Issue #302, 7th September 2018

This Week's Favorite


Engineering Decision Model: Messy Opinions, Neat Ownership
12 minutes read.

"First, the variance of software work in different careers is so great, that it’s impossible for a single individual to be most right all the time for all pieces of new work." -- I like the suggested decision framework by Rudy Rigot. One thing I'd add to it is teaching decision owners to looks for ways to introduce reversibility so if a decision turns out to be ineffective, the team has a plan to mitigate without losing the entire investment.

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Culture


When a Subway Station Is a Better Programmer Than You Are...
1 minutes read.

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

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Communities of Learning
4 minutes read.

Building communities for learning in companies I've worked at was always challenging yet so powerful when we made it happen. Will Larson offers some lessons learned that I witnessed myself, moving from lecture-based learning into utilizing group dynamics with in-depth discussions.

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You Have to Choose Between Software Delivered on Time and Good Software
12 minutes read.

"If there is trust, you will be able to negotiate timelines honestly and openly with good faith. If you have previously proven that your team delivers good software, there should be enough “social capital” for the stakeholders to trust that if you push back on a given schedule is for good reasons and for the common good." -- This is the first building block. Then comes "Design to Cost" principle you can use and removal of practices that only increase the damage (Sprints anyone?).

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College (As a Paradigm) Is Dying, Design Your Own Education.
10 minutes read.

I'd jump to the "Old Paradigm, New Paradigm" section directly to avoid some very obvious context, and then slow down and read Johnny's thoughts. Following the principles of the New Paradigm is something I want to make sure my kids will utilize from an early age, but also challenge myself a bit more, making sure that I keep growing in fields I know very little about, e.g. "Build your own curriculum and update it constantly as the world changes and evolves."

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Peopleware


How to Teach Yourself Hard Things
5 minutes read.

Before reading Julia Evans's post, I'd challenge you to take a moment and think about how you currently learn a new hard topic. What is your learning framework? How (or where) do you start? Do you set some goals for yourself? How do you measure progress? Having a framework for learning is powerful as it helps push you when you're stuck, letting you "trust the system" while your mind is focusing on the mission at hand.

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How “systems Thinking” Can Level Up Your Work — and Your Life
7 minutes read.

"If you can’t see or experience the full system, you need to create models to put it all together. It’s the only way to know your elephant." -- great tips from Aytekin Tank, as we often think about our product as a complex system but very rarely consider that our organization is a (complex) system too.

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A Thing That Continues to Surprise Me Is How Many People Think the Main Purpose and Value of Code Reviews in the Modern Era Is "Catching Bugs" (Thread)
4 minutes read.

An interesting thread (with a lot of jokes mixed in, of course) about the purpose of Code Reviews (e.g. knowledge sharing to reduce Bus Factor), and what shouldn't be taking place as part of the Code Review process, e.g. "The biggest problem with code review is the tendency to substitute it for design review. In other words, code review is the wrong place to make major design decisions." -- ask your team about it and have a discussion.

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Inspiring Tweets


@Padday: In Every Company, Everything Eventually Changes. Those Who Fail to Embrace This Fact Stay in the Past, Clinging to What They Knew, Forever Stuck Working in a Company That No Longer Exists. Embrace Change, Be Radically Open Minded, Hard as That May Be.

@rands: You Are Underestimating the Compounding Awesomeness of Continually Fixing Small Broken Things.

- 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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