Issue #266, 29th December 2017

This Week's Favorite


Time Management? (Slides)
8 minutes read.

Eden Shochat's slides are packed with so many practical tips for you to practice in 2018 (almost there!). I took the format suggested in slide 24 and prepared my plan for Q1 2018 based on it, followed with a few reminders in my calendar to match slides 25 to 29 on how to verify my progress.

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Culture


A Summary of My Career Growth So Far...
1 minutes read.

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

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One-On-One Meetings Are Underrated, Whereas Group Meetings Waste Time
6 minutes read.

Big meetings can be useful, so go read "When big meetings are better" by Paul Adams afterward (shared it before on Issue #195). 1:1s and group meetings are just tools we should all strive to utilize at the right time, so reading this post is important as it will push you to think about your stand here. I liked what Lawrence Krubner wrote: "Some managers are egotists. Just like me, they can look around the table and see who is daydreaming. I’ve known many managers who feel that if an employee daydreams, then the employee is to blame for inattentiveness. But I would flip that. If you need to be sure that a specific worker understands a specific task, then have a one-on-one meeting with them. If you are disbursing general information to the whole team, send an email. If you frequently monopolize the attention of employees who don’t truly need to hear what you are saying, then you have bad managerial habits — the good news is that you now know what you need to do to become a better manager."

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Since It Happened Almost a Decade Ago and Most of My Followers Probably Don't Know the Story: Here's How I Got Rejected by Google Back in 2008 (Thread)
3 minutes read.

Matthew Garrett (bravely!) shares his interviewing process at Google almost 10 years ago, and his takeaways on why culture fit is so important: "If I'd been hired I'd have continued making that argument, and I'd have disrupted a product that was close to shipping. I'd have failed to bond with my team members. I'd have been miserable and I'd have made other people miserable too. It didn't matter how correct I was or how much other value I could have brought to that team, the truth was that I was clearly unable to work with them. I wasn't able to listen to reasoned explanations for why a choice I disagreed with had been made."

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Hard and Soft Skills in Tech
9 minutes read.

Yonatan Zunger's observations cover so much of our core inefficiencies as an industry: "[Bad management] is a field that was built up out of people who often believed that they had good soft skills, while actually having atrocious ones. The simple fact that people feel not respected by their managers should be a tremendous red flag... It is more than OK for each engineer to not be individually able to do all of these jobs. In fact, it would be stunning if any one person could do all of these jobs. But if we treat some of these jobs as “invisible labor,” unvalued and unaccounted-for, with skills we pretend don’t exist, all we do is shoot ourselves in the foot."

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Peopleware


Dealing With Surprising Human Emotions: Desk Moves
7 minutes read.

"Desk moves are my favorite example of why managers should understand the brain science behind why people react the way they do, in otherwise not-that-emotional circumstances." -- Lara Hogan's example for the BICEPS model when asking someone to move to a different desk is powerful (simple and effective) and came just in time for me! Next time you see someone reacts strongly to something you said, take a few minutes later to think about it and apply the BICEPS model to try to understand better what happened there.

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One-Touch to Inbox Zero
16 minutes read.

After the "Time management?" post above, Tiago Forte's suggestions can help you build a positive email processing system: "Any system with an unchecked positive feedback loop will ultimately destroy itself — thus we’re now seeing the demands of 24/7 connectivity encroaching on our fundamental biological and neurochemical limits."

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The Delicate Balance Between Coding and Managing
7 minutes read.

Erik Zaadi shares how engineering management looks like: a lot of iterations between finding the right rhythm to mentor and provide feedback while doing "just enough" individual contributor work. I'd recommend paying attention to Erik's idea here: "The personal goals document also helped me do biannual personal evaluation session with the team members, as it gathered data points to use in a very simple format of start, stop and continue."

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Inspiring Tweets


@roadler: An Idea for Universities: Instead of Debate Clubs and “how to Win an Argument” Training, Create Listening Clubs and “open Up to Other Points of View” Training

@seldo: Find People Who Can Communicate Clearly in Speech and in Text. Keep Your Team Free of Big Egos. Stay Humble, Ask Questions, Talk Often. Those Are What I Look for When Building a Team.

- 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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