So, another decade comes to an end, and a spangly fresh one is just around the corner. What are your biggest learnings from the last 12 months, and what are your goals for 2020?
It would be great to start including your quotes and thoughts in future issues of TMW - if you're open to that, and have something you'd like to say, or a question you'd like to ask, send it our way by replying to this, and we'll get it included in the next issue.
We’re just in the process of planning 2020 at CTO Craft and would love to speak to you about 1:1 Coaching, an Online Mentoring Circle similar to the ones we run in London, and Online Workshops. If you’d like to know more about any of these, drop me a reply to this email.
Very best wishes to you and yours!
Reads of the Week
GitPrime elevates engineering leadership with objective data. In this interview series, engineering leaders talk about how to build high performing teams. Today it’s understood that all startups go through a metamorphosis as they become larger companies.
Following on from Thriving on the Technical Leadership Path, this post suggests some things I have learned and want to share with others interested in supporting or cultivating a long-term career as an engineer, specifically those working on strategy and technical leadership.
Culture & People
During my time as a software engineer, I always hated meetings, there's nothing more boring than going to a meeting for which it was not really necessary for me to be there, contributing nothing and just nodding along.
ealing with someone who isn’t performing at the level they should be is frustrating. It’s stressful. And honestly, it can be scary when it escalates to the point of needing to let someone go. It’s been the hardest part of my job, bar none.
As I noted in previous post, I left my role to join a new team. Before I left, a big part of my time was spent interviewing the potential candidates to replace me.
Multiple offices. Often teams are organized to be based in one office. Benefits: Employ people in multiple locations (e.g. outside of the bay area).
Lately, I’ve been reading quite a lot of reports on the state and the future of remote work.
Companies work very differently when it’s 5 people, 50 people and 500 people. In tech, rapid growth is far more common than in any other area right now.
Leadership & Self-management
Documentation is one of those topics that elicits a groan whenever it’s mentioned. We all know we need to do it, we all know we should do it, and we will get around it — after we’ve finished this task, or tomorrow, probably. Documentation is the thing that we will do eventually.
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.
The term Target Operating Model (or TOM) has been used a lot in many of the organisations that I have worked for all around the world, from London, to Mexico City, to Moscow, to Sydney, to Johannesburg, to Singapore, to Shanghai, and all the way away in Sao Paulo too.
This time of year is associated with giving gifts to others. But I think it is also a good time to think about the gifts we can give ourselves. One that we can all afford is the gift of reflection time. I have a friend, Jen, who is a pure driver personality.
Agile, Engineering & Product
During an incident at Digg, a coworker once quipped, “We serve funny cat pictures, who cares if we’re down for a little while?” If that’s your attitude towards reliability, then you probably don’t need to formalize handling incidents, but if you believe what you’re doing matters – and
How to measure quality is a popular question. The answer I want to give is easy to say, but not so popular: “Stop! Quality can’t be measured, but it can be discussed and assessed. Focus on that instead.”
Estimating in software is traditionally difficult, inaccurate most of the time, with project teams spending a significant amount of time on the process. There are a number of contributing factors to this.
When I joined Unmade, our Engineering Team had already adopted a number of practices associated with agile software development, for example continuous deployment, daily stand ups and regular retrospectives. However these were being carried out in isolation from other disciplines in the company and so, although many were useful practices, they were not having nearly as much impact as they could have had.
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