7 min read

📡 DORA Problems, Post-Mortems, Skip-Levels, Alignment, Awkward 1:1s, Defensiveness: TMW #340

Hello there, welcome to the week!

Those of you who have taken part in the Alpha Launch of CTO Craft Campus will have seen the small-but-growing library of CTO Stories, where we ask leaders to record two 1 - 3 minute videos of themselves telling stories about lessons they've learned and mistakes they've made. The plan is to continue to grow the library indefinitely, so we're looking for more people to contribute their stories.. Would you be interested in getting involved?

If you'd like to submit your Stories, leave us some details here, and we'll get back to you: https://ctocraft.typeform.com/campus-stories

Planning for the November edition of CTO Craft Con in London continues at speed - we're now in the process of creating the line-up for the event, which will be titled Culture & the CTO. The CfP is still open, as well, so if you have an idea for a talk, please do submit it here: CTO Craft Con Call for Papers.

Tickets aren't on sale yet, but you can register to be among the first to hear when they do on the conference website:

That's it - on with the links! See you next week

Andy @ CTO Craft

CTO Craft Bytes

CTO Craft Bytes: “But I don’t feel elite,” and other DORA problems
This CTO Craft Bytes event is organised in partnership with Uplevel.

Reads of the Week

Adaptive, Socio-Technical Systems with Architecture for Flow: Wardley Maps, DDD, and Team Topologies
Designing for adaptability sounds easier than done. How do you design and build systems that can evolve and thrive in the face of constant change? This article provides a high-level introduction to combining Wardley Mapping, Domain-Driven Design (DDD), and Team Topologies to design and build adaptiv…

From our Sponsors

Uplevel Survey Report: Are CTOs and Devs aligned?

According to a recent Uplevel survey of 350+ software developers, there’s a significant disconnect between engineering leaders and their teams.

Read more

Thanks as always to all the amazing sponsors helping CTO Craft bring you resources like this newsletter, our events, community and more:

AWS, Albany Partners, Code Climate, Google Cloud, Vention, Jellyfish, LinearB, 101 Ways, O’Reilly, Pentalog, Skiller Whale, Swarmia, Uplevel, YLD

Leadership, Strategy & Business

How to Run a Post-Mortem Meeting: Easy 6-Step Process
Discover the quickest, easiest and most effective way to run a post-mortem with your team. Plus tips, templates, and coaching questions.
4 Rules for Leading Dev Teams in Tough Economic Times - DZone
There are real, positive things you can do when business isn’t business-as-usual. Here are 4 from the best engineers in the industry.
One Pragmatic Thought: How to Assess the Value of Skip-Level Meetings - Johanna Rothman, Management Consultant
Tim, a C-Level leader, loves his skip-level meetings. He feels the meetings offer him a chance to connect with people he doesn’t normally see. They get to talk about whatever the other person wants. Sharon, a different C-Level leader, never conducts skip-level meetings. She feels that those meetings…
There is no number one tip - The Engineering Manager
What’s the one tip I’d recommend to a new manager? Well, it’s complicated. Let’s have a look at a model for learning new skills.
Gelling your Engineering leadership team.
One of the first leadership books I read was Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, which introduces the concept of your peers being your “first team” rather than your direct reports. This was a powerful idea for me, because it’s much harder to be a good teammate to your peers than to y…

Culture, People & Teams

What’s the best culture? Whatever you believe in
ALSO: More details on productivity and WFH
Alignment > Autonomy
It’s easier to measure and feel high autonomy than it is to measure high alignment. But without alignment, autonomy is squandered.
Towards better 1-on-1s: an awkward manifesto - Tyler Cipriani
#11: Getting more candidates to hire
Unconventional activities to flood your interview funnel with great candidates

Technology, Operations & Delivery

Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2023
In May 2023 over 90,000 developers responded to our annual survey about how they learn and level up, which tools they’re using, and which ones they want.
From Isolation to Collaboration: A Software Tester’s Journey
In the world of software testing, I’ve learned that our role extends beyond finding bugs. We are a crucial part of the development team, and our ability to engage positively with developers can significantly impact the success of a project.
It Takes 6 Days to Change 1 Line of Code
(A true story.) Philip (President): Our factory is underutilized by 10%. Either we start building more of our backlog or we lay people off. I’d rather keep everyone busy, build inventory, and get…
“balls”: The day I locked everyone out of the company intranet.
I was just over a month into my first job in the tech industry - a lowly HTML jockey and frontline support drone at a local web agency. Everything that could have gone wrong this particular morning, had. I’d woken up late, made a mess of my breakfast, there was

Stress, Wellbeing & Growth

7 Responses that Defeat Defensiveness - Leadership Freak
People don’t make you feel defensive. Defensiveness is your response. Defensiveness is feeling attacked when others are trying to help.
Is Burnout Draining Your Battery? Here’s How To Operate in ‘Low Power Mode’ if You Can’t Take Time Off Work
It’s about conserving your personal battery life—and pausing or delegating non-critical tasks—until you can actually recharge.
Mid Career Stuckness
It may sound harsh, but let me offer a hypothesis — most of us get disillusioned and potentially stuck in mid-careers, and the most common cause is not learning about power and influence early enough. It is not a lack of technical knowledge and related competencies that makes one get stuck in their…
Finding a buddy when you’re a team of one
I’ve been working with the rad team at Fly.io for the past few months as a fractional VPE, mainly focusing on management-y and culture stuff as the team grows.

That’s it!

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Have an amazing week!