Issue #239, 23rd June 2017

This Week's Favorite


The Best Advice We Overheard at First Round's CTO Unconference
8 minutes read.

This is such a great advice, something I've personally regret doing at least a couple of times in my career: "If you're thinking about how to debug people in the interview, don't hire them... You'll get people who are good performers, but assholes. And you think you can get them to not disrupt the team and not be a jerk. It won't happen. You'll invest a lot of time and energy, only to fire them"

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Culture


The Internet Has a New 404 Page.
1 minutes read.

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

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On Failure and Organization Resilience
3 minutes read.

This is how you celebrate handling & learning from failures while creating a safe environment that appreciates org growth: "So pleased to have won this year's Three-Armed Sweater Award for that time I accidentally upgraded Apache!" -- while Etsy is going through some changes these days, I'm sure that the people and culture will help them in this transition. This paragraph says it all: "It was a beautiful scene of empathetic and coordinated chaos. People were using Slack to coordinate, to figure out what the status was and what still needed to be done and to just help do it. People who arrived a few minutes late to the scene didn’t jump into asking who’s “fault” it was, because that’s not how we roll, they just wanted to know what was going on and how they could help."

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What Can Developers Learn From Being on Call?
4 minutes read.

I'm a big fan of all developers being on-call, at least to some degree. You simply cannot teach people to build robust and reliable systems without feeling the pain themselves. You cannot talk about concepts such as self-healing systems or introducing failures by design without getting the people who build it to wake up at night and understand why it matters. Don't outsource this skill too quickly.

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The PM Mind Meld: How Do You Keep the CEO and PM on the Same Page?
5 minutes read.

If you want to feel you're moving in the right direction as a company, this is a must read and a must share with the relevant people. I said "feel" because people need to feel that the CEO/PM get their input in, but above all, they'd like to hear the story, the vision. The need to feel connected to it.

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Peopleware


How to Become A Learning Machine: My Tips for Reading More
4 minutes read.

"For the small cost of a book, I am “downloading” the author’s experiences into my brain and shortcutting the learning process." -- David Cancel tips are truly great if you want to increase your learning speed. Loved his advice on "Remembering What You Read", this is an area I feel I should try to systematically improve to get more out of the books I read.

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Staying Motivated
5 minutes read.

Julie Zhuo's words really resonate with me: "I believe that motivation is a muscle. Like any physical skill, you can improve your motivation with regular exercise." -- I often enjoy talking with others on how to provide value around an area I'm really passionate about in the shortest amount of time. Then it's a challenge of "okay, lets build it for 2 hours while everyone are alseep and see what I'll manage to complete". Being able to release it and sharing it with others really inspire me to keep pushing.

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Thrown Into Management: Lessons Learned Leading Thumbtack’s Design Team
6 minutes read.

Growing from 5 people to 18 in 14 months is a huge challenge. Audrey Liu shares her tips to handle this transition, and I highly suggest to share this post internally if you're facing a similar growth. My favorites sections were around "Be humble and vulnerable" and "Find your pulse-takers". I'd add a few more tips like: learn how to praise others and how to utilize peer pressure to scale out the behaviors you'd like to promote.

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Inspiring Tweets


@AndrewYNg: Lesson From Susan Fowler's Impact on Uber: Don't Underestimate the Power of Your Voice, Even if You're Just One Person. Speak Truth.

@calavera: My First Commit Message Is Always 🌄

- 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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