Issue #242, 14th July 2017

This Week's Favorite


Amazon: The Company With a 100 CEOs Cannot Be Stopped
3 minutes read.

Figuring out how to scale and delegate strategic decision making is a key element in a startup that tries to become a billion dollar business. I'm not sure that having APIs between teams is the only way to approach it or the best way, but figuring out how to deeply embed it within the team's culture, by practicing it almost on a daily basis is how you'd make it happen.

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Culture


Microservices Explained in One Gif
1 minutes read.

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

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Re-Structuring a Growing Team
6 minutes read.

Changing the structure of the team or responsibilities is hard, but while we tend to feel that people simply hate change (which is often true), I think it can go well if you follow closely Jean Hsu's notes on "Some predictable things that go wrong with a reorgs". Figure out the story (how to communicate it effectively), start with the pains, the process, what are the new roles & responsibilities, reduce any fear or risk people see, collect observations in 1:1s before announcing it to everyone etc. Do your homework, and let people in early on. Treat them like adults.

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Reducing Hours by Focusing Your Job
3 minutes read.

Natalie Nagele shares her preparation as the company shifts to an experimental 32-hour work weeks. While I'm unsure about the format (4 days of 8 hours), I do appreciate the practice of adding constraints to help you figure out your role and priorities to avoid waste. Try mapping out your areas of responsibilities and use it to challenge your priorities.

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Best Books on Teamwork? Analytical, Stories, Creation Of... Go! (Thread)
2 minutes read.

If you're always on the hunt for great books around teamwork, this thread by Kent Beck will hopefully give you a few more ideas. Already ordered a few to read and share with my teammates.

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Peopleware


Listening Is the Job
3 minutes read.

One of the posts I enjoyed reading the most this week. This observation by Boz is exactly how I try to operate (inbox zero all the things) so I could trust my instincts and make informed decisions: "Have a System. Don't just consume information opportunistically or at random. Build a rigorous program of what channels you consume, at what frequency, and at what level of depth. For example, I read every email I receive every day. I read every post in a group I’m in every day. If I can’t make it through them all, then I know I need to be in fewer groups, on fewer email lists, or involved in less work."

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Grow Your Team by Focusing on Strengths Not Weaknesses
5 minutes read.

David Lynch's "Categorise the most important traits" is a framework you should utilize now in your team. It would help you understand what is missing, and how you can leverage the most out of people. I see many Engineering Managers focus on improving their teammates' technical skills, but having at least one more person in the team with great skills around leadership, strategy & planning is critical for decision making when you're not around.

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Active Learner — How Developers Keep Learning
8 minutes read.

I kind of wish all engineers with more than 3 years of experience will read this post. To make the most of your career, to be a continuous learner, you have to be methodological about the way you approach your personal growth. Great post by Dennis Nerush on how to proactively invest in yourself.

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Inspiring Tweets


@jessitron: Visions Are Not for Achieving. They Are for Direction. It's About the Striving, and Discovery. The Unreachable Star, Guiding Us Forward.

@dhh: Programmers Worrying About Whether Their Architecture Will Web Scale Is Like Buying a Lottery Coupon and Fretting About Which Yacht to Buy.

- 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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