Issue #330, 22nd March 2019

This Week's Favorite


Productivity for Precious Snowflakes
16 minutes read.

Tiago Forte with a masterpiece that I know I'll keep re-reading in the future. Looking at productivity from the lens of state-of-mind is fascinating. It goes well with forming better habits, where setting the environment and picking a "character" ("I'm not a smoker" vs. "I don't smoke") is the solution to the habits you form. Setting different environments (at home and work) and figuring out personal emotional triggers (e.g. music, images, practice, picking a character) is a skill I wish to practice more: "We just happen to be lucky enough to live in a time when personal growth makes us better employees, which means our employers will pay us to pursue it." -- For the first time in our history, a large industry (Software) has the incentive (getting paid) to be a lifetime learner. "Software is eating the world" as Marc Andreessen once said. I think this post covers well the reason why.

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Culture


Legendary Apollo Project Programmer Margaret Hamilton, Next to a Printout of the Node_modules Directory Listing for Her First Hello World React App
1 minutes read.

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

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Making Trapdoor Decisions
5 minutes read.

"Tech as an industry tends to associate “moving fast” with positive progress. Try to de-associate that for decisions that are both high-impact and not easily reversible." -- I like the term Trapdoor Decisions as it gives some good framing to the type of decisions where impatience can create serious damage.

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Do You Really Need a Skills Framework?
13 minutes read.

"Make that thing [framework] as simple and easy to adopt as possible; no new processes, no cumbersome new workflow, something that seamlessly fits around people’s day to day and makes their lives easier. [...] A skills framework is ultimately for the employees, not the employer. It should empower them, otherwise it isn’t working. The only metric that really matters is do people find it truly useful, and is it making them happier. " -- If you're in the process of making such framework available in your company, make sure you read this post as it will save you months of headaches.

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How to Feel Less Overwhelmed as a Developer
8 minutes read.

Julia Haigh with a post that is just in time for me. The tips Julia shares here are relevant to everyone, not just developers. I needed it to review my goals, my toolset and my habits as lately I feel out of control. Take the weekend to organize your thoughts, even if it's just for a few minutes. Take one step in the right direction, in a path that you think will make you happier.

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Peopleware


The Essential Questions That Have Powered This Top Silicon Valley Manager’s Career
9 minutes read.

״First-time managers need to nail the essentials of leading a small team. Only when you have built trust with your reports will you have the credibility to help them achieve more together.״ -- Other than the warm recommendation to buy Julie Zhuo's new book (everything she writes is good value for your time and money), I think this post can be the perfect reference for new managers when dealing with 1:1s for the first time. I'd also use the question "Would you work for your manager again?" (yearly company survey?) to see if people get the value they need from their managers.

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Bethanye Blount on Helping People Be the Most Badass Versions of Themselves
5 minutes read.

Bethanye Blount will inspire you to become a better manager and leader for your team, with a set of clear priorities (individual > company > team > manager) and questions you can use. A must read to share with managers and technical leaders in your organization.

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Inspiring Tweets


@b6n: The First Fallacy of Automation Is Making Machines Perform Each Step of a Manual, Human Process.

@micah: Hypergrowth Creates Many New Managers. Most New Managers Manage by Not Doing What They Hated When They Were Managed. Meaning Most First Time Managers Suck at It. No One That You Manage Will Tell You That You Suck. So Ask. ☝️ #1 Skill of Any Manager

- 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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