Issue #43, 13th September 2013

This Week's Favorite


Release More With Less
4 minutes read.

I believe this post is simply a must read for everyone in our industry, including technical and non-technical employees. I've been implementing Continuous Deployment for the past 3 years, and the most powerful outcome is how radically it change our behavior. Finding problems usually activates our defensive mode, e.g. "We have 3 bugs in production, and we release once a week, so let's add some more testing time so it won't happen again." This state of mind will only spin out more and more defenses and longer processes. CD changes behavior as it constantly reduce the fear from releasing our product, by practicing it more often. When we discover bugs today, we know we can get a fix to production under 3 minutes. We also try to be active and check which of our customers were affected by it, so we could email them that we're on it. CD can help you to measure and perfect your ability to quickly get back up on your feet (recovering from a bug/faliure) and continue to run.

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Culture


We Don’t Have Time to Fix Things
5 minutes read.

Jade Rubick (of New Relic) with a great post about sustaining quality and velocity while delivering value to our users. Their idea of 'ebb week' is a great way to guarantee time allocation for improving the quality of the product. There is an interesting gem inside this post - "mark the code that’s perfectly fine, but different than the way it’s being done now". I believe this can be a good way to deal with Technical Debt. It's like putting your to-do list on paper instead of keeping it all in your head. The act of acknowledging it and writing it down, can sometimes reduce a lot of the mental overload. Great read!

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Building a Dream Team
5 minutes read.

Adii Pienaar shares his 3 most important things when building a team. His advice on how to hire for support positions is priceless (from my experience), but his observation on hiring people who will push you is spot on. The best people I've hired were so passionate and eager to win, they pushed me and motivated me to try harder. Looking back, a lot of my drive to innovate and execute came from my desire to not letting them down. Hire people who will push you to be better every day, to earn their respect and trust.

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The Anatomy of the Perfect Technical Interview From a Former Amazon VP
18 minutes read.

Neil Roseman (ex-Technology VP at Amazon and Zynga) shares the best way to interview a candidate for a technical position. It's packed with so many useful and pragmatic tips, I urge you to read it or pass it to your technical leadership. If you're tight on time, read "The right way to read resumes and design questions" and "The hiring team". My favorite part: "Roseman especially likes to press engineering candidates on product design. Great engineers should not simply be order takers, but actively part of product development."

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Peopleware


A Scientific Guide to Effectively Saying No
7 minutes read.

Fascinating research on *how* you should say No. Great mind-trick you can apply to change a behavior. I'm going to try it for the next few weeks and see if it helps me to stick to healthier habits.

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Think Success Comes From Your Work? You’re Wrong. Success Comes From People.
10 minutes read.

Very important observations from Kate Matsudaira on how to build your career path. "Get the work done" is key. Some people ask for a promotion or for bigger challenges without proving their own capabilities at their current position. When they get a "no", it may lead to even worse performance and the loop continue ("if I'm not promoted within the next 6 months, I'm leaving"). Creating visibility into your work also means you are also actively looking to define the expectations from your role. This will lead to higher trust and better work relationship.

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Delivering a Tough Message
4 minutes read.

Another wonderful post by Hugh Williams (of eBay). I recommend using Hugh's advice as a framework, so you could make sure you're message is solid and clearly communicated.

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Inspiring Tweets


@kgale: Shed the Burden of Maintaining a Positive Self-Image and You Can Actually Be Introspective About Your Mistakes and Accept Criticism.

@rands: I Find When an Engineer Says, “Less Than Ideal” That They Often Mean “Complete Fucking Catastrophe.”

- 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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