Issue #283, 27th April 2018

This Week's Favorite


The Shortest Path Is the Scariest
9 minutes read.

This observation on how to know when your Agile process is suboptimal is spot on - "The high variance in the team’s assessment of the project and the sense of worry, or lack of both, is our “sniff test” for the project." -- Omri Ben Shitrit shares a framework you can use to prioritize features and technology stack, so you won't only move fast but also move in the right direction. Also, this sentence is extremely powerful: "Ambiguity is better stored in documents than people’s minds."

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Culture


Building a Career Growth Framework for Engineers
5 minutes read.

We're working on our version of the engineering Career Ladder in my company, and like Aaron Randall from Songkick we too "outgrown our ad-hoc approach to career progression". The PDF included in the post covers Songkick's Career Ladder, with great visual and easy to follow guidance. This came out at a perfect time for me. What about you?

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How to Create Momentum on Day Zero
4 minutes read.

"We talk about how engineers hate process, but here’s my theory: engineers often love process, but when they love it, they call it culture." -- Cate Huston with so many great tips on hiring: "You want someone who’s great at receiving feedback — it’s part of that philosophy of hiring people based on where they’re capable of going" and onboarding: "even with the best intentions, you can end up horribly mistaken when you give people starter projects that seem fitting"

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Diversity and Inclusion at Patreon
7 minutes read.

Lucia Guillory from Patreon covers the numbers and tactics they applied to increase their diversity and inclusion. I've gained a few ideas I'd like to try as well (check out "What’s Next?" section) to increase diversity at the top of the hiring funnel, and rethink about our hiring and onboarding process.

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Peopleware


Letter to A Young Programmer Considering A Startup
8 minutes read.

"Startups are part of the system, not a rebellious wrench in the cogs." -- Alex Payne with a beautifully written post, covering the tradeoffs of taking the startups path. An important post to share with younger friends, family and even co-workers who just start their career.

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Blogging as a Developer
3 minutes read.

Ali Spittel with helpful tips to get you starting with blogging. Pick a topic you're already pretty knowledgeable about, things you'd talk with someone else for hours because you care about it so much. Writing creates opportunities. I'm kind of a living example of that.

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Master the Art of Influence — Persuasion as a Skill and Habit
14 minutes read.

Long read but worth every minute of your time if you care about increasing your impact: "When we look at what visionaries really succeed at, they give us a confident, consistent and coherent plan that makes us feel safe, we trust them not because their vision is perfect, but because they have it under control. They communicate clearly without giving us all the answers. What most people think of as vision is actually persuasion." -- take a good cup of coffee or tea and sit down.

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Inspiring Tweets


@JPQ: This Week, a Company I Used to Work for Shut Down. In a Few Days, a Company I Used to Work for Will Go Public. I Can Tell a Beautiful Narrative of Why One Worked Out While the Other Didn’t. But if I’m Honest, Boy Does It All Feel So Random.

@farnamstreet: The Most Productive People I Know Spend Way More Time Than Less Productive People Thinking About What They Work On.

- 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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