Issue #216, 13th January 2017

This Week's Favorite


On Getting Old(er) in Tech
8 minutes read.

Building software is a craftsmanship, do yourself a favor and read this post: "I'm in a good position to debunk the younger is smarter philosophy. Allow me to point out what I’ve done throughout my decades of work -- yes, decades plural -- to stay employable, and share with those of you who are getting older (which is everyone), what you can do to avoid being put out to pasture once you pass 30... If you plan on being in the IT field for more than 10 years, you need to be a lifelong learner... I’d be willing to bet that my list of accomplishments in the last two years rivals any 20-to-30-year-old’s. The perennial question then is: what am I going to say are my accomplishments two years from now?"

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Culture


President of Playlists at Spotify!
1 minutes read.

My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face. Requirements: "Have at least eight years experience running a highly-regarded nation." and "Someone with good team spirit, excellent work ethic, a friendly and warm attitude, and a Nobel Peace Prize."

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The Reality of Developer Burnout
4 minutes read.

As someone who's been writing code and serving various teams and companies, feeling that burnout is real. Writing this newsletter every Friday is hard. Spending "enough" time with my wife and kid. Being "good enough" in my work. Pushing myself hard to grow and learn. Kenneth Reitz tips, specifically his idea of Publish-Only mode, can reduce that need to chase external verification. As a leader in your company, try to help out others by being a good listener and carefully watch out for signals. Be that mirror for them when you see it happens.

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How to Avoid Empathy Fatigue on Your Support Team
5 minutes read.

Suffering from empathy fatigue towards your customers is a problem I think most companies deal with, and it doesn't stop with the support team. It's a recursive problem, where engineers, product managers and support can lose patience towards what really hurts the customer. When it happens, the entire organization behave the same way, which makes it exponentially worst. You start blaming the customer for being stupid. You pretend to know better than them what is really needed. You stop listening. This is how you lose.

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Lessons From My Failed Startup Experience
5 minutes read.

There is so much to learn from failures, and being honest and transparent is still a rare quality in our industry. Mor Sela shares his lessons learned. My biggest takeaway: "Plan compulsory monthly one-on-one or team meetings, not only because they need to see you, but because you need to see and hear them. I am an engineer so I recognize the pure distaste many engineers have for meetings but that should not relieve engineers of important meetings. You should tailor yourself to creating a culture of precise & concise meetings."

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Peopleware


I Know My Manager Is Flailing and/or Drowning When: ________
5 minutes read.

Powerful question and great tweets with clear & concise insights to learn from, for example: "I've had every 1/1 canceled for the last three months." and "every new thing becomes the new highest priority."

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What’s Possible Here?
5 minutes read.

"I could see the value of coaching, but I was stuck. I had told myself a story that limited the situation." -- Asking yourself "What is possible here?" is a great way to push yourself into a positive outcome. I'm going to use this question a lot this year, as there are numerous areas I'd like to push myself harder in terms of personal growth.

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2016 in Review — The Year I Became a CEO
7 minutes read.

I love such posts, sharing the journey of building a team and a company. Scaling a business while learning about your own qualities as a leader is hard, thus Nathan Barry's writing is a fascinating read: "Early in the year I became a bottleneck in so many decisions and processes that my leadership team finally called me out on it." -- Getting an inside view into the struggles and small wins is a great motivation to keep pushing ourselves forward.

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Inspiring Tweets


@benrady: A: "But if All of Our Programmers Are Pairing, Won't They Write Half as Much Code?" B: "No, Hopefully They'll Write Even Less Than That"

@sean_a_rose: The First iPhone Couldn't Even Copy and Paste Text. Such an "Obvious" Thing Really Puts "Must-Have" Features in Perspective.

- 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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