Hello again! 😀
One of last week's Mentoring Circles conversations focused on the perception of the engineering function within the organisation, building trust and transparency, and the pattern many of us have experienced of engineering being seen to exist in a separate culture from the rest of the organisation. We discussed ways of avoiding the appearance of opacity, storytelling, aligning on business and technology values and missions, and showing vulnerability.
Given that it looks like we'll all be working at least partly remotely for some time yet, getting all of this right without sharing physical space with non-engineering teams makes it all the harder,
If you've experience any of these symptoms, drop us a line, we'd love to hear from you - how did you remove some of the layers between tech and non-tech, and how did you build trust with non-engineers?
There are still spaces in the next Canada / US Mentoring Circle, which will start in June - drop us a reply if you'd like to chat about it!
This week's CTO Craft Bytes will be a fireside with the amazing Vicky Wills, CTO at Zego, an insure-tech startup in the UK which is currently scaling very rapidly. Vicky will be discussing how to onboard new hires effectively, so if you have any questions or experiences to share, drop in! The link is below
Until next time
Andy @ CTO Craft
CTO Craft Bytes
Vicky Wills, CTO of insure-tech startup Zego, shares her own experience and discusses common challenges, including avoiding overwhelm, managing team dynamics and handling role expectations in a fast-moving environment.
Reads of the Week
Why the next 6–12 months will be the best time in a decade for startups to hire. Whether it’s moving to a new geography for a fresh start (for some, maybe just an Adventure Year) or leaving a safe but stagnant career, the “I’m starting a new company/open to a new gig” inbounds are up since Jan 1...
Most people have way too many meetings at work. This sucks. And it's frustrating. Brain research now confirms what we have all experienced: back-to-back meetings are stupid. Back when everyone worked in offices, we knew meetings sucked.
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Culture & People
Everything you need to know about the concept of Community of Practices and how to engage collaborations in multiple Agile teams across the organization.
In one of my first roles as a Scrum Master, I worked at a web agency whose clients wanted us to build complex web applications. We used a classic project management approach. Acquisition of new clients was the primary responsibility of the sales department.
I earlier described how MMLOs can now scale themselves to massive size using IT tools that allow for hyperconnectivity, and by institutionalizing relational models based on the principles of communal sharing, market pricing or equality matching.
When people talk about “managing up”, sometimes it’s framed as a bad thing – massaging the ego of people in charge so that they treat you well. In my experience, managing up is usually a lot more practical.
Leadership & Self-management
#1. If you’re persistently exhausted, you’re doing too many things. Reflections for exhausted leaders: What needs to be true for you to rest? What time will you stop working today? What frivolous activities distract you from meaningful work? Who might help?
Over the last few years, companies put a lot of effort and money into developing their engineering management teams: one-on-ones, yearly goal setting, feedback, coaching, and whatnot.
The shift to remote work has taken its toll on us all, but middle managers have faced particular challenges over the last year.
There are many adjectives we could use to describe the business landscape of the last decade, some heavily overused—but one word we’d never use is “certain".
At Skyscanner, we take the career aspirations of our teams seriously, which is why we have spent a ton of time building our two distinct engineering paths; individual contributor (IC) or manager.
Agile, Engineering & Product
The challenge of software testing is immensely underestimated and invariably unappreciated. Even with seemingly basic applications—like a common mobile app—there’s a staggering amount of testing approaches you could take, paths and conditions you could exercise, device configurations you could test against, and so on.
This week we have big news: the first-ever annual State of Kanban report is finally here, and it’s available below! We are very excited to announce that in collaboration with Kanban University and Digite, we have compiled the first State of Kanban survey results.
It’s well-established that estimating software projects is hard. One study by HBR found that one in six IT projects had cost overruns of over 200% and were late by almost 70%. Another study by McKinsey found that IT projects are on average 45% over budget and 7% over schedule.
Over the course of nearly ten years working in technology, mostly as a coach or product person, I’ve run hundreds of retros and through trial & error, I’ve landed on a simple 4 part formula that I share with you today.
What’s the alternative to complex branching and pull requests? Trunk-only development drives practices such as testing, incremental development, and branching by abstraction. It also improves communication within the team.
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Have an amazing week!