Issue #286, 18th May 2018

This Week's Favorite


Reaching Peak Meeting Efficiency
35 minutes read.

Steven Sinofsky with an essay about a commonly abused tool - meetings: "the most important thing in growing a company or team is to of course focus on getting things done, but the only way to get the right things done is by having meetings, by talking." -- do not miss Steven's tips "Peak Meeting Function," share it with your teammates so you can hold each other accountable.

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Culture


We Never Had the Time to Finish It but We Have a Workaround
1 minutes read.

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

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Fear of Process or How to Scale the Team Without Getting "Corporate”
7 minutes read.

Avi Revivo covers all the right questions worth asking when you're thinking of adding more process to the team. Avi's suggestions and insights are so powerful because they're pragmatic and authentic. Introducing a new process should be about tweaking for flow, happiness and fulfillment.

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Been Thinking About the Advice We Give Folks, Esp Jr and Intermediate Engineers. I Love Telling People to Go Home, Have Life/Work Balance, Take a Vacation Etc, but Also Feel Uncomfortably Hypocritical. Why Am I Urging Them *Not* to Do the Things That Got Me to Where I Am Today? (Thread)
4 minutes read.

Charity Majors, as always, call things as they are. This is her opinion, based on her experience. She's authentic and brave. What worries me though is the intensity of the responses, how difficult it became for people to share what worked for them without being judged.

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Rapid Response: How We Fixed Our on Call Process to Avoid Engineer Burnout
4 minutes read.

"A more common scenario is the on-call engineer is informally helped out by engineers who happen to be online at that time... Numerous problems have been repaired or mitigated through on the fly collaboration and teamwork." -- Brian Scanlan from Intercom explain how they changed the nights and weekends shifts, and reduced the number of people who are on-call during those hours. It was helpful to read it, just as it gave me another perspective and challenged my assumptions. Keep iterating with your team, and find the process that works for you.

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Peopleware


Battling Perfectionism
3 minutes read.

"The problem is that trying to do things perfectly all the time often leads to worse prioritization decisions when you take a step back... perfectionism tends to be rooted in fear rather than opportunity." -- Julie Zhuo with good advice, reminding us to consider the alternative cost when operating from a place of ego.

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Informal Doesn't Scale
3 minutes read.

"But much like the fly and its exoskeleton, your company’s light, informal structure will keep it from scaling. " -- Read Jim Grey's questions near the end of the post, and ask yourself how you can optimize your process to fit the company rather than the other way around. I'd add to it - "Are we investing enough time and money in training people around communication skills?" - get them to write more, how to deal with conflicts, how to handle hard conversations etc.

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Getting Better at Team Communication
3 minutes read.

"If you are having a 1:1 conversation with somebody that needs your help, try to stay in the convo until the issue is sorted, async communication is great, but if you can unblock your teammate by giving your exclusive attention to the chat for 10 minutes it’s worth it" -- Roberto Dip shares his lessons learned, improving his communication skills, working remotely.

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Inspiring Tweets


@sehurlburt: A Message to Lady Coders Who Follow Me: People Will Want You to Speak/Write About Diversity, Soft Skills, Non-Tech. You’ll Want to as Well, Because Those Things Are Important Push Yourself to Write/Speak About Tech. That’s How You Get Big $$$. That’ll Help Your Career Even More

@BrianNorgard: If You Want to Understand Product Study People First

- 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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