We have an amazing last-minute addition to 2021's series of CTO Craft Bytes this week, where we'll be joined by Ryan Singer, author of the hugely influential Shape Up model. If you've come across Shape Up and have considered it for your teams, join us for a deep dive into how it can be implemented, the differences you can expect and how Ryan distilled his massive experience into his model and book. It's going to be great - don't worry if you can't attend live, it'll be recorded as per all the other Bytes events and available on both Crowdcast and Youtube shortly afterwards.
As the CTO Craft Slack community continues to grow, we thought we'd share a few of the channels that have been particularly active over 2021. The most-used channel is #ask-for-help - anything goes there, and in the last week alone we've seen brilliant discussions around the recent AWS outages, sweat equity, processes and patterns for developer onboarding, ITIL reviews, route-planning APIs, training for organisational change and standing desk setups. It's great to see so many community members willing to offer advice, connections and moral support so openly - that's why CTO Craft exists, and we're so proud it's such a powerful resource.
If you're not a member yet, drop me a line - it's free to join, and there are over 3,500 CTOs and tech leaders there already.
Until next time - have a great week!
Andy @ CTO Craft
CTO Craft Bytes
Join Ryan Singer of Basecamp, and author of Shape Up, a fresh approach to projects, planning, shipping and dealing with the unknown.
Reads of the Week
We know that teams with high levels of trust experience a range of benefits, including 74% less stress, 50% higher productivity, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, and 40% less burnout. When trust is absent, therefore, the team suffers.
That’s the size things start to go sideways on a startup engineering team, according to Derek Parham, former Deputy CTO for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
About our Partners
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Culture & People
It’s time for an embarrassing admission: I’m something of a hypocrite about coding work sample tests. I strongly advocate for their use in hiring engineers, and yet I get salty when asked to code myself!
Most engineering organizations focus on delivering projects. They should focus on milestones instead. Managing projects is hard. Companies contort themselves to do it well. Instead of playing chess, switch to checkers. Milestones are an easier game, and you get better results.
Let’s face it- startup cultures are exciting and bold. It’s a culture where everyone is engaged, motivated, and all in! Ready to roll up sleeves & do what it takes; the risk is high, the rewards are inviting- it’s a game people want to play.
What are hiring approaches that help with hiring and growing a more diverse engineering team? Such an important question, and one that more hiring managers should ask. Gender, race, educational background and other forms of diversity are important.
Leadership & Self-management
The energy leaders waste on worrying can be one of the greatest obstacles to their overall effectiveness. The world has certainly given leaders plenty to worry about these days.
Around 30 minutes ago I got this message from a new Twitter content creator I’ve started working with. I’ve been impressed with his approach and enthusiasm and he seemed to be honest in answering all of my questions.
Daniel Terhorst-North is a lean and agile methods expert and Principal at Dan North & Associates and believes in designing systems versus directing people. In this episode, Daniel dives into designing an effective workplace which he believes is the key to an optimal work environment.
The stigma, “Just read the docs”, is a very common response to questions in software development. What I think is really being said is, “Please show your work.” In high school, when I was taking calculus, my teachers taught me to show my work.
Most organizations, no matter how much they have advanced on the self-managing spectrum, do have some form of structure which is defined by the decision-making authority distribution of various players. If this structure is a hierarchy, then “managing up” is defined as cultivating a trusting relationship upwards towards your supervisor(s) in the hierarchy.
Agile, Engineering & Product
Welcome to the Howie guide to post‑incident investigations! The guide you’re about to read will provide you with an explanation of how to get the most out of your incidents.
As software design evolves, so do the thought processes behind the design decisions we make as engineers.
There are many things a company can get wrong and survive, but building the wrong stuff isn’t one of them. Every company has their own process for deciding what to build and how to coordinate across the organization to build it.
There are plenty of failure possibilities with Scrum. Given that Scrum is a framework with a reasonable yet short “manual,” this effect should not surprise anyone.
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Have an amazing week!