Common Performance Review Biases: How To Spot And Counter Them

- Gergely Orosz tl;dr: Performance review feedback should be specific. If it's too generic e.g. "you're overly cautious" or speculative e.g. "you could have done this", you should ask for examples. Gergely outlines eight biases he's experienced, such as recency, strictness and leniency.

featured in #217

Technical Leadership In Customer Products At The FT

- Tara Ojo tl;dr: At the FT, tech lead cover four areas: (1) Advocate for team members. (2) Responsible for tech direction. (3) Representative of their team (4) Software Engineers. Tara discusses each area. Click the link in this tweet if you're paywalled.

featured in #217

Managing Staff-plus Engineers

- Will Larson tl;dr: Will's tips on managing staff-plus engineers include: (1) sponsor and support more than direct.(2) Help redefine what success. A staff engineer’s "flywheel of feedback" is less immediate and that should be managed accordingly. (3) Give frequent feedback and explain why.

featured in #217

6 Counterintuitive Rules for Being a Better Manager - Advice from Lambda School, Quip & Facebook

tl;dr: (1) Management is about make those around you better. (2) Set expectations at the “what” level, not the “how” level. (3) It’s impossible to help someone if you're burnt out. (4) Spend most of your time with the highest performers. (5) Be realistic about what you can offer. (6) Have hard conversations early.

featured in #216

Assign Problems (Not Work) To Your Teams To Build Extraordinary Products

- Raphaela Wrede tl;dr: A top down approach when a product manager mandates, with little buy in from the team, yields low engagement. A collaborative sprint with members of product, design, engineering, research, support, and analytics creates much higher engagement.

featured in #216

Proof Our Work-Life Balance Is In Danger (But There’s Still Hope)

- Arik Friedman tl;dr: People are "struggling to delineate between work time and personal time, and were prone to working long hours without pausing for a break." We need to find effective ways of “switching off” or risk burning out.

featured in #216

How To Navigate Performance Reviews When The World Has Gone Bonkers

- Kat Boogard tl;dr: This post advices both managers writing reviews and those writing self-assessment. Focus on compassion. For managers, clarify expectations, consider personal circumstances, focus on outcomes, be honest about personal struggles and recognize soft contributions.

featured in #215

Preserving Culture When Someone Leaves The Team

- Mark Wood tl;dr: It's common to focus on the practical skills lost when someone leaves. Consider cultural implications too. As a manager, identify a common behavior the employee brought, its impact, and how you want to strengthen it going forward - through your own behaviors, asking someone else, or through the a new hire.

featured in #215

Dads, Commit To Your Family At Home And At Work

tl;dr: "New research shows that fathers still do only around half of the unpaid work that mothers do. The good news is that men want to step up..." This article outlines how both fathers and organizations can create change.

featured in #215

Managing Technical Quality In A Codebase

- Will Larson tl;dr: Will runs us through his "toolkit" to maintain technical quality, including prioritizing leverage points, establishing a technical quality team, and more. Underlying any approach is the philosophy to "start with something small, and iterate on it until it works."

featured in #214