Issue #65, 14th February 2014

This Week's Favorite


Organisation Antipattern: Release Testing
6 minutes read.

This post is absolutely a must read. It's written so beautifully that I'm going to keep it as a reference for future discussions of why long development / QA cycles are doomed to fail – "Release Testing is high cost, low value Risk Management Theatre"

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


Culture


The Best Contact Us Page on the Internet
1 minutes read.

What can I say, this is a great way to start your weekend!

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Share it via Twitter or email.


Culture Hacking With A Staff Database
7 minutes read.

A bit old, but you're going to love this post by the team at Etsy. They took their HR database and hacked it in a few ways to build internal social games from it. Personally, the dogs system is their best hack of all – "For an organisation merrily blazing past Dunbar’s number, it’s critical in helping us maintain a sort of “outboard brain” for who’s who in the company."

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


Shape the Culture You Want Through the Stories You Tell
5 minutes read.

As always, beautifully written post by Edmon Lau. It's amazing to see how Facebook pushed their engineers to celebrate and appreciate those who were fixing stuff and making the system stable – "The natural tendency for many engineers is to gravitate toward working on new and innovative systems, but the unsung heroes tend to be the people who helped make an existing system much faster or who systematically reduced a system’s error rate to make it more reliable. They’re the ones who worked on the less glorious tasks, but were instrumental in getting things to work." Use this weekend to think about the stories inside of your company and how they reflect on your culture and the things you value most.

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


Peopleware


The 10 Questions You Need to Ask Your Team Every Week
6 minutes read.

If you're looking for great questions to start a conversation and get your teammates' feedback, this post by David Hassell (of 15Five) is exactly what you need. I would take this list with me to my next 1:1 with my teammates. My favorite: "If you owned the company, what’s one thing you would do differently?"

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


Startup Insights From Paul English, Co-Founder of Kayak (Audio Interview)
45 minutes read.

This is a pretty old interview (4 years) with Paul English, Kayak's legendary CTO, but if you truly care about building a company, nurturing the right culture and setting the tone, this is one of the best interviews I've heard on these subjects. I love Paul's 7 days rule to get a candidate to accept a job offering and the amount of thought and effort they put into their customer support. Download the mp3 for your next commute to work, it's worth every minute of your time.

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


Engineers Don't Talk
5 minutes read.

How do you keep communication and feedback open as your company grows? Great post by Elias Torres (VP Engineering at HubSpot) on their experimentation of keeping information and feedback flowing at the company. With 600 employees and over 100 engineers, it's fascinating to see the tools and process they've tried so far. Do you have similar pains or concerns? Share this post with your management team and have a discussion.

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


Inspiring Tweets


@WomenOfHistory: The Expert in Anything Was Once a Beginner.

@Thirdmanlabs: Drinking Game for Web Developers: 1. Think of a Noun 2. Google "<noun>.js" 3. If a Library With That Name Exists - Drink

@tomerg: The Thing About an All-Ninja Team Is, You're Not Likely to Survive Your First Week.

- 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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