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🍤 Remote Culture, Direct Reports, Storytelling, Incentives, Offboarding, Brooks's Law, Agile Games, Cognitive Distortions: TMW #362

This issue of Tech Manager Weekly is sponsored by Code Climate: empowering leaders at all levels with the critical context and visibility needed to improve efficiency, delivery and code quality.

Hello again! Welcome to the week!

We have an exclusive for TMW readers today - here's the very first look at the full line-up for CTO Craft Con: London 2024, which takes place at the QEII Centre on May 8 and 9. Some agenda highlights...

Gergely Orosz Founder The Pragmatic Engineer - GenerativeAI & the CTO
Matej Pfajfar CTO at Monzo Bank - Innovating at pace with simpler decision-making
Charity Majors CTO at Honeycomb.io - Exploring new trends in LLMs, development & observability
Laura Tacho  CTO at DX - Driving positive cultural change through developer insights
Julien Lavigne du Cadet CTO at ZOE - How ZOE built a happy & high-performance engineering culture
Dan Lake VP of Technology Not on the High Street - Rebuilding trust & improving understanding between business & engineering

And many, many more, including Panels on OKRs, values, choosing technologies and happiness at work. There'll also be a Roundtable track, where you can engage in discussions with other leaders about a variety of topics throughout the event.

Check out some of 2023's conference highlights:

You can see the full speaker list and agenda right here.

Limited super early bird tickets available now for £549 (+VAT) for TMW subscribers and community members! Grab your ticket here, using the access code Community-May-24 to enable member pricing.

If you're interested in seeing some sponsorship options for the conference, have a look here.

That's it, on with the links!

Andy @ CTO Craft

CTO Craft Con: London | 8-9 May 2024
CTO Craft Con will bring together over 400 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, May 2024
Campus by CTO Craft: The Go-to Resource for Senior Technology Leaders
Created for CTOs, by CTOs: A transformative learning community for senior technology leaders in startups and scale-ups

CTO Craft Events

CTO Craft Mixer: Manchester
Network and learn with fellow senior tech leaders and CTO Craft members at The Old Monkey pub in Manchester.
CTO Craft Bytes: Remote Realities - What does Culture mean now?
Is Culture Dead? In this Bytes session, we delve into what Culture means and how a CTO leads a team in a remote-working world.

From our Sponsors

[From Code Climate] The Fundamentals of Engineering Metrics

Find out how software engineering metrics can help you ensure development and business goals are on track.

Download the eBook

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, HeadChannel, Google Cloud, Vention, Jellyfish, 101 Ways, Polly, Skiller Whale, Softwire, Sema, Uplevel, YLD

Leadership, Strategy & Business

How many direct reports should a manager have?
Don’t worry, this won’t be a flamewar.
Everyday storytelling for engineers. The CAO Method.
There are not many things in the world that are as important as being understood. From my experience, most engineers are not natural storytellers. CAO method can help build structured and easily under
Layers of a Strategic Plan
TBM 265: Rebuilding Trust and Breaking Free From Trust Proxies and The Swirl
In this post, we will explore how trust issues—especially among senior leaders—can greatly impact an organization (and why it is so hard to address these issues). We’ll conclude with some ideas on how to break the loop and see past the swirl. When teams don’t trust each other, and they don’t want to have the hard conversations to rebuild that trust (“really work it out”), they tend to look for proxies:

Culture, People & Teams

Questionable Advice: “My boss says we don’t need any engineering managers. Is he right?”
I recently joined a startup to run an engineering org of about 40 engineers. My title is VP Engineering. However, I have been having lots of ongoing conflict with the CEO (a former engineer) around…
Incentives and the Cobra Effect
It is surprisingly common for an incentive intended to create one outcome to create the exact opposite.
Which is the best?
Offboarding: The Importance of the Exit Interview or Stop Doing the Old Exit Interview | Management 3.0
Optimize your offboarding process for security and success. Discover the importance of exit interviews in creating ambassadors. How to have a smoother transition:

Technology, Operations & Delivery

Brooks’s Law - Software Project Management
Brooks’s Law visualized. How can you measure trends in development output with respect to the number of contributing authors? Brooks’s Law in CodeScene.
How Playing Games Enables Engaging Ways of Learning Agility
Games can help us create a collaborative, joyful, and fun experience in which we play to solve complex problems. According to Jakub Perlak, people can play games that have a meaningful purpose, and have fun in doing so. Games create space for intentional cognitive activity which helps us when learning something new and adapting to changes that are important for agility.
Good Developer / Great Developer / Exceptional Developer
Many developers toe the line between mediocre and good, but what is the difference between a good and great developer? Let’s explore this…
The Engineering Lead’s Best AI Tools for 2024
2024 is just around the corner, and we have a perfect opportunity as leaders to trial and introduce the most impactful AI software…

Stress, Wellbeing & Growth

Cognitive Distortions that Undermine Clear Thinking
Leaders are paid to think clearly. And a big impediment to clear thinking is what CBT/REBT calls Cognitive Distortions: errors in thinking or thinking traps we commonly fall for. Most high-performers are not pathological, but instead fall for them when upset or in high-stress situations. In this post, I
Struggles That Unite New Managers and How To Overcome Them
I wish I knew these tips when I led my first team
Workplace Stress: 8 Ways to Reduce Stress in the Workplace Today
Workplace stress affects everyone, but whether you thrive or struggle is up to you. We share actionable, researched approaches to help you better manage your workplace stress.
Real Solutions for Middle Manager Stress and Improved Employee Wellness - NOBL Academy
To create a truly healthy corporate culture, define trade-offs and model the behavior you want to see.

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!


Please do remember to share this link if you know of anyone who’d like to receive TMW:


Have an amazing week!