Firstly, a massive, massive thanks to the hundreds of you who've completed our CTO Craft Member Survey - your input means we can continue honing our community activities, events and other resources over 2022 and beyond. The survey will stay open until the end of this week, so if you haven't taken part yet, please do take a look - it'll take no more than a few minutes, and all your data will be 100% anonymous and confidential:
This Friday, Emma Hopkinson-Spark will be sitting down with CTOs from The Software House and Pet Media Group to look at how they've instilled cultures of ownership and empowerment, and what benefits they've seen since doing so; there are certain to be some amazing insights, so please do come along if you're working on your engineering culture right now.
On with the links
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CTO Craft Bytes
The technology industry is known for developing legendary project management methodologies - but project ownership has long been an elusive animal. Lack of ownership can cause a toxic “It’s their fault” environment, and distributed ownership may ease the burden of responsibility, but is it effective?
Reads of the Week
Recently, the concept of “fluid teams”, “dynamic reteaming” or “ad-hoc teaming” has gained traction in the Agile community. Although the concept has many different definitions, a characteristic they share is that members move in and out of a team during its lifetime.
One of the most striking impacts of the pandemic has been a massive reshuffling of the workforce known as the Great Resignation. Tech, in particular, has among the highest resignation rates in any industry, with a 4.5% increase in departures in 2021 compared to 2020.
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Culture & People
This post originally appeared in my newsletter. Subscribe to receive it! Back in 2017, I wrote an article about desk moves, and the surprising emotions we might see from our coworkers when a desk move is announced.
If you want participation in a meeting with people who don’t spend a lot of time together, one thing that can help is getting everyone to say something at the start; here is a low-pressure way to do that. It can be hard to speak up in meetings.
Debt has been around for thousands of years. You borrow money. The lender charges interest until you pay the money back. It’s simple. More recently, the software development community coined a term for another kind of debt: technical debt.
In this hiring climate, you need to *differentiate* to attract candidates. Why should someone work at your company? Every company answers this question differently. Here are some valid strategies for hiring:
Leaders spend a great deal of time and effort addressing issues of under-performance on their team. But in most cases, the issue that should really be dealt with is that of Mis-Performance, not under-performance.
Leadership & Self-management
I have written a lot about the pendulum swing between engineering and management, so I often hear from people who are angsting about the transition. A quick recap of the relevant posts: There are two anxieties I hear people express above all the rest.
Author Jackie Insinger maintains that connection is one of the most powerful leadership tools. Used in the wrong way, though, it only serves to reinforce the walls people build around themselves. When I think about emotional contagion, I think about yawning.
When decisions are made unilaterally, it tends to lead to false progress. You’re unlikely to have buy-in and you miss out on any perspective that the broader group might have had. When decisions are made by consensus, decisions can take a long time, and may never resolve.
Last week I wrapped up two different cohorts of my Experienced Manager Program. In twelve hours of program time spread over multiple sessions, the ideas and insights flowed, and I left impressed with the passion so many have for their work leading and managing. Here are some of my favourite insights from the program
Agile, Engineering & Product
In recent times there’s been a bit a lot of activity in the visual collaboration space. Lots of new tools, techniques, canvases, and remixes have appeared, gaining a lot of momentum from the pandemic-driven move to remote working and digital tools like Miro.
This is part one of a two-part blog post on how software teams can effectively organize their projects. One of the most common weaknesses I see in engineering organizations is how projects are managed. Poor project management leads to slow delivery, which can lead to the company failing.
Zendesk handles approximately 250,000 requests per second at daily peak into our infrastructure, with over ½ of those requests needing to read or write to a database. At our core we’re a humble Ruby on Rails application that is partitioned and heavily sharded.
In earlier blog posts, we explored how we moved BBC online to the cloud. This was part of a wider initiative called WebCore, which used a range of serverless technologies to reimagine the BBC website.
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