6 min read

State of AI, Data for Alignment, Scaling, Short Tenures, PIPs, Work Friends, Boring Codebases: TMW #299 by CTO Craft

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

CTO Craft Con Winter 2022 - A Conference for CTOs, by CTOs

CTO Craft Con Winter 2022 - A Conference for CTOs, by CTOs

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 teams skills sharp. November 14 - 16 2022

Spotlight Q&A with Field Chief Technology Officer, Databricks, Robin Sutara

Spotlight Q&A with Field Chief Technology Officer, Databricks, Robin Sutara

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

State of AI Report 2021

State of AI Report 2021

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.

How to Run a Department

How to Run a Department

Weve 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

Using data to increase engineering's alignment, Thu 20 Oct 2022 at 4:00pm BST

Using data to increase engineering's alignment, Thu 20 Oct 2022 at 4:00pm BST

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

How Capgemini and Unity Build Immersive and Metaverse Experiences

How Capgemini and Unity Build Immersive and Metaverse Experiences

Register for a live webinar, where Capgemini and Unity will discuss their partnership to build immersive experiences in the metaverse.

Culture & People

How to Scale with no Alignment on Value or Culture

How to Scale with no Alignment on Value or Culture

Its 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 dont think you can.

When Is Short Tenure a Red Flag?

When Is Short Tenure a Red Flag?

Heres a question that comes up a lot. It goes something like: Ive only worked 10 months at this job, and its terrible."

Should I create a Performance Improvement Plan for my direct report?

Should I create a Performance Improvement Plan for my direct report?

Im 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 theres 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.

Avoiding the Culture Trap

Avoiding the Culture Trap

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

Why You Should Make Friends at Work

Why You Should Make Friends at Work

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.

How to get your leadership team to actually be a team.

How to get your leadership team to actually be a team.

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.

4 Techniques for Managing Your Time and Cognitive Load as a Senior Leader

4 Techniques for Managing Your Time and Cognitive Load as a Senior Leader

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

Why is Everything so Slow? - Measuring and Optimising How Engineering Teams Deliver

Why is Everything so Slow? - Measuring and Optimising How Engineering Teams Deliver

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.

Code Quality is What You Value

Code Quality is What You Value

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.

Building a resilient system: Our journey to observability at Intercom

Building a resilient system: Our journey to observability at Intercom

At Intercom we focus on customer experience above all our services 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.

How boring should your team's codebases be?

How boring should your team's codebases be?

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 theyd 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, OReilly, PGS Software, Pentalog, Skiller Whale, Steamhaus, Swarmia, YLD

Thats it!

If youd like to be considered for the free CTO Craft Community, fill in your details here, and well be in touch!

https://ctocraft.com/community

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Have an amazing week!

Andy