Issue #52, 15th November 2013

This Week's Favorite


This I Believe: A Manifesto for a Magnificent Career
17 minutes read.

One of the best posts I've read lately about proactively planning a meaningful career. The key, I believe, is to experiment a lot, with things you love (hint: you can talk about it for hours) and things people are willing to pay for. Be creative with it: build side-projects, give a few talks, switch positions at work, contribute to an open-source project, teach people online etc. I cannot recommend this post enough!

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
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Culture


The Code Is Your Enemy
5 minutes read.

This is such an important post for a couple of reasons: First, even if you already work for a big company, sometimes the lifecycle of your product is very similar to a startup's (e.g. not validated yet). It's crucial to get pul your head from the code and help the product validate faster (yes, you can actually help with it). Second, it's a great way to help your teammates grow and become self-managed. People want to help out, but most of the time we do a poor job at communicating risks and challenges. We want to "protect them". In the long run, this attitude will only damage them and the company. Teach them how to figure out what's important, how to validate that and only then how to do it right.

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Keeping a Little Crazy
3 minutes read.

Stop optimizing for the local maxima. This is a sentence I live by, as a reminder for my past failures. We have to keep being a little crazy, if we want to reach beyond what our surrounding is comfortable with, or as Paul says it: "People tend to criticise new ideas from the point of view of their own experience. Sometimes not having that ingrained experience is the key to inventing new solutions to existing problems."

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Values Towards Ethical and Radical Management
5 minutes read.

If you are in a management role, read this post by Shanley as a reminder for why you were promoted to that position to begin with. I'd send this post to Team Leads in my company; Specifically, the "Power" section is a must-read.

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Peopleware


Work Right! Play Right!
3 minutes read.

Gal Zellermayer with another terrific post on finding the right work/life balance when leading your team. From my experience, before you try to reach that balance, make sure your team is aligned with the mission and believe they're the right people to make it a reality. People seek for purpose and mastery (and willing to put the effort) before they look at anything else. Your goal as a leader at this point, is to make sure they'll be able to run the marathon instead of burning out after a few sprints.

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The Real Meaning of Agile, and How It Is Applied at Successful Companies (Video)
35 minutes read.

Henrik Kniberg (Agile coach at Spotify) is doing an exceptional work explaining the danger in optimizing for maximum utilization. As CS students, we were taught to optimize our code (CPU/memory) - just try to remember the last time you were asked to sort an array. Many companies are treating humans as if they were CPUs. Making sure every employee is utilized, when the requirements change all the time (unlike sorting an array) is not our goal as a business. This video will be a great reminder for the team.

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Why I Stopped Coding
3 minutes read.

Elias Torres (VP Engineering at HubSpot) shares his story of why he decided to stop coding production features. It's an important lesson as we should constantly ask ourselves if we're doing the best thing for our team? I'm sure that Elias's passion for building things will continue in other places, may it be Hackathons, working on fun projects or simply pushing some code during the weekend. There is not other way to earn the trust from our engineers but to keep practicing our craft, even if it's on a lower scale.

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Inspiring Tweets


@fortes: Debugging Is Like Being the Detective in a Crime Movie Where You Are Also the Murderer.

@mabb0tt: "Most People Do Not Listen With the Intent to Understand; They Listen With the Intent to Reply." - Stephen Covey

- 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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