Issue #355, 13th September 2019

This Week's Favorite


The Product-Minded Software Engineer
6 minutes read.

Gergely Orosz with a blog post that I'm going to use as a reference when people ask me for advice on "how can I increase my impact as an employee?". Whether your customers are internal or external, we all want to build useful products/tools that are being used and provide real value. Share it with other engineers in your organization and have a discussion. Who's doing it exceptionally well today? Are you investing enough time with them to see how they do it?

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Culture


Software Developer Starting a Deploy for the First Time
1 minutes read.

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

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Five Years of Home Office - A Recap
14 minutes read.

Alexander Reelsen shares his view (good and bad) about working remotely, and the rules he applied to be effective in this setting. This post can serve you well if you're thinking of working remotely, or if you're currently looking to hire remote employees. Be extra intentional in how you set expectations on how to work together, sharing feedback, solving problems, communicating progress, etc.

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Levels of Us vs. Them
7 minutes read.

Gilad Peleg shares a helpful framing you should use when leading a team as a manager or as a technical lead. How do you see your reach and influence today? Are you gaining context to increase your organizational impact? When you say "Us" who do you have in mind? Do you think that others will agree with you about it? I agree with Gilad that the "Us (Team) Vs. Them" leader can feel productive and successful but: "leaders at this level can be very harmful to the organization because they solve for the local (team) maximum, and it's very rare that this correlates with the global (organization) maximum. In fact, I've personally experienced leaders at this level creating all sorts of havoc and chaos in the organization, while taking their team to the top."

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Delivering the “right” 80/20: North Star Culture
6 minutes read.

"When development asks a product manager for more detailed requirements, she should give them deeper domain knowledge." -- Rob Bayley with an excellent post for how to build Product Teams, where everyone are involved and optimize for customer's value based on deep domain context and knowledge. A metric worth following is how many questions where asked, and how many suggestions were given by non-PM people. You want to have some hunch on curiosity level and engagement that people demonstrate. Product Managers should inspire people to take a step forward and better understand the problem at hand rather than the current solution being developed.

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Peopleware


17 Reasons Not to Be a Manager
11 minutes read.

Charity Majors with a post I recommend you to share inside your organization (with David's post below): We want to put both sides on the table and make it easier for people to choose their journey for the right reasons. You won't be able to retain and attract talent if you let people take a role for the wrong reasons.

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Reasons to Give Management a Try
7 minutes read.

David Brunelle with his take to Charity Majors's post that I've shared this week as well. Both sides are fun to play with. It should be encouraged for people to try the "Management Pendulum" -- where you move between the Manager ladder and the IC ladder every few years -- The product we deliver is built by the product (organization) we orchestrated. Complexity exists in both realms so we can transition to where our energy takes us.

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What Does Tech Leadership Really Mean?
5 minutes read.

"Leadership roles come with responsibilities and those in that position should be prepared to have tough conversations, take responsibility for tough situations and make difficult decisions." -- Mandy Michael is spot on. It's so easy to look away or blame others. But leadership is about setting an environment where people can happily, effectively, and sustainably do what they love to serve customers' needs.

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Inspiring Tweets


@mbrennanchina: Jack Ma's Special Message in a Bottle. Gift to #Alibaba Staff for the Company's 20th Anniversary.

@BrianNorgard: One of the Most Powerful Signals of Overbuilding or Poor Product Strategy Is Working on Things That Don’t Touch the Core.

- 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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