Hello, hello, hello!
Bytes are back! After a summer break, Bytes will be back every week - this Friday's will look at why the common approach to filling skills gaps by hiring from outside isn't necessarily the best one. Pop in if you're struggling to hire, or have specific skills needs you're not finding elsewhere.
This week, we welcome The Software House as our latest CTO Craft Partners. The Software House creates custom software solutions that are based on a scalable approach to business and provide long-term success. We're really excited to have them on board - thanks to all at TSH for all your support. You can check them out here: https://tsh.io/
Next week we have a huge announcement, so please keep your eyes peeled!
Until next time - have a great week!
Andy @ CTO Craft
CTO Craft Bytes
This fireside chat with the founder of Skiller Whale will discuss the pitfalls of using ‘experience’ as a proxy for skills when hiring developers and how tech leaders can effectively change the skill profile of their existing team.
Hywel will share his own experience, and discuss how decoupling 'experience' from 'skills' can change your perspective when it comes to hiring, improving velocity or DORA metrics.
Reads of the Week
First-time founder, Tom Watson shares the benefits of learning on the job, using autonomy to motivate your teams and the hidden powers of World of Warcraft.
While legacy organizations have to overcome years of inertia to implement a new approach to planning, startups and smaller teams often have the opposite issue—they’ve never done strategic planning before, either as individuals or teams. So it’s not surprising that:
From our Partners
Engage with Twitter VP of Engineering Maria Gutierrez and more stellar speakers on September 30th in special interactive sessions.
A huge, huge thanks to our partners for supporting CTO Craft in 2021 - you’re all amazing!
AWS, O'Reilly, Karat, CircleCI, Indiespring, Skiller Whale, iTechArt, LinearB, PGS Software, 101 Ways, The Software House, Albany Partners, The Scale Factory
🥝 🥝 If you’re interested in reaching thousands of senior technology leaders and decision makers, drop a reply to this email to see our Partnership Opportunities! 🥝 🥝
Culture & People
We hear this phrase constantly: “I worked at breaking down silos.” “We need to break down silos.” “What did I do in my last role? I broke down silos.” It sets my fucking teeth on edge.
There’s a fairly well known concept in Lean Manufacturing called Just In Time Inventory Management. Put simply you want to produce your goods on demand rather than maintaining high levels of inventory. In order to accomplish this you must identify the waste in your production efforts.
As Jason Lemkin writes, “Once they tell you they have another offer … they’re already out the door.” But that doesn’t mean you can’t save the people still on your team, even if you think they might be interviewing.
Most of what we blame others for in the workplace is our fault. We become upset because we allow the words of others, irrational or not, to dictate our feelings and performance more than they should. Working hard and being flexible and competent should be enough, but it isn’t.
Leadership & Self-management
Inspired by Barry Overeem’s 8 Stances of a Scrum Master, I have been talking about (and will again at the upcoming Agile Kanban Istanbul and UnlimitedAgility conferences) the eight stances of a transformational leader.
It’s no secret. Passion is a required trait for any leader. But on its own, passion isn’t enough. Passion is certainly required to build a team, to implement change, and to drive towards a better future. But it will only get you out of the starting blocks.
I’m burnt out. Or, I was. I was recently unemployed - fortunately, by choice - and I was struggling to get out of bed by 10am, struggling to work out, struggling to only have one glass of wine, struggling to fall asleep.
Sarah Milstein is the VP of Engineering at ConvertKit, previously the Senior Director of Engineering at MailChimp, where she led and coached product teams towards success.
I once volunteered at a nonprofit. The person who scammed it, before it shut down, was the hardest worker there. It was an upstart computer recycling outfit.
Agile, Engineering & Product
One of those questions which comes up again and again. And it came up last week when I visited a clients offices – yes I actually visited a client! The answer to this question is, as often happens: It depends. So let me give you my thinking.
Retrospectives Explained by Esther Derby, co-author of Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great. Effective retrospectives are at the heart of team improvement. They’re the critical feedback loop for the team to examine methods, engineering practices, teamwork, and organizational relationship
Data is crucial for our products. Data analytics help us provide a frictionless experience to the people that use our services. It also enables our engineers, product managers, data analysts, and data scientists to make informed decisions.
Product managers often complain that prioritization is one of the most challenging aspects of the job: there is always so much to do and so little time.
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Have an amazing week!