Issue #63, 31st January 2014

This Week's Favorite


Be a Manager
7 minutes read.

Rich Armstrong (of Fog Creek) with a beautiful post on thoughtful leadership. There are a lot of debates on the need for managers. Many of us lost faith in this role and the added value we are getting from our management layer. Reading Rich's post is a powerful reminder of how management could and should be. It's time to raise the standards, to practice our leadership. It's time to take care of our people instead of our ego. "We just need to understand that management is worth doing, and worth doing well."

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Culture


Funny View of the 5 Whys (video)
2 minutes read.

Great way to start the weekend, with a funny video on the possible outcome of conducting The 5 Whys with your boss.

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Today My Startup Failed
4 minutes read.

Chris Poole ("I hate writing, but I'm giving it a shot anyway") shares how his startup, DrawQuest, failed. Sharing his story, just like in the case of Everpix's founders, is a great reminder for us all of the difficulties in building a business. It's also a sign of their bravery in talking about their lessons learned and being open about their failures. The fact we can read and learn from it, may lead to better companies. If you have the time, I recommend reading Everpix's story (link inside the article), there is no better way to gain perspective on raising funds for your startup.

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Two Mindsets (Image)
1 minutes read.

The "Fixed Mindset" versus The "Growth Mindset". Wonderful visual to see how different mindsets grasp reality. Are we doing enough to ensure the right mindset in our work place? Do we have the right type of people in strategic places to help this mindset thrive?

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Peopleware


Learnings From Six Months as a First-Time Engineering Manager
8 minutes read.

Charles-Axel Dein (of Uber) with 7 lesson learned after six months as an Engineering Manager. To be honest, it's amazing to see the maturity and thoughtfulness behind Charles' words, especially as a first-time manager. If you're an Engineering Manager or aspiring manager, this post is simply a must read. I hope Charles will keep writing his journey so the rest of us could push ourselves harder. Our industry needs that.

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Why Stack Rank Doesn’t Measure Up
7 minutes read.

Not long ago, Microsoft decided to abandon their 'Stack Ranking' system of reviewing their employees. Ellen Chisa, an ex-Microsoft employee (now a PM at Kickstarter) shares her experience during that time. Performance review is such a powerful yet destructive tool that we should constantly try to adjust. We have to be willing to look deeper into what we gain from it versus the damage it may introduce. Does it have to be coupled to bonuses or salary updates? Does it need to be a zero-sum game?

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The Two Things You Need to Know About Developer Recruiting
15 minutes read.

Awesome post about hiring developers in creative ways. "The best way to attract developers is to make the job better" - highly recommend reading also the links inside of this post: Recruiting Passively Looking Developers and Recruit Engineers in Less Time. Pure gold.

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Inspiring Tweets


@AdamSinger: Friendly Reminder as Flu Season Is Clearly Here. It Is Never Ok to Go to Work Sick. You Don't Look Like a Hero. You Look Unprofessional. WFH

@patio11: When Hit With a Performance Bottleneck, Older Devs Suggest C/Assembly/Deep Magic, Younger Devs Said "1 Box Too Slow? Throw 100 Boxen at It."

- 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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