Hello from a grey and misty Belfast!
How would you rate your team's alignment with the rest of the organisation? Are they aware of what the bigger picture looks like, and how their work really pushes the needle? We'll be chatting with Ross Finkelstein, Director of Delivery at Wattpad this week, and asking him how he uses metrics and data not just to keep track of productivity, but also how he ensures that his team's efforts are aligned to the rest of the business. Scroll down for some more info about the event
That's it from me - on with the content!
Andy @ CTO Craft
Grab a front-row seat to the most in-depth discussions of what it means to be a senior leader in a technology organisation, how to build a solid foundation with other C-level leaders, how to ensure alignment between engineering and other functions and how to keep you and your team’s skills sharp. November 14 - 16 2022
C-Who? Field Chief Technology Officer and CTO Craft Con Winter 2022 keynote, Robin Sutara discusses the evolving roles of C-Suites in Technology.
Reads of the Week
The State of AI Report analyses the most interesting developments in AI. We aim to trigger an informed conversation about the state of AI and its implication for the future. The Report is produced by AI investors Nathan Benaich and Ian Hogarth.
We’ve written before about how to be a senior leader. But at the most senior levels, where you actually run a department, there are additional factors that you need to consider in order to be successful.
CTO Craft Bytes
It doesn't matter how quickly your team is moving if it's not working on the right things. Wattpad's engineering organization leverages data to ensure alignment with the rest of the business, using objective information to create a shared understanding within and between teams. With the right data, it's possible to communicate more effectively with key stakeholders, advocate for necessary resources, pinpoint opportunities for improvement, and ensure that engineering priorities map back to business goals.
From our Sponsors
Register for a live webinar, where Capgemini and Unity will discuss their partnership to build immersive experiences in the metaverse.
Culture & People
It’s time to answer another question that got voted up (in Slido.com) by other attendees after my talk at the Prodacity Conference. This is quite the question! Many large books could be written on this topic. My initial thought was, “I don’t think you can”.
Here’s a question that comes up a lot. It goes something like: “I’ve only worked 10 months at this job, and it’s terrible."
I’m oversimplifying here, but you can think of a PIP as explicit documentation about what a person needs to do differently within a specific timeframe, both to make sure there’s clarity and a shared understanding between them and the manager/company. If the employee is ultimately fired, a PIP also creates a paper trail, should the employee bring a lawsuit about their termination.
Throughout my engineering career, I've been part of hundreds of interviews ranging from software engineers to engineering managers and directors. One feedback that I often see from interviewers that I try to push folks away from is: "this candidate is a culture fit" or "this candidate is not a culture fit". Let me explain why.
Leadership & Self-management
The past few years have been tough and chaotic for many working people. Assumptions, habits, and ways of working have changed, and as we look forward, many of us realize that building personal resilience will be key. One of the crucial elements of personal resilience is friendship.
On the phone with a prospective coaching client recently, I could tell the CEO in front of me wanted to “get it all out”. Unfortunately, it is the norm.
Most of the senior leaders in any sizable company jump around slots of 30 min to few-hour meetings on a good day. That can range from meeting with customers, team reviews, re-occurring tactical meetings, 1:1s, or tech architecture.
Agile, Engineering & Product
As teams grow, they start to slow down. Using KPIs such as those explained in the book Accelerate or the SPACE model can help managers to measure, explain and optimise the pace of delivery in their teams.
The problem with talking about code quality is that “quality” is subjective. The term implies something to measure or compare against, and that measure is often missing from the conversation. There are also two types of quality: functional and non-functional.
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.
Recently I was talking to friend about getting new people up and running in software teams. He mentioned some problems a few new starters had had with an unfamiliar library they’d chosen in one project.
About our Sponsors
Thanks as always to the amazing sponsors helping CTO Craft bring you resources like this newsletter, our events, community and more:
AWS, Albany Partners, Code Climate, Google Cloud, iTechArt, Jellyfish, LinearB, Lohika, 101 Ways, O’Reilly, PGS Software, Pentalog, Skiller Whale, Steamhaus, Swarmia, YLD
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Have an amazing week!