9 min read

🦣 Great Software Teams, Frontline vs Sideline Leadership, Who's Hiring?, Firefighting, Evil Staging, xz Attack: TMW #374

Free mentoring sessions and roundtables, London Mixer event
Thanks to Unblocked for sponsoring this issue of Tech Manager Weekly - Unblocked helps developers find the information they need to get their jobs done.

Hello! It's a bit windy here!

We're now down to fewer than 15% of tickets remaining for CTO Craft Con in London next month - both the previous Cons sold out weeks ahead of the event, so if you're still planning to attend, don't leave it too late. You can use the access code "Community-May-24" to access member pricing, which is a substantial discount..

This event will be the first time we've included two very exciting new additions - Roundtables and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions. The Roundtable track will bring together attendees and experts to chat about a variety of topics including security & compliance, avoiding burnout, data and analytics, re-orgs and alignment.

The free Mentoring Sessions will be hosted by two of our CTO Craft Coaches: Joel Chippindale and Adelina Chalmers. You'll be able to bring your goals and challenges to these two very experienced coaches in a private setting, and get their input and wisdom. Unmissable!

Register for free mentoring sessions with Joel and Adelina

This week sees the first of our popular CTO Craft Mixer events in London - we've now run dozens of these in cities like Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin, Bristol, Gothenburg and they're incredibly popular. The London event will very likely sell out, so do check it out if you're in town on April 10th and would like to come along!

And if you can't join us in London, there's a brilliant online Bytes event on Thursday: A Glimpse into 2030 with GenAI.

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

Andy @ CTO Craft

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
Maximising syntax & semantics to enhance LLM capabilities | CTO Craft
Head of Engineering at YLD Sérgio Ramos discusses the relationship between semantics and syntax in leveraging LLMs.

CTO Craft Events

CTO Craft Con: London | 8-9 May 2024
CTO Craft Con will bring together over 500 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
CTO Craft Bytes: Exploring the Future of Platform Development: A Glimpse into 2030 with GenAI
Join us for an insightful Bytes session where we delve into the future of platform development in the year 2030, focusing on the transformative role of code as a commodity enhanced by GenAI capabilities. This session features Glyn Roberts of Vention, a seasoned expert with two decades of experience in web development, spanning roles from developer to CTO. Glyn will guide us through his vision of how platform development will evolve by 2030 and the far-reaching implications of an AI-centric approach in this field.
CTO Craft Mixer: London 2024
Join our community of CTOs and senior tech leaders for an informal meet-up in London.

Mixers: We have a number of Mixer events coming up shortly in Gothenburg, Sofia, Bristol, Manchester, Bucharest, Munich and Berlin - read more here and book your place. Are you interested in launching a Mixer in your city? Drop us a line!

Reads of the Week

Great teams build great software
Better the teamwork, better the culture -> codebase -> product and happier are the customers!
Mentorship, coaching, sponsorship: three different — and equally important — tools for developing talent - Jacob Kaplan-Moss
One of the main responsibilities of a leader/manager is helping their staff develop. Mentorship, coaching, and sponsorship are import tools in the staff development toolbox. Good leaders should be adept in all three, and know when (and when not) to use each. In my work with new managers, I sometimes see confusion about these three different tools, and I see people using them in the wrong circumstances. So here’s a glossary, a high-level explanation of what these three things are, how they differ, and where to use them.

From our Sponsors

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Check it out

A huge thanks to all our sponsors and partners, who make Tech Manager Weekly and the CTO Craft community possible:

AWS, Albany Partners, Code Climate, Coherence, HeadChannel, Google Cloud, Jellyfish, Polly, Skiller Whale, Softwire, Sema, Unblocked, Uplevel, Vention, YLD, 101 Ways

Leadership, Strategy & Business

Frontlines or Sidelines: Striking the Right Balance in Management
The balance between hands-on leadership and empowering your team.
Our Half-Baked Adoption of OKRs — Product Discovery Group
Many companies adopt the Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) framework. They create goals but struggle to achieve them. Only some of this failure can be blamed on the goals themselves. Part of this failure can be attributed to a lack of an analytic culture and a lack of an analytic mindset in your
Sucking Agency
A genuinely autonomous team that takes the initiative can be a game changer for most startups. This isn’t an exaggeration. However, there are many founders and executives who routinely cripple thei…
Have Concerns And Commit
The topic of how to communicate top-down decisions that you disagree with is an important one. It’s important because it is universal, it’s bad if you get it wrong, and it often means the kind of mature process that differentiates good and bad leaders.

Culture, People & Teams

An Evolutionary Approach to Staffing Software Product Teams
Many companies hastily put together large teams, which leads to risks and inefficiency. This blog is about an evolutionary staffing strategy.
Why I’m Not Writing a Productivity Series - Jacob Kaplan-Moss
I planned and started to write a series about personal productivity systems, but I’m abandoning the series. Here’s why.
10 Years of Hacker News “Ask HN: Who is hiring” Trends
The “Ask HN: Who is hiring” monthly post on Hacker News, available on the first day of each month, provides a platform for users to share tech job listings for free. Analyzing 10 years of these posts with a Python script reveals significant shifts in hiring trends. This insight into the evolving tech job market can guide job seekers on which skills to focus on
4 Secrets Of High-Performing Teams - Barking Up The Wrong Tree
What makes a great team great? We get a lot of bad advice. Here’s what the research says about teams that thrive…

Technology, Operations & Delivery

Explaining the fire
When the firefighters arrive at the blazing building, they don’t need to explain the fire. They need to put it out. It doesn’t matter whether a toaster malfunctioned, or a cat knocked o…
Jade Rubick - Evil staging and gauntlet programs, tools to increase your software reliability
Evil staging and gauntlet programs are chaos engineering inspired, systemic approaches to improve software reliability.
What we know about the xz Utils backdoor that almost infected the world
Malicious updates made to a ubiquitous tool were a few weeks away from going mainstream.
Developers with AI assistants need to follow the pair programming model - Stack Overflow

Stress, Wellbeing & Growth

Reader Mailbag: Struggling to do it all
A reader writes in with questions about technical up-skilling, finding balance in life and work, and getting in touch with their identity outside of work.
Unseen struggles: Leaders get bullied too
Bullying up is all too real. I know from some of the worst years of my life. Never let it happen to you.
Burnout: Holding Systems Responsible
One of the common lies capitalism has ingrained within us is that burnout is an individual failure.
How to tame your “I’m the smartest person in the room’ problem
A leader’s compulsion to always be the smartest person in every room not only stifles creativity but also undermines the potential of a high-performance environment. Here are ideas to help tame this destructive syndrome.

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!