Issue #224, 10th March 2017

This Week's Favorite


Steve Kerr Demonstrates an Inspiring Act of Leadership in 19 Seconds (Video)
1 minutes read.

Everyone have bad days here and there. Great leaders remind others that their contribution is not only measured by their direct impact but also in their ability to improve others around them.

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Culture


You Aren't a Real Developer if You're Not Always Perfectly Fibonacci
1 minutes read.

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

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Getting Human Resources Right
4 minutes read.

Fred Wilson shares his wisdom on when to hire HR leader, what should they focus on and what yo should know when you scale your org. This one is spot on: "Do not make your HR function a recruiting function. Of course HR needs to help the company hire. And it certainly needs to help transition out people who have to leave the organization. But HR orgs that function mostly as an I/O pipe are bad HR orgs."

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Reminder: Your “product” Company Is Just an Implementation Detail
2 minutes read.

"The product is not what we build. It’s not the bits and pixels. The product is the change we cause in our customers’ lives." -- The product is also the change we cause in our employees' lives. At scale, the foundations of your team's culture will manifest strongly in the product you build.

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Factory, Workshop, Stage: Evolving Our Model of Software Development
4 minutes read.

I love the "stage model" analogy Sarah Mei is using as it captures well the subtle dynamics in building a team and getting them to work well together: "Turnover is expensive because replacing an actor has a huge impact on the feeling of the entire work. Casting is everything."

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Peopleware


Abandoning Fake Deadlines
4 minutes read.

"In product development, we often create fake deadlines to impart the same urgency. I call these deadlines fake when missing the deadline has no actual consequence to the business. The deadline exists only so that we pretend it’s real and demonstrate the same stress and urgency that we’d use for a real deadline. Many managers are ignorant to the downside of this tactic." -- Faking urgency for the long run will kill any attempt to build trust. It will inflate estimations, and cause a lot of passive-aggressive attitude between employees. Instead, ask yourself if you're setting the right expectations and how do you hire people with intrinsic motivation to "get things done."

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Against the Whiteboard
5 minutes read.

What do you use whiteboards for when interviewing candidates? How much of it is from inertia, doing things you're comfortable with even if it puts the candidate in a very tough place to be successful due to our own biases? Worth reading the comments there (specifically Camille Fournier's). Read this post and talk about it over lunch at work.

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"Just" -- The 4-Letter-Word Word That Makes My Blood Boil
3 minutes read.

Reminds me of "it shouldn't be that hard, right?" -- something I remember as a young engineer hearing again and again from managers with no real understanding of the complexity required to build the product and support the code in the long run. Don't be that Dilbert, learn to ask better questions instead.

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Inspiring Tweets


@ashedryden: You Keep Promoting Engineers Without Any People Managing Experience/Training to Manage People and Are Shocked When That Doesn't Work Out 🤔

@littleidea: Learning to Learn Is a Competitive Advantage, but Learning to Teach Is a Force Multiplier

- 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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