7 min read

🧀 Good Tech Debt, DevEx, Cost Centres, Leader vs Manager, Documentation, Belonging, AI Hype, World Brain Day: TMW #341

Hello again!

Thank you to everyone who's submitted ideas for a CTO Story recording - we'll be working through the list and sending a link to record your story/stories in the next week or so. The link to submit a story will stay open forever, so if you haven't submitted something yet, there's still time: https://ctocraft.typeform.com/campus-stories

Planning for CTO Craft Con in November is still flying along, with a number of amazing high-profile speakers already lined up and more in conversation. Keep your eyes peeled in August for an announcement about Super Early Bird tickets - based on the May event, these will likely sell out very quickly, so don't miss the opportunity when it comes up!

If there are any speakers you'd like to see at the conference, please do drop me a reply with ideas - as a reminder, the theme in November is "Culture and the CTO". Hopefully see you there!

Thanks to all the amazing feedback from our Alpha Launch, Campus is beginning to look like an incredibly powerful tool to have in your belt. We've been categorising and transcribing hundreds of posts and videos, including a library of interviews with successful engineering leaders.. This is what you can look forward to:

That's it, on with the links...

Andy @ CTO Craft

Technical Debt: How much is a good thing? | CTO Craft
Technical debt is much discussed and usually in negative terms, but discussion about it is sometimes not as nuanced as perhaps it should be.

CTO Craft Bytes

CTO Craft Bytes: Embedding developer experience into your organisation
At this CTO Craft Bytes, we’re partnered with Swarmia.

CTO Craft Bytes - ICYMI

CTO Craft Bytes: Crafting excellent onboarding processes - Crowdcast
Register now for CTO Craft’s event on Crowdcast, scheduled to go live on Friday March 17, 2023 at 12:30 pm GMT.

Reads of the Week

Unmasking hidden value: leading Cost Centers
Leading Product engineering, Platform, DevEx, or other internal teams is very different. One of them has high visibility with senior leadership and the executive team. They can even use the features you build! The other one often gets questioned by part of the exec team, and their leaders suffer to…
How does a CTO know when they need a coach?
Having a CTO coach can be really beneficial for you and your company.

From our Sponsors

[From Code Climate] Webinar - Digging into Developer Satisfaction

On July 27th, Sr. Engineering Leaders will discuss how prioritizing dev satisfaction improves productivity and efficiency.

With Romain Dupas of Code Climate, Frankie Nicoletti of SoLo and Dustin Diaz of Duro.

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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

Briefly: The Value of Meetings, and Some Alternatives
Shopify continues to attract attention for it’s ridiculously reductionist takes productivity, from meeting armageddon to more recently a meeting cost calculator.
The five new foundational qualities of effective leadership
CEO succession planning has never been harder. But there are questions leaders can ask today to help better prepare for tomorrow.
Enough with the Leader Versus Manager Debate—It’s Time for a New Model
It’s the perfect time in our world to vanquish the long-perpetuated and unproductive myth that leaders are somehow meaningfully different from managers.
Always add numbers to your key results
Quantifying your key results is not only critical to your success but it also tells you when you’re done. Why do teams avoid doing this then?

Culture, People & Teams

Psychological safety: ‘You no longer have the option of leading through fear’
ALSO: How to see precisely what your boss is saying about you
Investing in Internal Documentation: A Brick-by-Brick Guide for Startups
David Nunez, an early hire at Stripe and Uber, shares his step-by-step playbook for establishing good internal documentation habits at your startup. He unpacks his tested tactics for creating a culture of documentation, setting the quality bar and keeping things organized.
Create A Sense Of Belonging At Work [5 Tips] | David Burkus
In this article, we’ll outline how to create a sense of belonging at work through five actions leaders take that get emulated on the team and make everyone feel included.
Approaches and Techniques to Break Down Silos: Learnings from QCon New York
At QCon New York 2023, Emily Webber presented Bridging Silos and Overcoming Collaboration Antipatterns in Multidisciplinary Organisations, where she showed a worrying trend in the industry of specialisation and silos at the expense of collaboration, shared responsibility, and valuable outcomes. She…

Technology, Operations & Delivery

How platform teams get stuff done
Platform teams ensure success by thoughtfully selecting which collaboration patterns to use with their customer teams, based on the maturity of each team and the phase of their platform adoption.
Enhancing Your “Definition of Done” Can Improve Your Minimum Viable Architecture
A Definition of Done describes the criteria that determines whether a software product is releasable. While normally focused on functional aspects of quality, teams can strengthen the quality and sustainability of their products if they expand their DoD to include architectural considerations.
How to navigate your engineering team through the generative AI hype
Follow these strategies to prepare for increasing demands on engineering teams and make the most of advancements in generative AI and ML.
Are LLMs Leading DevOps Into a Tech Debt Trap? - DevOps.com
Some of the most alluring uses of LLMs could lead to terrible outcomes for enterprises and their DevOps and platform engineering teams.

Stress, Wellbeing & Growth

A Weird Way To Nail Difficult Conversations At Work
Role-play. That’s it. That’s the entire post. Thanks for reading, see ya later. “I’ve learned that if you plan for every variable, a happy outcome doesn’t need to be left to chance.” This quote is the premise behind Nathan Fielder’s HBO show “The Rehearsal,” where he helps individuals through diffic…
World Brain Day 2023: Strategies to manage stress and protect cognitive function
Prolonged exposure to stress hormones can affect the structure and function of the brain
My experience with imposter syndrome — and how to (partly) overcome it
I’ve felt like an imposter since my first year of university. I was accepted to the university that I believed was well out of my league — my ‘stretch’ school. I’d gotten good grades in high school, but I’d never seen myself as especially smart: I wasn’t selected for gifted programmes in elementary…

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