Issue #284, 4th May 2018

This Week's Favorite


Sustainable On-Call
8 minutes read.

There aren't many topics that are important to me than on-calls. It's a necessary duty we all have to deal with somehow, and it can be by itself a key differentiator to demonstrate your engineering culture. Read it, share it with your engineers and have a discussion to see how you can improve your system and culture robustness.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Culture


When a New Box of Books Arrive From Amazon
1 minutes read.

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

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Three-Day No-Meeting Schedule for Engineers
3 minutes read.

I'm always having in my head (and often on 1:1s) the debate and trade-offs between the cost vs. value of meetings. This can be the daily standup meeting, Design Review of a complex feature or sync meeting around onboarding of new customers. I want to help to reduce interruptions while keeping people with enough context to make good decisions on the spot (i.e. no need for a manager's approval). What do you think? Are you blocking a day in your team's calendar? What about unplanned meetings or consultation between two peers (they can hurt just as much)?

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


From Apathy to Autonomy (Video)
31 minutes read.

Darko Zelić shares the iterations Relay42 went through, adjusting their structure and working methods to increase happiness and effectiveness by aiming for autonomous teams. Darko will make you think about the way your teams are structured today, and hopefully, you could steal an idea or two to experiment with.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


12 “Manager READMEs” From Silicon Valley’s Top Tech Companies
6 minutes read.

Brennan McEachran shares 12 Manager READMEs (disclaimer: including mine), kind of a User Manual for your leadership style, that I think can be an excellent way to set clear and explicit expectations. If you're up to it and thinking of writing your own, check Brennan's tips on "Ready to write your own?"

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Peopleware


Five Lessons I Learned as a Manager in a Massively Fast-Growing Startup.
5 minutes read.

"For every new member that I added to my team, the relationships I managed grew exponentially. I wasn’t only managing the relationships between my team members, but also those between my team and the CEO, my team and their diverse business partners, and of course, my team and myself." -- so many gems, and so much honesty, in this post by Jessica Ko. Her 4th lesson on "I realized that some employees weren’t able to grow at the same rate as the company." is something that I wish someone told me earlier. That someone might have been me in some situations, and in other times - people in my team. There is nothing wrong with that, we all operate differently given different context (company, product, team size, responsibilities etc.)

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


An Excellent Guide to Corporate Productivity From Elon Musk
4 minutes read.

Plenty of productivity takeaways from this email Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, shared inside the company. By far, this is my favorite one: "Communication should travel via the shortest path necessary to get the job done, not through the “chain of command”. Any manager who attempts to enforce chain of command communication will soon find themselves working elsewhere."

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


How to Get Buy-In for Reducing Technical Debt
4 minutes read.

"Communication is important, and communicating about impact is even more important — particularly when it comes to reducing technical debt." -- Every engineer in your organization needs to read Jean Hsu's post and her tip on "follow the thread of impact" if they seek to increase their impact on the organization, and get more "Yes!" than "not now."

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Inspiring Tweets


@jimbojsb: CTO’s Prayer: God, Grant Me Engineers to Build the Things I Can’t Buy, Budget to Buy the Things I Can’t Build, and the Wisdom to Know the Difference.

@sarah_edo: Someone Was Recently Telling Me They Were a "Code Ninja". I Don't Want to Work With a Ninja, They Leave a Bloody Mess. I Want to Work With a "Code Janitor". Comes in the Middle of the Night, Cleans Things Up, You Only Know They Were There Because Everything Is Organized and Tidy.

- Oren

P.S. Can you share this email? I'd love for more people to experiment and improve their company's culture.

Subscribe now & join our community!