Issue #53, 22nd November 2013

This Week's Favorite


How GitHub (No Longer) Works
50 minutes read.

GitHub is no longer a small startup. With over 200 employees strong, Zach Holman shares great stories of how GitHub changed to fit the new (people) scale: how to deploy internal versions and let them run on production, automating video capturing and streaming for remote employees, managing topics lists where people can subscribe to if they're interested (security, ops etc.) or leave at any given time. My key takeaway is to experiment a lot and ignore "it just won't work in large companies" BS. Do what you believe is right for your unique team. Another small advice will be to download this QCon talk as an mp3 file and listen to it on your way to work.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Culture


The Six Most Common Species of Code (Images)
2 minutes read.

This will make you smile, that's a promise. Best one: the "hackathon code". Been there, done that, still makes me laugh. Also, be a friend and share it at the office and home. Who knows how your cat will react to it.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


In the Early Days, You Won’t Have Enough Customers. But Your Mini-Brand Will Come to Your Rescue.
4 minutes read.

Jason Lemkin with a brilliant post. Having a mini-brand is something I've been thinking of a lot lately, not only in terms of a company and product, but also in terms of teams and individuals in the company. Take Jason's advice and apply it to recruiting - e.g. your future candidates are your team's "customers". How do you make them aware of you? How do you approach them? How can you proactively attract candidates who currently work for someone else, using your secret weapon - your passion, skills and unique culture?

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


How We Deploy 300 Times a Day
8 minutes read.

HubSpot's culture is simply too addictive to ignore. But which tools and process do you need to have in order to execute smoothly on your daily tasks? This post includes a lot of great implementation details behind HubSpot's engineering, and one unique and memorable quote I'll definitely use: "Every minute code lives in a branch, it is aging and dying." Highly recommended!

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Share it via Twitter or email.


Peopleware


Management Best Practices: Situational Management
4 minutes read.

Simple yet powerful framework by Tomasz Tunguz. Use it as a tool to figure out the best approach regarding every employee in your team. I'd argue that for "High motivation, low skill", the best thing you can do is be empathic, teach them the tools, but do not hold their hands. Let them fail so they'll be able to understand the reasons behind your advices over time. Micro-management is a great way to achieve short-term productivity, but it's so easy to abuse (hence continuing to Micro-manage even if not needed anymore). In order to create long-lasting growth, you should develop their pattern-matching skills. Then, get out of the way while they experiment with it and share some feedback on it. Rinse and repeat.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Managing a Backlog
7 minutes read.

Managing a backlog is not only a "product job". The skills required to prioritize, communicate and connect to the business's KPIs are required for every leadership position in the company. We are not working in a void. Use this post as a way to figure out how to manage your own backlog. For example, if you manage engineers and running your own technical backlog, you can translate questions such as "will this make our product grow?" to "will this help us develop faster, with better quality?"

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Share it via Twitter or email.


Distributed Team: Solving the Trouble With Timezones
5 minutes read.

Even if your team is not fully distributed, it often happens when development sits in one country while business and marketing in another. Tom Moor from Sqwiggle shares 5 easy tips to ease timezones-diff hell. What I loved most about this post is how practical Tom's advices are, on such a complicated subject.

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Share it via Twitter or email.


Inspiring Tweets


@destraynor: When You Praise Everything, You're Effectively Praising Nothing.

@shl: One Thing I Ask Everyone That Works @Gumroad Every Month: "What's the Worst Thing About Working Here?"

@alinajaf: New Programmer? Try This: Think of a Topic That You Found Difficult, Put Together a Ten Minute Overview, Deliver It at a Local Tech Meetup

- 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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