Hello there, welcome to the week!
Thank you to everyone who came along and took part in the conference last week, especially those who submitted Lightning Talks for the Unconference day on Wednesday - it was our first attempt at an unconference, and it went really, really well, mainly because of the quality of the talks and roundtables. We'll be doing it again in the near future...
The CTO Craft Growth and Disruption survey is still open for submissions - if you have a few minutes, please do let us know about your experiences over 2022 in these areas. We'll be pulling together a report to share with the community early next year.
Last thing - if you're in London on Dec 9th, come and join us for our Festive Social in the evening, where we'll be at the Hoxton Underbelly from 6pm. There'll be drinks and networking, and we'll also have a panel on a topic to be decided. We'd love to see you there!
On with the show..
Andy @ CTO Craft
In a world of upheaval, what is the impact on scaling, hiring, funding, culture and engagement? This survey will help us discover how organisations are managing the growth and scaling of their engineering teams in a competitive ecosystem.
CTO Craft Bytes
What a year it's been! The CTO Craft team would love to invite you to an evening of merriment and cheer as we all take a moment to celebrate 2022 with the CTO Craft community.
Venue: Hoxton Underbelly, 11 Hoxton Square, London
Reads of the Week
What most companies call "remote work" is actually just a new name for all the bad stuff that used to happen in offices. Back-to-back meetings, constant availability, and endless interruptions. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to that—it's called asynchronicity.
About our Sponsors
Thanks as always to the amazing sponsors helping CTO Craft bring you resources like this newsletter, our events, community and more:
AWS, Albany Partners, Code Climate, Google Cloud, iTechArt, Jellyfish, LinearB, Lohika, 101 Ways, O’Reilly, PGS Software, Pentalog, Skiller Whale, Swarmia, YLD
Culture & People
When employees come to us venting their frustrations that their boss doesn’t value or appreciate their hard work, it’s usually not about who got the plaque in the end-of-year meeting. Of course, the time you spend on getting your formal employee recognition right matters.
Anxiety isn’t exactly uncommon, especially in the workplace. When a deadline is coming up or there’s a major change in your team’s personal lives, it’s no surprise they’d be a little on edge. However, anxiety disorders are a little different.
What can you do when team morale is low? In this blog post, we share three short formats that easily fit inside a Sprint Retrospective. Their purpose is to start a dialogue in your team and begin improvement.
As important as it is to target overlapping S-curves in a balanced portfolio, it is also important to recognize you have to operate differently depending on which phase of the curve you are on.
Having spent the last 5+ years of my career trying to improve integrity systems, services and user experiences at a tech giant, I’ve been reflecting on the things I’d do if I had the benefit of working at a start-up and thinking this through from scratch.
Leadership & Self-management
One of a leader's most important functions is serving as a shock absorber, soaking up forces generated by one part of the organization (or from outside the organization) and distributing them elsewhere, and doing so in such a way that the entire system operates more effectively.
Over the last two decades, the sad truth is that management has failed to advance as a discipline.
Higher decision quality is about data, reasoning, insight, perspective, consideration of alternatives, consideration of timing and context, etc. It has nothing to do with who makes the decision.
To better understand the real and deadly cost of complexity. By noticing our biased perception of both simplicity and complexity. And also by modeling complexity to uncover some of its characteristics. Mainly it’s exponential nature.
All startups have a product roadmap, but at the earliest stages, most of them don’t need one. That’s because a product roadmap is a plan for what you’ll build—but as a startup, you probably don’t know quite what you need to build.
Agile, Engineering & Product
Even talking about building a monolith today, is a bit taboo. It is all about microservices at the moment, and has been for a few years. But they aren’t a silver bullet… Sure, a bunch of the big players use them.
A team has a shared understanding of the importance of keeping quality (in the broadest sense) high, and technical debt low. The team also has a shared understanding of how much it would cost to bring components they use up to scratch. Several of the components need extensive (re)work when used.
A famous Indian parable describes five blind men encountering an elephant for the first time. They each decide to touch the elephant to understand what the animal is like. The five men begin arguing vehemently, each convinced that he is right.
Today, I am publishing the Distributed Computing Manifesto, a canonical document from the early days of Amazon that transformed the architecture of Amazon’s ecommerce platform. It highlights the challenges we were facing at the end of the 20th century, and hints at where we were headed.
Designing systems at scale can be a daunting task at the best of times and when you add in the complexity of managing stakeholders, the whole process can get complicated fast.
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Have an amazing week!