Hello there, welcome to the week!
This Friday we welcome back the amazing Emily Webber, agile consultant and former Head of Agile Delivery at the Government Digital Service in the UK. She'll be walking us through her Team Onion methodology for team and process structuring - you don't want to miss it.
Don't forget, if you're in a senior technology leadership role we'd love to have you in the CTO Craft Slack community. We're over 4,000 people strong now and growing every day - it's a safe space to meet others in similar roles, get your questions answered quickly and learn from some of the best leaders in the world. It's also the best place to learn about our events, coaching, Circles and much more. If you or someone you know might be interested in joining, head over to the Community page and leave us your details - remember, we don't allow recruiters, sales or business development, marketing professionals or founders looking to hire CTOs to join the community.
That's it! Until next week
Andy @ CTO Craft
Why understanding the Total Cost of Ownership of digital products is strategic and essential for sound business decision-making for CTOs.
CTO Craft Bytes
CTO Craft will be joined by Agile delivery and organisation consultant, trainer, coach, author, blogger and knitter, Emily Webber!
Emily will be sharing with us more about Team Onion. The Team Onion is a model to keep teams small, break down silos and create shared responsibility across team boundaries.
Reads of the Week
Our whole life is full of moments that have impacted us, and some of them serve as inspiration for the actions we take day after day in our daily lives and also at work.
Everywhere we look, work place research and leaders seem to be talking about how much employee development is valued by workers, and especially Millennials.
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Culture & People
From Jacob's CTO Craft MiniCon keynote:
It’s not uncommon for even entry-level positions to see a six-figure offer. It’s pretty hard to hire a mid-career engineer, someone with 3-5 years of experience, for under $200,000. And we’re even seeing seven-figure offers like the one that my friend got. That’s still certainly an outlier, but not as much as they used to be.
I used to co-lead workshops for engineering leaders, and in one portion, we would ask attendees, “What are the stories you make up that prevent you from asking for help?” The stories were abundant, with some extremely common, and some quite creative..
Today, I’d like to talk about a practice I introduced to the people I managed just a few weeks after joining Shipup. I didn’t know it would turn out to be something so useful.
The “traditional” coding interview is structured such that a candidate gets a programming question, like “write a function to move all zeros in an array to the left” or “write a function to do level order traversal of a binary tree”.
Leadership & Self-management
Today I'll share some of the software engineering "soft skills" I've learned from my first 10 years on Google Chrome, where I am a Senior Staff Engineering Manager. On my 10th anniversary, I wanted to reflect on some of lessons that have stayed with me.
There's an illusion many people have around splitting time across projects. I see it all the time, and I often fall for it myself. Here's a simple example: There are two projects, both deemed important by the business, and both need a UI developer. Unfortunately, only one UI developer is available.
First start-up. We’re between Layoff #2 and Layoff #3. There’s a new VP of Engineering running the show and while he’s been hired with the guidance to “turn the ship around,” the tech economy is a wreck and his first official act is throwing passengers overboard so we don’t sink.
Written before about employee turnover (and ideally reducing it), and now we’re going to add a new wrinkle to this whole deal: the Hawthorne Effect. What’s that, you ask? Good question.
The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay-Stanier is a book that aims to simplify day-to-day coaching, especially for managers. A core part of coaching is asking good questions. In the book, Michael shares a number of actions we can take to improve the quality of our coaching questions.
Agile, Engineering & Product
In Part 1, I said that product roadmaps are not like car roadmaps. But even car roadmaps showed places of interest—options—for the driver and passengers.
Do you struggle with an overwhelming backlog? Do you count the number of product backlog items in your backlog in tens? hundred? or thousands?
In interacting with companies that don’t sell digital products—but who are investing heavily in digital capabilities—I’ve noticed a pattern. Someone said you need a business rationale. So someone adds numbers.
If you’d like to be considered for the free CTO Craft Community, fill in your details here, and we’ll be in touch!
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Have an amazing week!