Hi all, welcome to the week!
The first Mentoring Circle began its monthly calls last Thursday, where the group discussed topics such as operating remote teams, measurability, the CTO role and how it differed from VP of Engineering, and more. Looking forward to the next session in March!
We now have 9 of 12 slots filled in the second Circle - if you'd like to be a part of that, or future Circles, leave your details here and we'll be in touch: Mentoring Circles
Also this week, we're launching a series of Breakfast Round-table Events in London - you can see the first of them here:
Keep your eye out - we have more meetups and events coming shortly, and are looking for spaces and sponsors; reply to this email if you'd like to know more
Reads of the Week
Typically, I was a nerd from quite young. I got into computers as my dad was an electronics engineer, so we had computers around the house from since I can remember. I remember booting up DOS and Windows 3.
I believe that every person in an organisation is a member of two teams. These are your Primary and Secondary teams. I also believe that often when asked, if a human identifies both teams (I imagine most can) that they will incorrectly identify which their Primary and Secondary teams are.
Culture & People
I’ve been disappointed for a long time with the way in which companies organise software development teams. It was shocking for me to realise that managers were basically just making it up as they went along. Arbitrarily choosing team boundaries based on what appeared to be their gut instinct.
We have come to acknowledge in recent years that there is a strong relationship between the design of a software architecture and the shape of the organisation it is developed by.
Baking may not seem related to the work we do. However, my experience teaching a friend how to bake bread highlighted explicit and implicit knowledge. And that has everything thing to do with learning new ways of working and organizational change. We started with explicit knowledge: a recipe.
After many years of being a very vocal advocate for the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) technique, in the majority of companies I meet, I have stopped recommending the practice.
I suspect that when most people refer to critical thinking, and the need to improve critical thinking within schools, they are referring to the former definition of critical thinking as a general ability.
Leadership & Self-management
So this big gap exists. And that gap is where we (VPs of Software Development) live. To close the gap, you need to build a bridge. Speaking both languages is not enough to build the bridge. You also need to understand both cultures.
I recently sat down with Camille Fournier, the head of Platform Engineering at Two Sigma, to talk about what constitutes great technical leadership and how organizations can foster it. Here are some highlights from our chat.
Because they are a team, software teams are assigned a team leader. This post may have different names in every organization, but the main and common responsibility of this person in all organizations is product delivery. What varies is the scope defined for the responsibility of product delivery.
Part of a series about how to build strategy and technical leadership skills with the goal of deliberately cultivating a long-term career as an engineer. Earlier posts: Thriving on the Technical Leadership Path, Where to Start, and Technical Research and Preparation.
How often do you see your manager? How often are you their primary focus? As an employee, there’s a lot your manager doesn’t know about your day-to-day. Like anyone at your company, they’re busy with their own responsibilities, meetings, and tasks.
Leadership is an art; this is not only a statement that I genuinely believe to be true, but it is also the title of an excellent book written by Max Depree. In his book, Depree gives us the following description of the responsibilities of a leader:
Agile, Engineering & Product
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure” is a maxim fused deeply into the modern organizational DNA.
The sprint, yet another scrum event where you can find plenty of sprint anti-patterns to make your life as a scrum team harder than necessary. Learn how to identify and overcome them.
Key Takeaways There is a deep history of business improvement initiatives that predates the agile manifesto It was a part of a cultural movement that was moving more toward more humane workplaces that could deliver more value When you give people a good environment and good support to do their work,
I love fast software. That is, software speedy both in function and interface. Software with minimal to no lag between wanting to activate or manipulate something and the thing happening. Lightness. Software that’s speedy usually means it’s focused.
Gordon Moore’s 1965 forecast that the number of components on an integrated circuit would double every year until it reached an astonishing 65,000 by 1975 is the greatest technological prediction of the last half-century.
Paris needs to become a “15-minute city.” That’s the message from the manifesto of Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who is seeking re-election this March.
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Have an amazing week!