In a change from your usual programming, I’m Will Stockdale and I’m one of the co-founders of Kommon, a SaaS company which offers tools and advice to help people become better managers. I’m a big fan of the CTO Craft community and the team’s work. When Andy asked if me and our CTO Gareth James would like to guest edit an issue of TMW based on what we’re seeing at Kommon, he didn’t have to ask twice.
Over the past 18 months, most organisations have had to define a whole new way of working. And when we say "organisations", we really mean "managers". We’re often the ones closest to our teams with the most opportunity to influence their lived experience at work. Is that an empowering and exciting challenge? Absolutely. Do we get enough help with it? Definitely not. It’s why resources like CTO Craft (and the upcoming CTO Craft Con) are so important for everyone from first-time managers to the CTO, and what we’re also focussed on helping with at Kommon. If you’d like to hear more of our thoughts, yes we do have a newsletter too, and please reach out (on the CTO Craft Slack or elsewhere) with any questions on what we’re building.
Will @ Kommon
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Culture & People
Will says: "Adam and Jeremy’s platform for engineering teams to collaborate is a great success story out of Newfoundland, Canada. Their four steps for building company culture are practical and effective."
Will says: "The past 18 months has left some teams exhausted. You can tell things aren’t right when wins aren’t celebrated with the usual enthusiasm or losses interrogated with the typical concern. HBR has some tips for breaking out of a slump."
Will says: "Even if you’re not thinking about a 4 day workweek, Atlassian’s recent post is a great example of how to run and measure any workplace experiment. If you are looking at 4 day weeks, well you’ll get all the more out of it."
Will says: "The move towards salary transparency is gathering steam, and it’s interesting to see GitLab, Coda and others make their tools public. Even if you’re not prepared to go that far, you’re likely to have to answer more questions about it from prospective hires."
Leadership & Self-management
Will says: "Anne Helen Petersen, Johnathan Nightingale and Melissa Nightingale are three of the sharpest thinkers on what it means to be a modern manager. Unsurprisingly, them sitting down together to chat is packed with insights."
Will says: "If you’re sitting on the fence about being someone’s mentor, or want to encourage more mentoring within your organisation, Jo Franchetti’s latest gives you four great reasons to get started."
Will says: "Whilst there’s lots of advice out there about 1:1 meetings, most of it assumes you’re already having them. There’s not much out there for first-time managers running one for the first time. Well, until now."
Will says: "As managers, to a certain degree we should be sick of our own voices. It typically takes a lot of repetition to get certain ideas across. Seven times to be precise, as Tomasz Tunguz explains."
Agile, Engineering & Product
Will says: "An idea lots of us could get on board with. Jacob Singh argues why it’s crucial for agility and provides a framework for building it into your processes."
Will says: "Platform and product engineering teams face different challenges, have different priorities and different customers."
Will says: "A short parable from Alberto Savoia on that most philosophical of topics: unit test coverage."
Will says: "MSFT alum and A16z partner Steven Sinofsky collects his tweet thread on how Apple’s chips got to where they are today."
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