Issue #97, 3rd October 2014

This Week's Favorite


The Makers of WordPress Learned Years Ago That the Ultimate Office Perk Is Not Having an Office
4 minutes read.

Building a distributed company where most people work remotely, forces you to put a lot of thought into the way you hire people, prioritize your goals, build momentum and measure progress (e.g. output > hours at the office). Regardless of whether or not you decide to build your company that way, there is a lot of advantages in thinking as if you were. “We have this factory model, and we think someone’s working if they show up in the morning and they’re not drunk, they don’t sleep at their desks, they leave at the right time. But that has so little to do with what you create. And we all know people who create a lot without fitting into those norms.”

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Culture


MVP Explained in One Image
1 minutes read.

Finally, one photo that will save me hours of my life (accumulative) to explain others what MVP really stands for.

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The Moneyball Approach to Building a Software Team
8 minutes read.

Kelsey Foley with a great story on how Moz looks at hiring and building software teams. I'd start with reading the last section "Addendum" as it contains the gist of this post, and then read from the beginning to collect the details and tips you can use for your hiring process. If you're the one hiring in your company - do you know how to interview for "getting things done" skills? What about communication skills or hunger to learn and improve? Do you know which questions to ask to figure out if they'll make the team more cohesive? Will they bring some happiness to the team and workplace? We should do better than asking technical questions that shows problem-solving skills.

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Before the Startup
10 minutes read.

Paul Graham with another beautiful essay on the counterintuitive thinking process in startups and the advice he would give his kids before starting a startup. Couple of memorable quotes I took from it: "startups are so weird that if you trust your instincts, you'll make a lot of mistakes" and "At its best, starting a startup is merely an ulterior motive for curiosity. And you'll do it best if you introduce the ulterior motive toward the end of the process."

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Peopleware


Being A Good Leader Is NOT Up to You
4 minutes read.

Do you think you are a good leader? How do you know? Bill Koza reminds us of the misconceptions we might have about our own image as leaders. Powerful lesson to keep in mind.

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Books
9 minutes read.

Jason Evanish compiled an amazing list of books he has read along the years, including his rating and why (or why not) you should read it too. Bookmark it for later or order some of these books now for your teammates. There is nothing better than reading to open your mind to new ideas and concepts.

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How We Hire Developers at Treehouse
5 minutes read.

I've added this post not only because it has great questions you can use for your hiring process, but due to their unique usage of a real deployable projects (to production!) they give candidates. It's a great way to see if people really want to join the team. Being compensated about the hours investment is more fair than most of the interview processes I know of. Check the comments section, there are some great discussions there as well on whether or not this process is too rigid.

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WIP and Priorities – How to Get Fast and Focused!
7 minutes read.

Henrik Kniberg (an Agile Coach at Spotify) shares some tips you can apply to improve the way you prioritise and manage your work-in-progress (WIP) tasks. One of the most pragmatic posts I have read on this subject, so it should be a great read for the weekend.

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Inspiring Tweets


@keystonelemur: Any Fool Can Write Code That a Computer Can Understand. Good Programmers Write Code That Humans Can Understand. - @Martinfowler

@jongold: Q: How Do I Get My Siloed Design & Development Teams to Work Together? A: You Don't. Burn the Silos.

- 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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