You may have noticed the lack of a TMW last week - after a very lucky two years, I finally caught COVID, and it's not been a pleasant run. My thoughts to anyone who's been or is currently going through it - it's not pleasant at all.
There's no Bytes event this week, but we have some great Spotlight interviews with two of the CTO Craft MiniCon speakers below, who go into some depth on interviewing and culture fit - definitely worth adding to your reading list!
Don't forget you can catch up on all our Bytes and conference recordings on the CTO Craft Youtube channel:
Until next time, have a great week!
Andy @ CTO Craft
Jessica Zwaan discusses hiring for culture fit in a customer-driven engineering team and the concept of your company culture as a product.
You have one main job as an engineering leader regarding hiring: facilitating chemistry. So, how do you facilitate genuine chemistry when hiring?
Reads of the Week
We have invisible waste in all of our software shops. It’s not so much that the waste cannot be seen, but rather that it is habitually overlooked. When we’re in the midst of a time-consuming, low-value task we tend to just “gut it through” and move on.
Today, I’d like to cover the weekly life of a project manager. When I’m managing a project, these are the things I do every week: Putting these things together will often require meetings or conversations.
About our Sponsors
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Culture & People
You've been hearing a lot about the despair of the hospitality sector to get new hires, but the lack of talents to recruit is now widespread. Only a few months ago Revelio Lab was publishing statistics on how the last two years of pandemic affected the banking and tech sector.
If you keep an eye on German automotive companies, you will see a pattern. Their software is a huge mess and they have trouble finding and keeping developers, which leads to a high turnover rate, that amplifies existing issues.
Like many engineers, I’ve had a career full of horrible interviewing experiences, both as a candidate and an interviewer. As a candidate, I’ve been told to write a distributed system implemented using mutexes on a whiteboard.
During 1-on-1 meetings, I’ve often had a direct report who says “I have nothing to share” or “nothing from my side this week.
Leadership & Self-management
In my time observing managers, one observation seems to repeat again and again: good managers write well, and bad managers write poorly. In fact, the best managers I’ve ever seen were not just good writers, they were terrific.
Let’s move on to another question that I get asked frequently. This is a broad question, and every single person is different. However, this question is interesting because it can be used to begin some valuable self-inquiry.
One of my coaching clients, a Head of Engineering at his company, has been dealing with a small “re-org”. While supporting him, I again realized how organizational change is difficult but also how leaders are often concerned that it will rattle their people and affect their motivation.
Too often, managers support training for everyone except themselves. However, since managers create and refine the culture, management training has an exceptional return for the time you invest.
Agile, Engineering & Product
One of my favourite uses for the GPT-3 AI language model is generating explanations of how code works. It’s shockingly effective at this: its training set clearly include a vast amount of source code. Here are a few recent examples.
My typical reaction ranges from astonishment to bewilderment. Considering the number of times I have heard this type of statement, my level of surprise should diminish. But instead, my shock persists. After all, Agile methods are a strategy to reduce risk.
At Intercom we focus on customer experience above all – our service’s availability and performance is our top priority. That requires a strong culture of observability across our teams and systems. As a result, we invest a lot in the reliability of our application.
I'd like to clarify the relationship between two important concepts: a team's Definition of Done and the Conditions of Satisfaction for a user story. Let's start by reviewing each of these concepts.
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Have an amazing week!