Issue #307, 12th October 2018

This Week's Favorite


Why Big Companies Squander Brilliant Ideas
7 minutes read.

“Dominant organisations are prone to stumble when the new technology requires a new organisational structure. An innovation might be radical but, if it fits the structure that already existed, an incumbent firm has a good chance of carrying its lead from the old world to the new.” -- An important post if you want to understand why it’s so hard for medium to big size companies to change. The way the organization is structured will often define the product produced. This idea is critical to keep in mind, as we will need to change and adjust the way our teams are structured to stay ahead of the market. I've seen very few people who can act on it.

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Culture


Resource, Resource, Resource! 😢
1 minutes read.

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

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Charting a Path to Software (And Organizational) Resiliency
7 minutes read.

I believe that having process and practices in place for Resilience Engineering will be common in all companies within the next few years. Understanding that you can (and should) test in production will get more teams to try it out, look for tools and benefit from shorter MTTR and more robust systems. Share it with your team and discuss if you could apply some of it in your organization.

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Career Narratives
4 minutes read.

This post by Will Larson reminded me of Julia Evans's thread on "What are some possible career goals a software developer could have?" -- Can we help our teammates pick journeys and try them out? Will writes it nicely: "Chasing the next promotion is at best a marker on a mass-produced treasure map, with every shovel and metal detector recovering the same patch. Don't go there. Go somewhere that's disproportionately valuable to you because of who you are and what you want."

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Completing This 30-Minute Exercise Makes Teams Less Anxious and More Productive: Sharing Your User Manual
4 minutes read.

I launched ManagerReadme because I believe that sharing your "User Manual" as a manager can reduce a lot of the stress in figuring out how to work with you. Leah Fessler suggests that you'll spend time with your team and let everyone take 30 minutes to answer a few key questions to reduce "guess time" and increase the depth of your conversations.

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Peopleware


Sprints, Marathons and Root Canals
6 minutes read.

"Races are competitive finite games, completely on the other end of the spectrum. Give up on the whole idea of sprints and marathons please, software delivery is nothing like racing. But keep the idea of sustainability in mind when planning." -- Gojko Adzic puts it so well, to build a team that can operate for the long run, understanding how to prioritize (including Tech Debt) and communicate effectively is an underrated skill. Gojko's points here are excellent: "(1) Don’t think about internal team tasks as technical work, think about them as sustainability work. (2) Set up the planning process so that sustainability doesn’t compete with progress."

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Knowledge Worker: Keeping Yourself Up to Date
4 minutes read.

Nikolaj Karpov shares his framework to stay on top of his reading. I've share my framework here: https://speakerdeck.com/orenellenbogen/hyper-growth-humans-how-to-find-growth-materials-and-learn-x2-faster. What is your learning framework? Any tips to share? Our community would love to hear more about it on the SWLW channel (if you want to join, just reply to this email).

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Inspiring Tweets


@vboykis: Producer: Pitch Me. Me: It's an Ensemble Sitcom About a Lovable, Goofball DevOps Team That Works for a Startup in New York and Investigates Outages. It's Called Brooklyn Five-Nines. Producer: Get Out.

@mfeathers: Most Problems in Software Development Are Problems of Incentive. It's Funny That We Don't Seem to Approach Them at That Level.

- 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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