Issue #291, 22nd June 2018

This Week's Favorite


A Voight-Kampff Test for Identifying Engineering Managers
5 minutes read.

Nick Caldwell (VP Eng. at Reddit) had to triple his 35 engineers team in a year. On top of that, he had to define two career ladders for a relatively flat organization, where Tech Leads could mean an Architect or a Manager. His questions and observations on the possible answers as indicators for career path are brilliant. Use this framework to help people figure out their next steps, even if it's for a trial period.

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Culture


Happy Flow (QA Version)
1 minutes read.

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

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The Three Layers of Management
2 minutes read.

Tomasz Tunguz with a point that I often make to engineering leaders I talk with, we as humans need stories to help motivates us. A story to be a part of, and our own story within that story as a personal growth path -- "We work on different levels. Without the vision of the cathedral, we may never motivate ourselves to achieve grandeur. Instead, we might create a cluster of one-room, square red brick houses. Equally true: without the focus on the bricks or the wall, the cathedral will never be built. A grand vision lacking execution is just a dream."

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Why You Should Make Useless Things (Video)
12 minutes read.

You've probably seen a few videos from Simone Giertz, showing her awesome failures creating useless robots. This is a fun video to watch with a great takeaway for the "overachievers" - let yourself fail by building a process where failure is the target and you'll have a 100% likelihood of doing so. Simone made me smile and laugh, and I cannot think of a better way to start your weekend.

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The Hierarchy of Work
3 minutes read.

This short post by Matthew Sweet made me stop for a few minutes and question the way I work, and how effective it is. For most of my career, I think that I'd label myself as "hard" type of work. While we like to think we also work with maximum leverage for our type, the "smart" type of work, we rarely do. Taking it as homework for myself, as I'd like to challenge myself to define how "smart + hard" looks like today for me, across the various roles I have and projects I enjoy working on.

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Peopleware


Hyper-Growth Humans: How to Find Personal Growth Materials & Learn X2 Faster (Video)
50 minutes read.

I gave a talk (webinar style) on the Soft Around The Globe, a virtual conference that took place on Wednesday, sharing my lessons learned from curating this newsletter for the past 5.5 years. I'm not so happy with the delivery (note to self: practice more!), but I believe there are good tips for you to take from it. Let me know if you liked it.

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First Principles: The Building Blocks of True Knowledge
15 minutes read.

"A first principle is a foundational proposition or assumption that stands alone. We cannot deduce first principles from any other proposition or assumption." -- How much of our time we spend actually arguing from first principles? I appreciate the coach example (or cook vs. chef) as the rules of the game are clear (first principles), and it's up to you to figure out how to play and adjust.

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How to Get Rich Without Getting Lucky (Thread)
4 minutes read.

Naval Ravikant is one of my favorite thinkers, someone I've been enjoying reading or listening to on every media possible. This Twitter thread on how to build wealth is something I'd share with everyone you care about: your family, your friends and your team. Have a discussion about it with them. Where would you like to spend your next decade at? Doing what?

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Inspiring Tweets


@triketora: Remember When You Wanted What You Have Now

@joshualande: Work Lesson of the Day: The Longer Something Has Been Broken, the Harder It Is to Convince Everybody Else That It Needs to Be Fixed

- 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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