Issue #215, 6th January 2017

This Week's Favorite


How to Ask Good Questions
5 minutes read.

I'm going to recommend this post by Julia Evans as a must read for every engineer who joins the company. Asking good questions is such an undervalued skill. Even if you're super busy, stop what you do now and read the paragraph about "Ask questions where the answer is a fact".

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


Culture


Not Looking Forward to My First Sprint Retro of 2017
1 minutes read.

My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face. After all, we're on the first week of a new year.

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Share it via Twitter or email.


Internal Tech Conference Toolkit
16 minutes read.

Ben Maraney covers everything you need to know in order to run a tech conference in your company. As I was doing a few internal tech conferences at Forter (at much smaller scale), posts such as this provide a lot of great ideas to borrow. If you have 200 employees or more, sharing this post and setting such conference at your company can be the best thing you did this year.

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


Improving Diversity Does Not Mean Lowering the Bar
8 minutes read.

Please share Kate Heddleston's post with everyone at your company that thinks improving hiring diversity might lower the quality bar: "The question, "we want to hire more diversity, but we don't want to lower the bar," places the blame for performance on the individual without taking into account the idea that the "bar" candidates have to pass is likely biased" -- if you care about diversity, make sure that experienced interviewers teach others how to interview without letting biases impact their decisions. Most companies never judge the quality of the interview nor its biases in the questions asked.

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


Start With the Why
3 minutes read.

Figuring out the persona you'd like your company to represent is key if you want to own your niche and scale: "This marketing technique applies to competition, hiring, fund-raising, and every important sales process for a startup. It’s an invaluable skill to master." -- I've seen its impact on hiring engineers and talking with customers. The story behind the company, the reason for doing things in a certain way, the character, it all matters in the story you tell others.

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


Peopleware


Transitioning to Meta-Management
4 minutes read.

Lara Hogan shares her thoughts about her role as manager of managers. Going through this journey myself for the second time in my career, I could find a lot of great points in her reflection: "As a meta-manager, I have this mental list of things about what the organization needs." -- without a doubt, this is where my head is, while also spending enough time with new engineering managers to help them work on their skills and instincts leading a team.

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


Trained Engineers - Overnight Managers (Or, the Art of Not Destroying Your Company)
10 minutes read.

So many engineering managers are being promoted with no explicit expectations or guidance in their new career path. Nir Cohen shares some good areas you should cover while training new managers. There are plenty more areas you'd need to cover, such as: how to do 1:1s effectively, how to provide authentic feedback, how to lean on others to compensate for weaknesses etc. It's good place though to look within your org and see which areas would benefit from explicit managerial mentoring.

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


Etsy's Debriefing Facilitation Guide (PDF)
18 minutes read.

If you're interested in leading "Better Next", aka postmortems or retrospectives, the team at Etsy released a great paper (30 pages long, easy to read and follow). Read it.

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


Inspiring Tweets


@nukemberg: Every Day I'm Amazed Again at How Much You Can Learn Just by Speaking With People

@mitchellharper: My Biggest Lesson in 2016 Was PATIENCE. Move at a Good Speed and With Urgency, but Know That a Great Result Doesn't Happen Overnight.

- 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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