Tech Manager Weekly by CTO Craft - Issue #149
The first of our online CTO Craft Mentoring Circles is filling up quickly - the first monthly session is due to happen at the end of February. Jon Topper of The Scale Factory had this to say about his Circle experience:
"The Mentoring Circle was extremely valuable - it was useful to be able to talk openly about our challenges, gain insights and new perspectives from other attendees, and to learn new tools and techniques useful to the CTO role."
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.
We're running some more Tech Lead Dinners events with Hywel Carver of Skiller Whale in Feb and March - have a look at our Events page to learn more.
Until next week!
Reads of the Week
The hard truth about performance — a guide for CTOs | CTO Craft
Poor performance in the workplace isn’t as simple as lazy employees, it can also indicate problems with management at both mid and senior levels, particularly with the way a team or an organisation as a whole is being led.
The Neuroscience of Trust
Leaders know that low employee engagement is a sign of lost value—it’s clearly something they want to fix. But most of them don’t know how, so they provide random perks, hoping those will move the needle. It’s much more effective to create a culture of trust.
Culture & People
How to identify and address CTO smells: People Management | CTO Craft
Not every leader starts out as a great leader, and if your ascent was more accident rather than design in the beginning then it’s possible to take bad behaviours with you or pick up new ones without the right guidance and development.
Distributed teams and asynchronous work
Inspired by Ethan Marcotte’s excellent talk on power and justice in tech, I’ve been reading a lot of Ursula Franklin recently.
How to source tech talent on Stack Overflow
There will likely always be a talent shortage in tech, especially since only 15.2% of developers were actively looking for a new job in 2019. But that doesn’t mean happily employed tech professionals aren’t willing to talk about new opportunities. In fact, almost three-fourths are.
The tools and tricks that let Ars Technica function without a physical office
We're running a new series on Ars over the next few weeks about “the future of work,” which will involve (among other things) some predictions about how folks in and out of offices will do their future officing.
Leadership & Self-management
On Accountability in Software Development
All businesses want accountability. It is part of making anything work. If you need to achieve results, you need to deliver something, and it would be great to know when it’s going to happen. Accountability is still a hard word for software teams though.
CTO Talk: Q&A with Sinch’s Jonas Lindeborg
Jonas Lindeborg is the CTO of Sinch, which provides a cloud communications platform to enable businesses to send mobile messages, voice and videos in seconds. Founded in 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden, Sinch has grown from a six-man team to a 500-strong company.
3 Reasons Why Great Engineers Don’t Become Managers
While working on engineering projects, I was often frustrated by the fact that many great engineers didn’t want to become leads or engineering managers. This stuck me as a bit odd since they have great people skills and are well regarded by their peers.
On being “technical” as an engineering manager
In a recent article on Increment, Will Larson asks: “Do engineering managers need to be technical?” It’s a strange question because, as Larson points out, the answer seems an obvious “yes,” yet it’s surprising how often, and how surreptitiously, this question comes up.
5 Insights You'll Gain From Executive Coaching
The famous mountain climber, Phil Powers, said it best during an interview on NPR’s "This I Believe” segment: “Concentrating on how I move through the world is important. It’s why I reach mountain summits and life goals with energy to spare.”
Agile, Engineering & Product
Scrum: 19 Sprint Planning Anti-Patterns
Scrum’s sprint planning is a simple ceremony. Invest upfront during the product backlog refinement, and you will keep it productive. Avoiding the following 19 sprint planning anti-patterns will help, too.
Practical Simplification in Agile
We humans like to simplify complicated things. Simple things are easier to understand than complicated ones. Simple problems are easier to solve than complicated ones. Simple goals are easier to achieve than complicated ones. It’s understandable. It’s practical. It’s useful.
Thinking Agile: Core Beliefs
If you are going to do TPS you must do it all the way. You also need to change the way you think. You need to change how you look at things. In an earlier post, I argued that Agile = Culture; later, I delved more deeply into theories of culture.
Writing Software to Last 50 Years
You know what's crazy? grep was released 45 years ago. 45 years. To put that into perspective, I Googled (or rather, used DuckDuckGo) “headlines 1974”, and apparently people were talking about, among other things, Richard Nixon's resignation, Patty Hearst's kidnapping, and Frank Sinatra's performance at Madison Square Garden.
Monoliths vs Microservices is Missing the Point—Start with Team Cognitive Load - Team Topologies
DOES19 London — The “monoliths vs microservices” debate often focuses on technological aspects, ignoring strategy and team dynamics. Instead of technology, smart-thinking organizations are beginning with team cognitive load as the guiding principle for modern software. In this talk, we explain
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Have an amazing week!