Tech Manager Weekly by CTO Craft - Issue #150
Howdy! Our 150th issue, hurrah! Thanks for all your support
Lots of chat at this end about our Mentoring Circles - the first one is at capacity now, but it looks like we'll have enough people to start another very shortly as well!
Allistair Crossley of Coconut had this to say about his Circle experience:
"Taking part in a Circle whilst also launching a FinTech business was especially useful to me as I was able to raise a bunch of real-time challenges and get the group's take every week, practice and report back the week after on results (CI with people!). By the end of the Circle I felt more confident, capable and equipped to discharge the role of CTO."
If you’d like to join the next 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
How to identify and address CTO smells — Self-management
Process, tick. People management, tick. So, what is there left to learn? Well, more about you and the way you manage. It’s easy to forget that leadership is as much about supervision of others as it is about supervising yourself.
2020 HackerRank Developer Skills Report
At HackerRank, we have over 7 million developers in our community. That’s over 25% of the world’s developers who are using HackerRank to level up their coding skills. We’re fortunate to play a part in expanding and growing the developer community during this time of rapid change.
On Drafting an Engineering Strategy
During the first weeks in a new role, one of the things I’ve most recently focused on is to assess the direction of the engineering department as a whole. Will Larson has written at length about the first ninety days in a senior engineering leadership role.
Culture & People
15 Tips for Managing Remote Teams From Zapier’s Vice President of Engineering
Distributed teams are the future of work, but how do they actually work? Here at FirstMark, we’re proud backers of a number of companies that subscribe to that future — like InVision, Upwork, and others that use remote work as a way to unlock and accelerate their growth and success.
Psychological Safety: How Pioneers Create Engaged Workforces
Imagine working in a team where it’s safe to take risks—in a team where mistakes are not held against you.
Beware The Problem Of A “Feel Good” Culture
We’re in the middle of a “make everyone feel good” culture where it’s important everyone walks away a winner. The idea that everyone gets a blue ribbon because they showed up produces a mindset that doesn’t understand how to cope with risk.
13 Reasons Why Great Employees Quit (and How to Keep a Good Employee from Quitting)
He was one of the longest-tenured members of the team and seemed content on the job. Little did I know he had a number of motivations for wanting to make a change that may have been avoidable. The competition for talent is always high, and especially now you can’t afford to lose a good employee.
How Microservices Architecture Impacted the Culture of Software Development
Microservices stumbled into the world of web development with a bang. The topic caused heated debates, endless posts, many comparisons to the monolithic architecture, and even use cases coming from big organizations.
Leadership & Self-management
A Manager’s Bill of Responsibilities (and Rights)
Over a year and a half ago, I wrote up a post about the rights and responsibilities due any engineer at Honeycomb. At the time we were in the middle of a growth spurt, had just hired several new engineers, and I was in the process of turning over day-to-day engineering management over to Emily.
Decisions, Debt, and other Dilemmas
Our world, as product managers, is filled with making decisions. And, making decisions means making trade-offs. Trade-offs so often means taking on tech debt, design debt and other types of debt. This can be a dilemma for companies, especially if it stacks up too much.
From Zero to CTO — Tamara Lohan is in the spotlight
Name: Tamara Lohan MBE Current position: CTO and co-founder Bio: I am an entrepreneur and technology strategist with a background in marketing.
6 Steps to Make Your Strategic Plan Really Strategic
Why is it that when a group of managers gets together for a strategic planning session they often emerge with a document that’s devoid of “strategy”, and often not even a plan? I have one such document in front of me as I write this.
Agile, Engineering & Product
How to adopt proactive roadmaps to build the best product
There are many inflection points along the journey of any new business. This post won’t offer you a cheat sheet for success or regale you with a particularly inspirational anecdote.
Hands-on Agile: Product Owner Anti-Patterns — 31 Ways to Improve as a PO
If you are working as a product owner, there is — very likely — room for improvement. I curated this list of the most common product owner anti-patterns to help you to improve your game.
Scaling to 100k Users
Many startups have been there - what feels like legions of new users are signing up for accounts every day and the engineering team is scrambling to keep things running. It’s a good a problem to have, but information on how to take a web app from 0 to hundreds of thousands of users can be scarce.
Thinking By Sprinting: What Cognitive Science Tells Us About Why Scrum Works
Want to listen instead of read? Listen to us read this blogpost in our podcast “The Liberators Network”. A while ago, I received an interesting scientific article from titled “Getting Things Done: The Science Behind Stress-Free Productivity” (Heylighen & Vidal, 2007).
Discovering millions of datasets on the web
Across the web, there are millions of datasets about nearly any subject that interests you. If you’re looking to buy a puppy, you could find datasets compiling complaints of puppy buyers or studies on puppy cognition.
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Have an amazing week!