Issue #71, 28th March 2014

This Week's Favorite


Hiring and Retaining Women in Tech
5 minutes read.

Irene Au with an important topic, and great observations on what needs to be changed in order to bring some more balance to our industry. Even if you're too busy to read anything else this week, I urge you to read Irene's words.

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Culture


My Role as a Manager
5 minutes read.

If you're a first-time manager, this post is simply a must read. It takes most of us years to understand that leadership is not about power or decision making. It's about context, people, mission. The best managers out there are feeling humbled to serve their teammates, not the other way around - "the reality is that it’s actually me who’s accountable to them."

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Spotify Engineering Culture (Video)
13 minutes read.

There is no doubt that Spotify's culture is becoming their unfair advantage. Their ability to scale the company so quickly to over 1000 employees is remarkable. Watch this beautiful video by Henrik Kniberg (an Agile coach at Spotify) on their engineering structure and what they're trying to optimize for. If you're interested in building a large lean organization, I'd highly recommend following this company.

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STARTUP CULTURE ISN’T ABOUT BEER, VIDEO GAMES & FREE LUNCHES
5 minutes read.

Many people I've talked with, people whom I believe are really amazingly gifted and fun to work with, enjoy their work but cannot relate to the mission of their team (assuming they have one) or company. We tend to focus too much of our energy on our technology stack, our office perks or our incredible investors. I enjoyed this post by Mitchell Harper because he puts the focus on what matters most - mission, purpose and people. Great read!

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Peopleware


Let Your Team Help You Manage Your Time
5 minutes read.

Managers should constantly ask themselves one question: "Where could I add the greatest value to the company?" Answering this question is key to figure out your priorities and focus. Instead of centralized ownership, try to build a system where risks, quality and even mentorship is distributed. Are you happy with where your time is spent today?

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How to Be a Sane Programmer
5 minutes read.

It's Friday after all, so read this post and spend the weekend in finding one or two things you can start doing (or stop doing) to bring some more sanity to your life. I'm pretty guilty at this as well, so looking for someone to help me out with it badly. I just love to build stuff and see how people react to it. What's your advice? Reply to this email if you have some practical tips.

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The Leadership Secret Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg Have in Common
5 minutes read.

While I hated the headline (too catchy, right?) I did find the post really interesting. I had the pleasure working with some great engineers in my past who managed to "cover" some of my weakest sides, and I heapily saw them lead these efforts. It wasn't easy (I felt like a failure at the beginning) but it made everything so much better. I was happier, they were happier and I saw how ownership started to be distributed between people without forcing it.

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Inspiring Tweets


@LifeLimits: Don't Make Excuses for Why You Can't Get It Done. Focus on All the Reasons Why You Must Make It Happen.

@jasonyogeshshah: Fall in Love With Impact and Problem-Solving, Not Methodologies and Dogma.

- 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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