This week's Bytes panel will feature leaders from Cuvva, MOO and Rest Less, discussing the changes they needed to make and how they managed rebalancing their load among their teams without micro managing. Join the group on Friday to learn how they delegate effectively - the details are below.
The Mentoring Circles and Coaching sessions over the last few weeks have all featured some discussion of the difficulty of finding and securing great engineers, the need to tweak hiring processes to get people over the line quickly before they're lost. I think the market is especially difficult right now as we go through yet another period of big social and economic change - it's likely we'll be seeing the fallout until 2022, in terms of people movement and demand outstripping supply for the best talent.
In order to improve your chances of attracting the best people, you'll need a renewed focus on Employer Branding - if this is a new concept, or you'd like to improve your team's standing in the engineering community in general, I definitely recommend the free ebook Talent Chooses You by James Ellis. There's a link in the Reads of the Week section below - fill your boots!
Don't forget all our previous Bytes events and conference recordings are on the CTO Craft Youtube channel!
See you next week
Andy @ CTO Craft
CTO Craft Bytes
Our speakers will highlight the importance of having a high-level view, identifying individual strengths and learning how and when to say 'no'. They'll also discuss strategies to avoid micromanaging, frustration and disempowerment.
From the CTO Craft Blog
CTO at CircleCI, Rob Zuber joins us in the hot seat to share his journey from software building to people managing and everything in between.
Glyn Roberts, CTO of Digital Solutions at iTechArt shares his insights on how to hire and collaborate with agencies for successful delivery.
Reads of the Week
Andy says: "If you're in growth mode and need some resources around Employer Branding, you should absolutely grab James Ellis' brilliant, exhaustive guide to bringing talented people to you organically. It includes interviews with some people getting it very right - highly recommended"
Just over a decade ago, I published the table in figure 1 to describe how organisations were shifting from a traditional form to a set of next generation behaviours. Whilst the table was welcome in some quarters, it was generally met with derision and comments of “this is just for startups”.
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Culture & People
“Our team used to go fast when it was small. Now we have ten times as many people and less work gets done. What happened?!” Your workstream is controlled by people whose job it is to ship more features, and your software engineers think their job is to write code.
Many job descriptions focus on skills—usually technical skills. Interpersonal skills may get a passing mention—“strong communication skills,” “collaboration,” or “teamwork.” But when you are filling a team position, you have to think both more broadly, and at a finer level of detail.
One of the biggest concerns executives have about remote work is how it will impact their company’s culture in the long-term: they’re worried it will damage their “innovative, collaborative apprenticeship culture,” or suffer without the “energy that you get from being around other people.
Imagine your focus was a card tower and interruptions were knocking it down. If your productivity depended on having a card tower, wouldn’t you get frustrated? I heard this analogy from a friend of mine several years ago.
This article is about a method for teams to communicate and align with complex technical topics. It helps with collecting input, defining solutions, and setting expectations.
Leadership & Self-management
Storytelling is a powerful tool in your career. While you can deliver your story in a myriad channels, writing is and continues to be the most effective and powerful way to reach and build your audience.
In the deep heat of an 18th-century summer, a crew of pirates was sailing off the Virginia coast when a lookout spotted a merchant ship to the south. Springing into action, the pirates launched an attack, rocking the merchant ship with a cascade of musket balls and grenades.
Pick: Employee’s personal crisis or a client’s looming deadline? Not everyone’s journey to becoming a manager for the first time is the same, but the premise and challenges we face are.
Agile, Engineering & Product
Spotify famously developed an engineering culture that garnered a lot of attention; many product teams tried to emulate it, but few succeeded in adopting it.
How do I push back on requests from sales to build stuff to close deals? You need two things to push back on these requests. First, you need a compelling product strategy. By compelling, I mean that the whole organization can connect to it, and believe in it.
How to effectively manage your product backlog and incorporate new feature requests. More and more software development teams are switching from the traditional Waterfall approach to Agile project management.
Last time, I explained that, although estimating software project timelines is hard, you should do it anyway. With that background, I want to go into some detail and share the technique I use when I need to develop a project timeline.
Developers writing e2e tests can make code testable, provide fast feedback, and prevent bugs. Wix worked with their product managers, developers, and QA engineers to transition from QA-only testing, to having developers write e2e tests to shift QA left and deliver faster.
Key Takeaways Frameworks like Scrum@scale can help you navigate in agile transformation by providing a holistic structure that identifies pains and potential for improvements, but they will not provide an understanding of what causes the pains or how to remove them.
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Have an amazing week!