakin Was Successful Yet Not Promoted at Work. Not Given Proper Feedback,he Was Acquired by Competition Offering Mentorship & Growth.

- 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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