Issue #245, 4th August 2017

This Week's Favorite


Applying the Universal Scalability Law to Organisations
9 minutes read.

Important post for understanding why most companies actually perform worse at scale. Learning when and how to delegate as leaders, and then how to set rules for decision making are crucial skills you have to acquire and practice at scale. This post explains why. Key sentence to remember: "As a leader, you have a big magnifying effect when you become a bottleneck."

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Culture


I’m Working on a Project That Is Now a Month Over-Due (With Plenty Left to Go). I Feel Like Now Is a Good Time to Re-Post This Little Gem.
1 minutes read.

My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face. No doubt, this is true for each and every one of my side-projects.

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Ops: It's Everyone's Job Now
5 minutes read.

Charity Majors with a strong statement I highly agree with: "Dear software engineers: time to learn ops. [...] You simply can't develop quality software for distributed systems without constant attention to its operability, maintainability, and debuggability" -- You cannot do data modeling or figure out application architecture without those skills. You can try to hide them, abstract them away, just to find out you only increased the total complexity of the system.

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How We Attract Exceptional Engineers to Intercom (Video)
15 minutes read.

Darragh Curran (VP Engineering at Intercom) is a great leader, and someone I enjoyed talking with about the challenges in scaling a company. My takeaway from it was the understanding that every leader in a company should learn to pitch a great story, purpose and vision for the team and company to align motivation and interest around it. This is the baseline to trigger ideas to experiment with and figure out KPIs worth chasing.

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Inside Uber’s New Approach to Employee Performance Reviews
5 minutes read.

Uber is going through a lot of changes these days, which opens up opportunities to change some of the fundamentals processes within the company. People hate Performance Reviews because the default leader behind this process is HR, instead of the managers who lead their teams. The questions, the language and the motivation, i.e. "let's give them a score, and decide about compensation." -- bringing in the leaders from the various departments is a good step to talk in a language that people can connect to, focusing on improvements and growth.

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Peopleware


The Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Become a Manager
7 minutes read.

Send this post to relevant teammates that want to change their career path to management. Ask them to which points they connected to, and where they see their strength there. Don't let people move into management because they feel they need the authority to make decisions. Talk about how they can influence and teach others, to build the momentum required for the changes they want to bring.

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How Leaders Should Tell the Truth
6 minutes read.

Ben Horowitz's words remind me of Dick Costolo's great talk on the paradox of leadership -- "As a leader, you need to care deeply about your people while not worrying or even caring what they think about you". Ben's tip is spot on, figure out how to bring people in, treating them like adults: "You must tell the truth without destroying the company. To do this, you must accept that you cannot change the truth. You cannot change it, but you can assign meaning to it. "

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The Evolution of Trust
5 minutes read.

Nice way to see the prisoner's dilemma with a strong takeaway: "What the game is, defines what the players do. Our problem today isn't just that people are losing trust, it's that our environment acts against the evolution of trust. " -- think about it when you're setting your KPIs for your team.

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Inspiring Tweets


@littleidea: Devs That Don't Ops Are a Liability

@housecor: A Conference Speaker's Primary Impact Isn't Teaching...It's Getting You Excited Enough to Learn More. Conf Speaking Is Sales, for Ideas.

- 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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