Hi all - hope the week has begun well!
We’re currently planning CTO Craft Christmas drinks in London UK - if you'd like to come along, here's a Doodle poll we're using to coordinate. Venue TBC, but it'll be somewhere central:
Hope to see you there!
As always, if you find something you think should be in the next TMW, drop me a reply to this email
Reads of the Week
Mentoring is one of the best ways to help junior developers grow their skills. As a mid-level or senior developer, it's up to you to decide what kind of mentor you want to be. The most important thing to keep in mind as a mentor is that it's not about you.
As technical leaders and managers, our job is to make the right decision most of the time. Hiring, firing, technology choices, software architecture, and project prioritization are examples of high impact decisions that we need to make right if our teams are to be successful. This is hard.
Culture & People
When learning something new, people naturally look to challenge themselves but the task should be too easy or too difficult, lest they get bored or give up. Despite a long history of research, it is unclear why particular difficulty levels might be best for learning.
For the last several months some coworkers and I have been running an engineering management book club at work. It’s awesome.
I've been digging into GitHub data recently, and I thought it would be fun to use that data to figure out exactly where the world's software developers live and then to visualize the results interactively using D3.
These are not linked to ironically, they are all great reading. But they are linked to melancholically — all this great writing, but I think everyone would agree we don’t have enough good (let alone great) managers in software development.
Leadership & Self-management
Over the past months, SVPG has published several articles on coaching product managers. Many of these have focused on how to cultivate the right PM mindset: things like customer-centricity, true collaboration, and thinking like an owner rather than an employee, to name just a few.
How can we be aligned and autonomous at the same time? The short answer is: a shared map of enabling constraints on different abstraction levels. This post describes the more concrete answer. Purpose, north star, vision, mission, driver, BHAG, objective, epic, etc.
Whether you’re a seasoned CIO embarking on a fresh challenge or a recently promoted executive in a new role, it’s important to get your first few months as a CIO right. Achieving success at the beginning of your leadership journey is challenging, but essential.
I’ve found a visual aid that is profoundly changing the way teams work. It’s working so well that I feel compelled to write a book about it. But that’s going to take time and I want you to have it today.
Agile, Engineering & Product
Are we still on the right track? Answering this question in a collaborative effort of the scrum team as well as internal (and external) stakeholders is the purpose of the sprint review. Given its importance, it is worthwhile to tackle the most common sprint review anti-patterns.
A little while ago, I asked a lot of designers what product managers did that annoyed them the most. For the sake of fairness, I also asked PMs the same question about designers. I thought maybe I’d get a few responses and write up a quick blog post about some of the worst offenders.
Lyft’s mission is to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation and it’ll be a slow slog to get there with dispatchers manually matching riders with drivers.
I hear more voices saying there is little point in doing time-based estimations on how long building software will take, and thus we should just stop doing it.
Bees quickly master an insect version of football — with a sweet reward at the end — just by watching another bee handle the ball, suggesting that the tiny pollinators are capable of sophisticated learning, says a study in Science1.
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