Issue #250, 8th September 2017

This Week's Favorite


The Power of Anti-Goals
3 minutes read.

What do you hate most about your day? About your role? What would you like to avoid? Andrew Wilkinson with a great tip here: "problems are often best solved when they are reversed. That it’s often easier to think about what you don’t want than what you do."

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Culture


A Human Programmer Wrote This Error Message
1 minutes read.

My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face. This is how every software engineer feels when they know the solution is to restart the app.

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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions: Driving Change at Mozilla
6 minutes read.

Mark Côté shares his story on driving a significant change at Mozilla, with a big impact on the engineering team: "We do ourselves a disservice by invoking consensus when trying to drive change at Mozilla". Fascinating read on how they approached it, from collecting feedback to understanding who's responsible for approving this project. Read it if you're working in a big company or selling to one.

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This Email From Elon Musk to Tesla Employees Describes What Great Communication Looks Like
3 minutes read.

When managers understand that their teammates work for the company and not for them, is when you can allow communication across "levels" without breaking trust. Put ego aside, make it clear and explicit, or as Elon Musk writes it: "managers should work hard to ensure that they are not creating silos within the company that create an us vs. them mentality or impede communication in any way"

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Motivating Software Engineers
7 minutes read.

Even if youre short on time this week, read the section "Cut the stupid metrics" multiple times. Choosing metrics wisely is so often overlooked, creating a huge mistrust between individual contributors and managers.

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Peopleware


How Do You Become a Leader Without Explicit Authority?
5 minutes read.

A must read by Jean Hsu, with three great advice to observe and act to build your leadership cred without a title. Some of my favorite takeaways: "Are there people for whom you might even consider leaving your job in the future for the chance to work with them again. Why?" and all of the examples under "Come up with a plan of action." Pure gold.

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1% Better Every Day (Video)
24 minutes read.

"Give your goals a time and place to live in the world" -- James Clear is an amazing writer and speaker, and this talk is spot on if you're interested in investing more in yourself. Focusing on the process/plan instead of the motivation part is the only reason I'm able to sit down every Friday and send this email to you for the past 5 years. Watch Jame's talk and share with your team.

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Don't Simply Be the Manager You'd Love to Have
3 minutes read.

Marc Gauthier reminds us that being a manager is caring about others more than you care about your own image. Make the adjustment to different types of personality, figure out what works for them and you, e.g., their preferences and red lines, your red lines, your expectations, etc.

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Inspiring Tweets


@chrisalbon: You Never Learn Regex, You Only Google Better.

@rkoutnik: The Entire Software Engineering Community Would Be Better Off if We Focused on What We Build, Rather Than the Tools We Use to Build.

- 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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