Issue #68, 7th March 2014

This Week's Favorite


The Engineer Crunch
5 minutes read.

Sam Altman (YC's new president) with another epic post on how to convince great talent to join your company. Knowing how to sell the company to engineers is just as difficult as selling it to investors. You need to find your strength, your passion, your team, your story. You need to find people who could relate to it and become great because of it. Above all, let them know they're part of the company - "I have never seen a startup regret being generous with equity for their early employees."

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Culture


DevOps Reactions (Gif Fun)
1 minutes read.

Well, it's Friday after all. Just sit back and watch this awesomeness. My favorite - "Explaining how git, gerrit, and jenkins work together."

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Enable Your Organization to Operate With Less Information
8 minutes read.

Mario Caropreso (of Yammer) with a post that is vital for every company with over 6 people. One of the hardest challenges in scaling our company is also to retain that can-do attitude. Read this post to learn how Yammer managed to keep their edge by embracing a process where teams are formed to enable maximum speed with minimal coordination - "if you want to achieve a superior performance, enable your organization to work with less information."

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Someone Is Coming to Eat You
5 minutes read.

It feels unfair of me to try and write something on Michal Lopp's post. It's just too good, so my advice for you is simply to put the time and read it. I'll let Michael take it from here - "The reward for winning is the perception that you’ve won. In your celebration of your awesomeness, you are no longer focused on the finish line, you now lack a clear next goal, and while you sit there comfortably monetizing eyeballs, you’re becoming strategically dull. You’ve forgotten that someone is coming to eat you and if you wait until you can see them coming, you’re too late. Just ask Nokia or RIM."

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Peopleware


The Problem With “accountability” in a Nutshell.
2 minutes read.

Probably the best post I've read in a while in terms of its value per word. It's also the first thing I would test for when hiring someone to join my company - do they have an internal sense of accountability? Are they motivated to be successful regardless of my effort to help? Such individuals will always build trust and push the organization forward. Working with highly motivated people is the hardest yet most rewarding experience one can hope for.

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Good and Bad Technical Debt (And How TDD Helps)
15 minutes read.

As an engineering manager, one of our responsibilities is to provide the best tools and environment for our people. Technical Debt can, sometimes, radically affect the team both in terms of their execution speed, but also in the way they enjoy their work. On the other hand, investing too much in it may come on the expense of releasing value to our users and customers. Henrik Kniberg offers a great way to measure and track your Technical Debt. It's not a short post, but it's a useful one if Technical Debt is a concern for you and your team.

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"You Name It, I Did It": 10 Startup Employees Recall the Early Days
15 minutes read.

There is something magical in the early days of a company. I enjoyed reading these 10 stories as I could try and imagine how it was working there at the time. One common theme you'll see in all of these stories is being able to try and lead many different aspects of the product. Are you giving your people the same amount of challenge? Are you pushing them outside of their comfort zone? The best employees will seek to try out new things and learn new skills. Instead of losing them, let them grow and practice their different skills in your company.

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Inspiring Tweets


@jasonfried: Sometimes Your Job Is Keeping People Uncomfortable.

@yonatanm: Someone Writes a Script to Automate Actions on Your Web App? Here Is Your First Requirement for Public API

- 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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