🥪 Hard vs Soft Skills, Acquisitions, Climate Tech, Storytelling, Estimation, Watermelons: TMW #293 by CTO Craft
Hello there, welcome to the week!
We're still hard at work pulling together the agenda for November's CTO Craft Con - hyperbole acknowledged, this is looking likely to be the best conference we've run yet, with more speakers, longer sessions and a full day Unconference that you can submit lightning talks to. Early-bird tickets are still available, and if you'd like to send us an idea for a lightning talk, just drop a reply to this email.
Grab your early-bird ticket here - don't forget there's a discount for Community members, so take a look at Slack for a code.
Our CTO Craft Bytes event this Friday will feature Meri Williams, formerly CTO at MOO, Monzo, HealX, Marks & Spencer and many more - she'll be in conversation with Skiller Whale's Hywel Carver, where they'll weigh the importance of Soft and Hard Skills, similarities and how to address gaps in each, for you and your team. It's a must-watch!
Until we meet again
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
CTO Craft Bytes
Developing Hard Skills vs Soft Skills, Fri 30 Sep 2022 at 12:30 BST
How different are they, really? Meri Williams and Hywel Carver will evaluate the differences and similarities in how to approach developing people in hard tech skills vs. soft skills such as great pair programming and people management.
Reads of the Week
I inherited the worst code and tech team I have ever seen. How to fix it?
The short story is that somebody inherited a product + team which don’t use source control, tests, or any dependency management, and no code has ever been deleted. All the changes are done directly on production.
From our Sponsors
Investment in climate change technology spurs innovation – from iTechArt
As governments and businesses prioritise technology solutions and innovations that fight climate change, massive opportunity emerges for VCs and startups.
Meri Williams on How To Grow a Culture of Empowerment - from Skiller Whale
Our latest podcast episode in collaboration with Skiller Whale features Meri Williams, previous CTO of Monzo, MOO and Healx.
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
Setting your engineers up for success: how Skyscanner created greater clarity in our competencies and pathways to progression
For many companies, this time of year is often appraisal or performance review season. Feedback is really important as we each seek to learn, progress and improve generally.
Some thoughts on more effectively integrating tech start-up acquisitions
Both the business/product strategy and ways of working will change. What is the new business context? For example:
Better Software Engineering teams — Structures, roles, responsibilities and comparison with common approaches
Software engineering teams can be complicated, and finding a solid approach to structure them for success is not easy. Probably, because there is no single way of doing it.
Leadership & Self-management
How To Amp Up Your Leadership Connection. Can I Tell You A Story?
The audience relaxes, their posture eases, a few mouths open slightly as people get ready to listen to the story. I still recall the wonder of reading stories as a child and being read to.
Team Leadership in Action
In a recent post, I talked about the idea of how Engineering Managers (EMs) should act as leaders in their teams. They should intentionally work on the systems (or processes) that affect their teams to achieve better results for the team and their members.
Compassionate Leadership Explained
Servant Leaders lead with humility, empathy, and compassion. They build bridges between people and groups and inspire a work culture of engaged people. But what does it mean to be empathic and compassionate as a leader?
Agile, Engineering & Product
Developers Should Not Get Held Back by the Estimation Double Standard
Recently, I had some repairs done to my car. “There’s a noise coming from the rear wheels. The faster I go, the higher frequency of the sound. I think it’s on the left side.”
Software Development Has a Watermelon Problem
Software development suffers from watermelon reporting. Green status updates which optimistically say everything is good but hide the red middle. Telling projects what they want to hear is not what they need to hear.
Estimates are always wrong. What should you do instead?
Estimates are wrong. Estimates do not foretell the future. Instead, an estimate provides the best guess at foreseeing how long a body of work will take. I’ve seen estimates, which take an hour to project a quarter’s worth of work, turned into commitments.
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Have an amazing week!