6 min read

Tech Manager Weekly by CTO Craft - Issue #152

Hey there!

We're kicking off the first online Mentoring Circle for tech leaders this week, with CTOs and leaders from some of Europe's brightest businesses; it's shaping up to be a really incredible session.

The second Circle is coming together quickly as well, but we do have spaces available, so reach out if you'd like to discuss joining!

We also have plans to run a Mentoring Circle specific to the Americas, and have a healthy list of candidates already. If you're in North, Central or South America, drop us a line ASAP and we'll get you lined up! 🌎

Plans are coming together for some new CTO Craft meetups and breakfast events in a month or so; watch this space!

'Till next week!

Andy Skipper

Reads of the Week

From Zero to CTO: Katie Womersley is in the spotlight | CTO Craft

From Zero to CTO: Katie Womersley is in the spotlight | CTO Craft

Buffer VP of Engineering Katie Womersley tells CTO Craft about her experiences as a new technology leader, the skills she had to develop, what works for her now and where she's headed over the next five years

Agile Leadership in Practice

Agile Leadership in Practice

Jeremy Renwick covers the practicalities across a range of topics including: Changing learnt behaviours and mental models, Empowerment, Delegation and trust, Feedback, and Organizational design.

Culture & People

How do I make the developers go faster?

How do I make the developers go faster?

Ah, it’s a question I face with lots of startups and founders. It’s a bizarre question because in itself it sounds reasonable. We need to keep up with our competitors and need people to move fast. Unfortunately, it’s the wrong question to ask unless you actually do want them to move faster.

Talented Programmers, Who Are They?

Talented Programmers, Who Are They?

I’m not talking about those who are famous, well-paid, or the authors of big and popular products. They are not necessarily talented, even though their results are outstanding. Talent is something some of us have as God’s gift. Very few of us… otherwise it would not be called a talent.

Levels of Seniority

Levels of Seniority

The seniority of a developer cannot just be decided by their age, years of experience or technical knowledge that they have got. There are other factors in play here -- their perception of work, how they interact with their peers and how they approach problems. We discuss these three key factors in detail for each of the seniority levels below.

The 1-on-1 Disclosure Framework

The 1-on-1 Disclosure Framework

At work, people talk to me. Sometimes they tell me things they would prefer I did not share with others.

Exploring the skills problem – From a tech lead’s perspective

When we talk about a skills shortage in the software development industry, everyone nods their heads. This is a good and a bad thing. Good, because at least it is a generally acknowledged problem. Bad, because the thought is so pervasive that we simply accept it as both true and inevitable.

Leadership & Self-management

A Framework for Making Smarter Decisions and Fewer Errors

A Framework for Making Smarter Decisions and Fewer Errors

Few things will change your trajectory in life as effectively as learning to make better decisions. The decision-making principles in this article aren’t pulled out of thin air. They’re the result of many years of experience and experimentation.

What to Expect In Your First One on One Meeting with an Employee

What to Expect In Your First One on One Meeting with an Employee

Are you having one on ones? Many of the top leaders in business swear by the value of regular one on one meetings. Ben Horowitz considers one on ones so important he was willing to fire a senior leader who wasn’t having regular one on ones with their direct reports.

Developing a Toolkit for Strategic Foresight

Developing a Toolkit for Strategic Foresight

Why some companies see disruption coming from a mile away, and respond accordingly. A fundamental challenge facing business is to formulate robust strategy that adapts to threats or opportunities from innovation. Strategy requires the foresight to identify and respond to ripples on the horizon.

Winning Leaders Build Relationships First – 7 Relationship Building Questions to Get You Started

Winning Leaders Build Relationships First – 7 Relationship Building Questions to Get You Started

Milwaukee Bucks’ head coach, Mike Budenholzer, believes winning leaders build relationships first. So that’s what he did when he began coaching the Bucks in 2019.  Is he right? To find out, let’s take a look at what’s happened since.

How To Be Coached

How To Be Coached

Any coach worth their salt will arrange a free ‘chemistry session’ before entering into any agreement to coach you. This is really, really important — trust is a fundamental requirement of any coaching relationship, and if you don’t feel at ease with your coach, it will be so much harder for both of you to build the necessary rapport for the coaching to be effective.

Agile, Engineering & Product

Technical Documentation and Developer Onboarding

Technical Documentation and Developer Onboarding

Writing technical documentation is something most developers hate to do. They want to write code and solve problems. People think documentation is annoying to write, rarely up to date and never read. What is considered good in the documentation world, we’re going to cover the following:

14 Sprint Review Anti-Patterns Holding Back Scrum Teams

14 Sprint Review Anti-Patterns Holding Back Scrum Teams

Are we still on the right track? Answering this question in a collaborative effort of the scrum team as well as internal (and external) stakeholders is the purpose of the sprint review. Given its importance, it is worthwhile to tackle the most common sprint review anti-patterns.

Successful Scrum Master with Liberating Structures

Successful Scrum Master with Liberating Structures

During the 19th Hands-on Agile meetup, 30-plus people addressed the path to becoming a successful Scrum Master or agile coach, following up on the “Scrum Master Career 2020 — Using Ecocycle Planning to Identify Opportunities” meetup we had in December 2019.

The Danger of Excessively Clean Code

The Danger of Excessively Clean Code

I’d like to show you a bug you may have in your own applications somewhere. Grab any Laravel app you have lying around and open a console. We’ll do this mainly with Tinker and it will work better if you have a database connection, but just a simple User model is sufficient.

A Practitioner's Guide to Natural Language Processing (Part I)

A Practitioner's Guide to Natural Language Processing (Part I)

Unstructured data, especially text, images and videos contain a wealth of information.

What Else?

Bees learn football from their buddies

Bees quickly master an insect version of football — with a sweet reward at the end — just by watching another bee handle the ball, suggesting that the tiny pollinators are capable of sophisticated learning, says a study in Science1.

That’s it!

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https://ctocraft.typeform.com/to/XXRNqV

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Have an amazing week!

Andy