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🦉 Rands, Herbs & Spices, Tech Debt, Stakeholders, Difficult Developers, Architecture Diagrams, Incompetence: TMW #346

Hello again, welcome to the week!

You may have seen the announcement last week that we've added a big name to give the opening keynote at CTO Craft Con: Culture and the CTO in November: we'll be joined by the legendary Michael Lopp (aka Rands), long-time engineering leader, author of some of the best technology leadership books and creator of the Rands Leadership Slack community.

Michael will be talking to us about approaches to managing complexity and failure in his talk "Kobayashi Maru Management" - yes, that's a Star Trek reference.

We've now selected the eight successful submissions to the CfP for the conference. Thank you so much to the 80 or so people who submitted their ideas, and don't fear if you weren't selected this time - we've made a list of people to contact about Bytes events and other stuff!

Tickets for the conference are still flying out, so please do grab a ticket at the Early Bird price when you can - don't forget to check Slack for your community member discount code as well

CTO Craft Con: Culture and the CTO | London 7-8 November
CTO Craft Con will bring together over 250 Chief Technology Officers and other senior technology leaders from the most exciting start-ups, scale-ups, unicorns, and big tech companies to elevate their engineering culture in London, 7-8 November 2023.

That's it! See you next week

Andy @ CTO Craft

CTO Craft Bytes

CTO Craft Bytes: The 11 herbs and spices of digital transformation at KFC
At this CTO Craft Bytes, we’re going to be joined by Vihang Shah, Head of Digital Technology at KFC and Philippe Guenet.

CTO Craft Bytes - ICYMI

CTO Craft Bytes: Creating a neurodivergent & disability-inclusive workplace
Tab Ahmad is the founder & CEO of EmployAbility, which helps employers to become more inclusive by providing expertise and knowledge. EmployAbility’s mission…

Reads of the Week

Anything But Tech Debt
Engineers are often stuck between a rock and a hard place: address tech debt, or ship new features? Get VP of Engineering Emily’s take.
Engineering as Art: Embracing Creativity beyond Science
Achieving a staff+ engineering role is a considerable achievement that many engineers seek as the next step in their career growth. In this article, we’ll discuss the challenges that staff+ engineers can face and how our struggles are similar to those of artists. Specifically, we’ll look at the para…

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

Good decision, bad decision, indecision, and fake decision | Austin Yang
The true definition of a good decision, and why it matters.
Stakeholder Alignment
Navigating the maze of stakeholders to land a decision
Do Something, So We Can Change It!
A habit for addressing two-way decisions.
Seven Things Management Teams (Repeatedly) Get Wrong with Strategy Work
Here are the seven strategy misfires I see most often. Do everything possible to avoid these tripping points.

Culture, People & Teams

The Engineering executive’s role in hiring.
Everyone in an engineering organization contributes to the hiring process. As an engineer, you may have taken pride in being an effective interviewer. As an engineering manager, you may have prioritized becoming a strong closer, convincing candidates to join your team. As a more senior manager, you…
Managing difficult software engineers
Effectively managing difficult employees in a software engineering context hinges on three core principles: fostering trust by empowering autonomy, promoting growth through challenges and constructive feedback, and ensuring a comfortable work environment with streamlined processes and minimal disrup…
The key to unlocking developer productivity - Atlassian Engineering
“It’s time to make coding fun again” Some of the best code I’ve ever seen was as a young developer at…
Top 7 Things That Kill Developer Productivity
Introduction A few weeks back, I had an epiphany: my code time, and active code time, had…

Technology, Operations & Delivery

The cost of convenience — surma.dev
It is tempting to build abstractions so developers have to do less and build more. However, this can easily end up causing frustrations with developers if not done right.
How architecture diagrams enable better conversations
Earlier this year myself and a couple others at DrDoctor did some training in C4 Architecture modelling1. The trainer was really good and over a few sessions with him we got the hang of the method. We went onto use what we had learnt, meeting everything Thursday over the course of 3 months. We focus…
Show me the tests
Feelings are an important part of engineering. But they don’t replace automated tests.
How to Predict When the Team Will Complete a Specific Backlog Item, Part 1 - Johanna Rothman, Management Consultant
Your team has one of those long roadmaps or a long backlog. They’re working, delivering about two items (full stories) a week. Then, your manager asks you this question: “That feature set in six months: when will you start it and when will you finish it?” “We could start it now,” you say, “assuming…

Stress, Wellbeing & Growth

TBM 237: Incompetence!
I was reflecting on this research I did earlier in my career. As an experiment, two teams tracked where their time went for two weeks. If you’ve ever had to report on time allocation, you know how made-up time tracking tends to be (“20% KTLO, 40% Project 1, 40% Project 2”).
How to Handle Stress Without Losing Your Mind
How to stay present and grounded, even when you’re feeling overwhelmed
Hearing Voices - Overcoming Limiting Beliefs and Expressing Yourself – Leah Farmer
Have you ever felt like there’s something holding you back from truly expressing yourself? That something may be a limiting belief. Limiting beliefs are those negative thoughts and perceptions that hold us back from fully embracing our voice. They are often formed based on past experiences, societal…
Suzi McAlpine | The Art of Leadership | What have you changed your mind about? (And if you haven’t, it could be time you need to!)
When was the last time you changed your mind about something? What is something which you used to believe in strongly, but don’t anymore?

That’s it!

If you’d like to be considered for the free CTO Craft Community, fill in your details here, and we’ll be in touch!


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Have an amazing week!