✂️ Data-Driven Hiring, On-Call, Remote Work, Coach & Fixer, Introverts, Sour Estimates, AWS Security: TMW #295 by CTO Craft
Hello there! Welcome to October!
Just a short intro this time, as we have a packed issue waiting for you below. We've released some more details about the Unconference day at CTO Craft Con in November, so if you're interested in getting involved and running a lightning talk or round table discussion, take a look and drop us a line. Early-bird tickets for the conference are still available, so jump in and secure your spot.
Also below you'll see all the amazing Bytes events we have lined up for October so far - if you're not able to catch any of these, don't fear, you can catch up on the CTO Craft Youtube channel afterwards.
That's it! On with the show
Andy @ CTO Craft
CTO Craft Con Winter 2022 - A Conference for CTOs, by CTOs
Grab a front-row seat to the most in-depth discussions of what it means to be a senior leader in a technology organisation, how to build a solid foundation with other C-level leaders, how to ensure alignment between engineering and other functions and how to keep you and your team’s skills sharp. November 14 - 16 2022
What is the Unconference and What’s in it for You?
We’re hosting our first Unconference on 16th November as part of CTO Craft Con Winter 2022 and you’re invited. Here’s our guide to the Unconference to fully prepare you.
CTO Craft Bytes in October
CTO Fundamentals - The Ideal CTO , Fri 7 Oct 2022 at 12:30
What makes a CTO more successful than others? Is it down to skill or is there a universal mindset agnostic to the development stage of the organisation? Or guiding maturity models? Are there any bulletproof principles that work for every company?
CTO Craft Bytes with Albany Partners, Fri 14 Oct 2022 at 12:30
This CTO Craft Bytes session is organised in partnership with London-based CTO placement specialists Albany Partners. Keep an eye out for speaker and topic updates!
Using Data to Increase Engineering's Alignment, Thu 20 Oct 2022 at 16:00
It doesn't matter how quickly your team is moving if it's not working on the right things. Wattpad's engineering organization leverages data to ensure alignment with the rest of the business, using objective information to create a shared understanding within and between teams.
From our Sponsors
Request Engineering Leadership Insights - from Code Climate
Understand your engineering org's health with a custom insights report from Code Climate. Communicate targets, identify areas of improvement, stay ahead of competition, and deliver more business value.
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, Steamhaus, Swarmia, YLD
Culture & People
Building a data-driven hiring machine
Attracting talent at scale is more than just data. But a data-driven process makes it a lot easier. Learnings in setting up a hiring machine for scaling an (engineering) organisation.
On-Call Engineering Best Practices [+ Pros & Cons]
Your application runs 24/7—but your team doesn’t? What happens when a major user experience (UX) flaw is identified, preventing highly engaged users from converting through your product? Or, worse yet, a hacker breaches into your system and there’s no IT person around to see it?
The Incentives to Get Workers Back to the Office Aren’t Working. Here’s What Would.
Few people are as knee-deep in our work-related anxieties and sticky office politics as Alison Green, who has been fielding workplace questions for a decade now on her website Ask a Manager.
When Remote Work Didn’t
A staggering number of bits have been spent here (and elsewhere) extolling the virtues of remote work. No doubt it’s been a boon for some workers and companies but the hyperbole surrounding its benefits and its casting as a near-universal good stunts an important conversation.
Leadership & Self-management
What Product Is The Head of Engineering Responsible for Building?
I had just joined a new team and asked my new teammates about our architecture. What were we building? What was I supposed to build?
The Coach and the Fixer
For this piece, I am going to simplify management a bit. Let us assume there are three different hats you wear as a manager. They are: the Leader, the Fixer, and the Coach. I will briefly each role and then explain how I’ve screwed up each.
Being an Introverted Leader
I was doing some reflections about my career with my coach recently. And I had a new insight: I should stop calling and introducing myself as a Resistant Leader. I am already comfortable in the position and have data to prove my results. After that, I sometimes call and introduce myself as an Introverted Leader. Which is very different. It required a lot of effort to beat imposter syndrome.
My 2-step rule for having hard conversations at work
"Communication can be an especially difficult skill that takes a long time to hone, but it's one of the most important skills you need to succeed in the workplace," Capossela, 53, tells CNBC Make It, adding that when it comes to stressful topics, "communication can often go badly."
The case for spreading technical leadership in engineering teams
There are so many ways to think about organizing engineering leadership on teams, and a lot of the terms for technical leadership get overloaded. Do you have “tech leads”? Do you have a “lead dev”? Where does “seniority” fit into leadership? Surely you need a “staff engineer”?
Agile, Engineering & Product
The Biggest Reason Software Estimates Turn Sour
Have you ever given an estimate for a software project, only to have it turned on you with accusations of being late? How does this happen?
Resiliency in Distributed Systems
Understanding the ins and outs of distributed systems is important for both backend engineers and for anyone working with large-scale systems. Large-scale systems can mean systems with high load and high queries per second (QPS), storing a large amount of data, or ones built with low latency and high reliability. These systems are pretty common across both Big Tech and high-growth startups.
Don’t Confuse a Task Board with a Kanban Board! What’s The Difference?
Here’s a common mistake: a Kanban board is not just a board with columns and cards. Instead, it is a powerful tool for increasing your team’s efficiency.
So, let’s uncover the key to transforming your task board into a Kanban board. To start this off, we will explain each board’s meaning and purpose.
There is no “software supply chain”
In actual supply chains, money is changing hands. A server manufacturer is paying for PCB fabrication, who is paying their suppliers for raw materials and equipment, and so on until the whole thing eventually loops back on itself when a mining company needs to buy a server.
26 AWS Security Best Practices to Adopt in Production
One of the most important pillars of a well-architected framework is security. Thus, it is important to follow these AWS security best practices to prevent unnecessary security situations. So, you’ve got a problem to solve and turned to AWS to build and host your solution.
If you’d like to be considered for the free CTO Craft Community, fill in your details here, and we’ll be in touch!
Please do remember to share this link if you know of anyone who’d like to receive TMW:
Have an amazing week!