Hi all - hope the week has begun well!
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Reads of the Week
Interning at Uber is simultaneously challenging and exciting. Uber moves millions of people around the world every day and as an intern, you work on the bleeding edge tech that powers the intersection of the digital and the physical worlds. It’s an incredible learning experience.
Jessica Powell, the former Google vice president who wrote The Big Disruption and told you how to quit your job, is here to answer your common but tricky work questions.
Culture & People
It’s silly to describe communication styles as being on a one-dimensional range, so let’s do that. Any group of people will natively operate in some part of this range.
As a company scales, it’s inevitable that individuals will grow farther removed from other people, projects, and initiatives in the organization. Saminda Wijegunawardena, VP of Engineering at Box, calls this increasing distance “abstraction.
Chapter 1 The purpose of one-on-ones and why great managers have them. Chapter 2 Best practices on how to set up your one-on-ones for success.
Cultivating organisational culture is much like gardening: you can’t force things, but you can set the right conditions for growth. Often, the most effective strategy is to clearly communicate the overall vision and goals, lead the people, and manage the systems and organisational structure.
Many first-time founders make decisions “behind closed doors” — or, in other words, entirely on their own, without team input. When my co-founder, Dennis, and I first built Dairy Free Games, that’s exactly how we operated.
Leadership & Self-management
The OKR approach to setting goals has been used at Google, Linkedin, Zynga, General Assembly and beyond and is spreading like wildfire across successful Silicon Valley companies. The companies have adopted the approach are growing like weeds. OKRs provide focus, united the teams behind a single strategy, and makes all goals into stretch goals.
In growing our Netflix Compute Platform team, I interview management candidates with a focus on understanding how they will likely manage the team.
I’ve added Eva and Alex as approvers, and I won’t continue working on this unless they think it’s a good idea. I’ve also added a few other engineers whose opinions I respect a lot. If they don’t have time to review, that’s OK. I won’t block on it.
Elliot-McCrea: Today we're going to talk about a couple of things. We're going to talk about who I am, why we're talking about managing up at a technology conference, the basics of managing up, some advanced techniques, some things that don't work. My name is Kellan Elliot-McCrea.
Agile, Engineering & Product
Agile is helping to change the future of work. Over the past few years Agile ways of working have spread over a wide range of disciplines and organizations. This happy trend brings with it some key challenges that we as an Agile community need to confront.
Software is a way to solve problems, it’s not the only way, and building it in increments often doesn’t tell us whether there might be bigger fish to fry. Sometimes there’s a larger pie to be had, if only someone had thought to ask better questions.
For the most part, the debate about whether to write tests is over: Testing is a must for real-world products. After all, it provides assurance that you’re building stable software for yourself to work with later, or for the next engineer to pick up.
We have come to acknowledge in recent years that there is a strong relationship between the design of a software architecture and the shape of the organisation it is developed by.
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