Issue #80, 6th June 2014

This Week's Favorite


Sleep-Driven Development
4 minutes read.

"The impetus behind this effort is to do everything we can to keep our engineers in bed, or at least reduce the amount of time they might be awake when they'd otherwise (hopefully) be sleeping." - great companies track the wealth of their employees, not only of their business. Amazing post by the team at Etsy you cannot afford to miss!

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Culture


The Freedom to Be Funny in Your Email Replies
2 minutes read.

Sometimes people send you some awesome emails you simply don't have enough words to describe how you feel. This is when I usually look for an awesome gif to use instead. No need to search anymore, this repo is packed with great gifs for you to use. Now, I wish someone would create a Chrome extension that would let me pick a gif from the list and make it work nicely with my gmail. Sounds like an idea for an Hackathon.

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The Choices We Make When We Build Startups
5 minutes read.

Truly inspiring posts by Joel Gascoigne (CEO of Buffer), one that I've bookmarked and will go back to when looking for a kind reminder that our choices doesn't have to be tied to our successes or failures - "the key is to use our intuition and make the changes we feel are right - both in order to succeed, and also to create the place we want to work."

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The Way We Work: Medium Engineering
3 minutes read.

Some interesting insights to the way Medium runs their engineering team, from the Engineering Lead - Dan Pupius. I love their aspiration for team's versatility, by having feature teams and domain experts who could mentor strong individuals, even if they currently lack the experience in the specific platform or technology. Their attention to details really shows in their product, and it's wonderful to see how they put the same effort in building a great company as well. I highly recommend reading their post on "cross-functional engineering team" (link inside the post), if you want to get a better understanding on their challenges.

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Peopleware


Chaotic Beautiful Snowflakes
6 minutes read.

Michael Loop with a brilliant post. Again. We undervalue what needs to happen in order for a team to work effectively together. The "Non-Obvious Work", as Michael calls it, is what makes companies flourish or break as they grow. It's paying attention, acknowledging and celebrating those small victories - "The work isn’t hard because of the things you know; it’s hard because of the unknowable."

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Gamifying Your R&D: Game of Code
5 minutes read.

Yossi Shmueli from the wonderful team at Sears Israel (disclaimer: I've worked there for 5 years, they kick ass) shares a cool gamification concept to kill a well-known broken window syndrome for engineers - taking care of ignored tests. Not only it reduced the number of ignored test, it also created a lot of (good) noise in the company, making everyone more aware of the problem. I find that creating awareness is a great way to deal with those tasks we all know that become a constant "one-time fixes".

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Managing Software Engineering Burnout
3 minutes read.

3 great ideas from the engineering team at Urban Airship on how to reduce burnout at work. I think that allowing people to move around the company and actually encourage it, is something that more companies should push. It's always better to retain talent and let them find their next challenge inside of the company, than to lose them. Smart, capable people who are also great in terms of culture fit are really hard to find. Even if at the short term you may damage productivity (training), it has a huge impact on the happiness of your employees.

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Inspiring Tweets


@destraynor: "We Judge Ourselves by Our Intentions and Others by Their Behaviour." Worth Remembering When You Make Your Excuses.

@roidrage: As a Developer, and Ops Person, a Manager, a Customer Support Rep, I Learned That All Are About One Thing: Empowering People.

- 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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