Tech Manager Weekly by CTO Craft - Issue #148
We've had a load of interest in the new online CTO Craft Mentoring Circles - the first circle of 12 people is nearly full already, and the first monthly session is due to happen at the end of February. If you'd like to join a Circle and be a part of a tight and trusted network of other tech leaders, drop us a line.
If you've read Gene Kim's Phoenix Project and Unicorn Project (we're doing a #bookclub on the latter in Slack, hint hint), you'll be familiar with the fictional Parts Unlimited and the struggles it faces. CTO Craft coaches Jeffrey Fredrick and Douglas Squirrel are about to release their brilliant Agile Conversations book, and were asked by Erik Reid to offer their insight and talk through how the book's models can help - well worth checking out below!
Until next week!
Agile Conversations at Parts Unlimited
Authors Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick consult the fictitious company. Our first contact with Parts Unlimited came when Erik Reid emailed us and asked if we were available for a video chat the very next day with Parts Unlimited CEO Steve Masters.
Reads of the Week
Why You Need A Career Ladder
Happy New Year! In the blank slate of January, many of us are thinking about what’s next. Maybe you need a road map for the projects your team will tackle this year, or maybe you need a road map for yourself.
Andy says: "Read parts 1, 2 and 3 of this brilliant rundown of ladder creation"
Expert Panel: Workplace Engagement & Countering Employee Burnout
DOES19 London — This panel will explore the convergence of several academic research areas, specifically workplace burnout and engagement, creation of dynamic, learning organizations, integration with existing performance management programs, and how it can create high-performing technology organizations.
Culture & People
Sharing Context on Slack (or similar)
This is the fourth post in a series about asynchronous collaboration. By asynchronous, I mean that people on the team don’t always work at the exact same time. It’s common on distributed teams, especially across time zones. You can see all the posts so far on this series right here.
What does the Marshmallow Challenge teach us?
Many of us will have been faced with the said ‘Marshmallow Challenge’ exercise… Provided with 20 pieces of spaghetti, a piece of string, sellotape and one marshmallow, you are then told that you have a set amount of time to use these resources and build the tallest, free-standing structure y
It’s good to talk – Dealing with Stress as a Team
We might hear the murmurs of our team constantly talking about how stressed they are, but is this being taken seriously or has this exclamation become the norm in the workplace with some using the word stress as just synonymous to busy?
What to expect when your team grows from 10 to 20 people
I've been a guest on a few podcasts recently and one of the things that keeps coming up are the changes a company goes through when growing from 10 to 20 people — which is exactly what happened at Podia during 2019 (well, 9 to 19 people to be exact 😉 ).
Building High Performing Teams
Why is it that some teams excel and other teams fall on their face? Is it talent or luck? Is there a magic sauce we can sprinkle on a team to make it high performing? There is no magic. No key to turn or mantra to follow.
Leadership & Self-management
Coaching – Decisions
In the last article I discussed the importance of integrity, and how it is the basis for decision-making in an empowered product team. In this article, I’d like to focus on how I coach product managers in making good decisions.
Are you confused about accountability too?
Do you know what “accountability” means? Do you feel your definition is useful and shared by the people around you?
How the VP of Engineering at Glitch plans and prioritizes work for a 40 person software team without stifling creativity
As an engineering organization grows, one of the biggest challenges is managing and prioritizing the backlog. Planning is essential, as you need to agree on deadlines to align with internal and external stakeholders and to have a way to ensure that everyone is pulling in the right direction.
Do engineering managers need to be technical?
Some time ago, I sat at a table littered with business detritus in one of those small, “private” conference rooms whose windows attract the flickered glances of everyone outside it, listening as my manager gave me advice.
Accountability is what separates a software engineer from a programmer
Software engineering, unlike any other engineering discipline, requires no examinations to pass nor any licenses to obtain. Virtually anyone can learn the skills needed to become a software engineer, and that unique aspect of the industry is one of its most defining (and positive) characteristics.
Agile, Engineering & Product
The Golden Age of Agile Coaching – Shane Hastie
Agile Coaching is a relatively new discipline and there is a lot of misunderstanding about why coaching is useful, what skills and competencies an agile coach needs to have, how they engage with individuals, teams and organisations and how to tell good coaches from mediocre ones.
9 Critical Technical Steps To Take Before A Breach
As stated in the previous article, "5 Critical Steps To Take After Being Phished," it is acknowledged that, despite the efforts of the architects, engineers and defenders in the cybersecurity department within an organization, something will make it through.
From 15,000 database connections to under 100: DigitalOcean's tale of tech debt
I could not help but smile when I heard the question. Software engineers asking about a company’s tech debt is the equivalent of asking about a credit score. It’s their way of gauging a company’s questionable past and what baggage they’re carrying.
Sec in your DevOps: Adding the OWASP Dependency Check to your Jenkins pipeline
This blog post aims to help DevOps practitioners and security professionals to take a first step towards adding security testing to an existing CI/CD pipeline.
Coffee and its Effects on Feature Creep
Starting in mid-2004 and until the end of 2006, I worked at a small DNS and DHCP software company called Nominum.
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Have an amazing week!