Tech Manager Weekly by CTO Craft - Issue #179
We've got another CTO Mentoring Circle coming together at the moment - it's almost 60% filled already, so if you're interested in joining, or would just like to learn more, get in touch on this page:
CTO Craft Bytes are back! We have two amazing events this week, one round-table discussion and one panel event on the subject of finance and budgeting for senior tech leaders. They're both free, so join us if you can!
📅 CTO Craft Online Group Discussion - Secrets of Cross-functional teams - Thu, 10 September 2020 at 15:00 BST
📅 CTO Craft Bytes - What your CFO expects from you - Fri, 11 September 2020 at 12:00 BST
Thanks as always to our Headline Partner, Amazon Web Services - if you’re interested in partnering, drop us a line!
Until next time
Andy @ CTO Craft
Reads of the Week
From Zero to CTO - Meet Julie-Laure Mikulskis - from CTO Craft
"People thrive in companies that provide ongoing training and clear professional development paths. This helps employees feel valued and intrinsic to the success of the company. To them, it’s an investment of their worth and an incentive to stay."
YLD's Head of Technology, Julie-Laure Mikulskis talks to CTO Craft about her journey into the industry and path to becoming a successful tech leader.
From our Partners
Enable the internet of (industry-leading) things - from AWS
Leverage Frost & Sullivan's insights about the AWS IoT suite in relation to the broader platform to discern between IoT vendors as they stack up across Growth and Innovation indices, strengthen your IoT environment with a comprehensive platform and ecosystem built for security, innovation, and scale.
Culture & People
Forming the unicorn
What’s the best way to level managers up that are reporting to you? It’s by understanding their output and working with them to improve it through a continual virtuous cycle. I’ve referred to this many times in the past, because it’s the equivalent of e=mc² for managers.
Without psychological safety there is no learning and there is no agility
I was working with a client team recently encouraging them to build a regular, weekly cadence of customer interviews to inform the release of their brand new B2C communications tool. The team was enthusiastic.
Building the perfect tech team
Think you want to build a team? Great! Before getting into the details, start with The Big Three questions: Where's your product headed? Have you validated the problem? Do you really need more people to achieve this?
Tech Workers’ Guide To Distraction Free Work
I’ve read dozens of books on productivity. Many have great ideas but are bloated with filler. More than once I’ve said, This book would be an excellent pamphlet! This series of blog posts distills the best ideas about distraction free work into bite-sized chunks.
51 Questions to Ask in One on Ones with a Manager
What questions do you ask in one on ones with your managers? It’s critical you make the most of your time meeting with them.
Leadership & Self-management
Deep Listening — The Conversation Factory
I’m so excited to share this conversation with Oscar Trimboli, author of Deep Listening, a lovely book/card deck. We talk about the costs of not listening, the opportunities that are created when we listen and why hearing what's unsaid can transform your work and life.
Aim For What’s Reasonable: Leadership Lessons From Director Jean Renoir
Directing a film involves getting an enormous group of people to work together on turning the image inside your head into a reality. In this 1970 interview, director Jean Renoir dispenses time-tested wisdom for leaders everywhere on humility, accountability, goal-setting, and more.
Book Recommendations By Engineering Leaders
I’m stunned to have met several people in my career who proudly say, “I have never read a [technical/leadership] book.” I certainly acknowledge information is readily available via blogs, newsletters (like Level Up 😉) , podcasts, videos and more.
The Official, Authorized List Of Legitimate Reasons For Deciding to Become a Manager
It’s a question that gets asked a lot, in job interviews, 1x1s, and plain old casual conversation. I ask this question a lot, and I am often frustrated (or bored) by the answers I hear back. People are rarely inclined to divulge the range and depth of their reasons for going into management.
Leading senior engineers: lessons learned
As an engineering manager I’ve been fortunate to manage some extraordinary senior engineers: folks I personally looked up to prior to managing, recruiting, and hiring. (I’m not naming names in this post, but you can check my LinkedIn for ideas.
Agile, Engineering & Product
Prioritising a Product Backlog When Everything is Important
The product backlog is an essential product management tool: It captures detailed product decisions and directs the work of the development team. The latter requires it to be prioritised or ordered.
Why Past Attempts of Software Metrics Have Failed Us
TLDR; Software engineering is a black box. It's incredibly complex and nuanced. The industry makes attempts to stack rank and measure via simplified metrics. This is the wrong approach and hurts engineering culture. Software is complex, previous attempts don't take that into account.
Security Budgets - Supply and Demand Thinking
How you obtain and manage a budget to drive an adequate level of security is immensely important. Yet, it is one of the least discussed aspects of security. It is not often mentioned at conferences, in courses, or even in many of the “CISO guides” and risk management books out there.
Basic Prioritization Questions (and When to Converge on a Solution)
Here’s a common puzzle in product development. How much solutioning should you do before starting an effort?
Tech Company Cloud Spending
Andy says: "Ever wonder what some of the biggest technology businesses in the world spend on their cloud infrastructure...?"
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Have an amazing week!