Hi all, welcome to the week!
So, you may have noticed a slight change - we've shifted providers for TMW.. Many thanks to everyone who provided input on platforms and suitability; Revue is looking like a great new home
As always, please do forward this to anyone who'd benefit from reading how other CTOs and technology leaders solve issues in their organisations
Reads of the Week
By assigning people to multiple teams at once, organizations make efficient use of time and brainpower. They also do a better job of solving complex problems and sharing knowledge across groups.
Culture & People
If you winced at the word, “icebreaker,” I don’t blame you. Get-to-know-you questions and games tend to feel cheesy. We’ve all been victim to a terribly trite icebreaker with coworkers that made us roll our eyes. I know I have.
Virtually everywhere I’ve ever worked has always been desperate for good engineers. The bottleneck has never been “we don’t have enough money to hire as many engineers as we want”, the bottleneck is always on the supply-of-good-engineering-candidates side.
If you are a founder or manager, one of the highest-leverage activities you can conduct is hiring. And in our competitive market, it’s just not something you can afford to screw up. A common model for recruiting processes is the recruiting funnel.
Leadership & Self-Management
Like most industries, tech doesn’t have a standard for roles and titles, even in the area of engineering leadership. However, some patterns can be found replicated in most software companies.
It goes without saying that every business strives for continual improvement and efficiency gains. From upskilling members of staff to reducing waste and overheads, there are a number of different ways in which these two ideals can be achieved.
Being a manager involves giving people difficult feedback or making hard calls. The sooner you internalize that you own the outcomes of your team, the easier it becomes to have these conversations.
A year ago, all engineers at ShopBack reported directly to the CTO. We had no Engineering Managers (EM), no team leads, and in other words — no structure.
Agile, Engineering & Product
Like most people who’ve played it, I love Tetris. I still remember playing it for the first time on a friend’s Nintendo Game Boy. You may already have the theme song stuck in your head. Not only is Tetris one of the best games of all time, it’s also an excellent analogy for technical debt.
The complexities of microservices, as well as where things tend to go wrong, are today largely centered around integration points between services. This shift in risk profile prompted many to rethink their test strategies and the traditional testing pyramid.
How to fix problems before they happen? The idea behind premortem is to find problems before they occur.
Scott B. Weingart is an historian of science, a data scientist, and a librarian at Carnegie Mellon University. Find him on twitter @scott_bot. This article originally appeared on Weingart’s blog, the scottbot irregular.
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Have an amazing week!
Andy @ CTO Craft