We had the first of two London CTO Craft Xmas drinks last night - the second will be next Monday the 16th from 6.30pm near Old Street.
Our friend Hywel Carver of Skiller Whale has a very small request:
"I'm trying to learn about how different companies (especially larger enterprises) approach technical training for their teams, and would love to talk to as many tech leaders as possible. If you're able to help, you can schedule a 15-minute call with me here: https://calendly.com/chatwithhywel/skiller-whale-chat?month=2019-12 or take 5 minutes to fill out this survey instead. https://skillerwhale.typeform.com/to/rybXaw Thank you!"
On with the show..
Reads of the Week
Rigid detailed long-term plans, where progress is tracked based on consumed budgets, are in agile organizations quickly becoming a fading nostalgic memory of the past. They are replaced by forecasts and non-static roadmaps.
Everything I Have Learned about Making Engineering Performance Reviews Efficient, Effective, and Fun
When I ran our first performance review cycle for about a dozen engineers a little over a year ago, I had never participated in an official performance review myself, either as a manager or a report.
Medi Gwosdz is a Content Writer at Stack Overflow Talent. Based in the London offices she writes all kinds of blog articles and guides to help developers advance their careers – and to help companies find developers.
Culture & People
People don’t need to be empowered, as I explained in a previous article. They are already powerful. What people need is the autonomy and authority to make decisions. Our brains are wired to self-direct. We don’t want to be told what to do because we want to be in control.
Are you ready to start to managing remote employees? You may be excited to take on your first remote team members– maybe an existing employee is going remote or you were hired to manage a fully distributed team– but are you familiar with the challenges that come with it?
For some reason, the notion of individual performance reviews comes up a lot. My general feeling is that we should dump them entirely. I’m actually in good company. Almost a third of U.S. companies are dropping individual reviews, including stodgy places like General Electric.
I recorded an episode of my boss Matt’s podcast with him, it was really fun and we covered some interesting topics! They also write up a nice piece to go with it, which you can read here.
Leadership & Self-management
“The best leaders master multiple leadership styles”, blithely comments some post on leadership. OK, including one written by me. But how? Many leaders are overly reliant on a style and this can hold them back.
Jason Warner is the CTO of GitHub, the world’s leading open-source platform with 40M users. He is responsible for GitHub’s product, engineering, support, and security departments. Prior to GitHub, Jason was VP of Engineering at Heroku, one of the largest cloud computing providers in the world.
Recruiting experienced software engineering managers is a massive challenge. This just gets worse when your company is in a phase of fast-paced growth. You need to rely on both external and internal talent sources.
People say they want highly accountable employees and workplace cultures, but what does that really mean and why do we strive for it?
Agile, Engineering & Product
Lean thinking has been based predominantly on the Toyota Production System (TPS) and The Toyota Way.
Coding Standards are often thought of as style guides, however coding standards should be more than merely a style guide. Beyond just style, I believe standards should encompass everything that is used to improve code quality and reliability.
Here’s the thing. After getting over some of the personal gibes (smug optimism? literally no one has ever accused me of being an optimist, kind sir), you may be expecting me to issue a vigorous rebuttal. But I shan’t. Because we are actually in violent agreement, almost entirely.
Quite often, we will talk to new clients about what “learning from incidents” means to them. The descriptions we get in response tend to be important signals for us as we work through whatever project we’re engaged with.
The daily stand-up is the ceremony with the highest anti-pattern density among all scrum ceremonies. Learn more about the stand-up anti-patterns that threaten to derail your agile transition. Typically, a good scrum team needs about five to ten minutes for a stand-up.
The statistics are staggering: For young men aged 15 to 24, suicide is the second-leading cause of death in the United States. That means men commit suicide at a rate that’s 3.5 times higher than women. The rate is even higher among male Veterans and the LGBTQ community.
If you’d like to be considered for the CTO Craft Community, fill in your details here, and we’ll be in touch!
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Have an amazing week!