/Charity Majors

Questionable Advice: “What Should I Say In My Exit Interview?” tl;dr: Charity is asked how to handle this by someone reputable leaving due to a toxic management culture. The issue with being candid isn't retribution, it's apathy. The key is to try and be effective. Put it in writing, keep it short and go through the incidents and issues, and tie them to material consequence (people quitting, etc...).

featured in #233

Know Your “One Job” And Do It First tl;dr: If you don’t do the core parts of your job, no matter how many extras you do, eventually your job probably will be in danger. This is a common trap people fall into and it's important to explain to your coworkers that you need to hit the pause button on electives, and not get sucked into them.

featured in #227

Should Engineering Managers Be Technical tl;dr: "If you want to coach a team, you gotta know the game." Charity wouldn't recommend becoming an EM without 5-7 years engineering experience. You don't have to be the best engineer to be a great manager. The key is to have both social and technical skills.

featured in #225

Fulfilling The Promise Of CI/CD tl;dr: "The time elapsed between writing and shipping is the room temp petri dish where pathological symptoms breed." Focus relentlessly on the length of time between when a line of code is written and deployed to production. Fixate on shrinking this interval as it forces us to do the right things - write small diffs, review code quickly, etc.

featured in #222

Why Are My Tests So Slow? A Likely List Of Suspects, Anti-Patterns, And Unresolved Personal Trauma tl;dr: "It’s nigh impossible to have a high-performing team with a long lead time, and becomes drastically easier with a dramatically shorter lead time." Merging to deployed should be under 15 minutes. Charity outlines issues why tests could be slow.

featured in #220

Questionable Advice: The Trap Of The Premature Senior tl;dr: Charity is asked for advice by an engineer who has "accidentally" becomes the most senior on a team. Her advice is to leave. A "real senior engineer" has managed 2-3 teams, stacks, languages over a 5-8 year period.

featured in #213

Things To Know About Engineering Levels tl;dr: Charity often talks to engineers who feel stuck in their role and offers insights in how to approach the issue - "generalists level up faster than specialists," it's easier to level up quickly at fast-growing companies, and more.

featured in #207

If Management Isn't A Promotion, The Engineering Isn't A Demotion tl;dr: Although hierarchy is deeply established in our culture, management shouldn't be seen as a promotion - "we should invert the hierarchy and embrace management as a service role, a support position." Charity shares a roadmap to change company culture.

featured in #205

The Official, Authorized List Of Legitimate Reasons For Deciding To Become a Manager tl;dr: "People make career moves for a complex mix of altruism and self-interest." Charity outlines main motivations to become managers concluding that management is "a role of service to others not dominance over others; staffed by people who genuinely take joy in that people side of sociotechnical problem solving."

featured in #204

Questionable Advice: Can Engineering Productivity Be Measured? tl;dr: Charity doesn't believe so - metric can be gamed, preferring a combination of (1) impact focused, outcome-based management (2) team level health metrics (3) engineering ladder and regular lightweight reviews (4) managers who are well calibrated across the org. Teams should also use the 4 DORA metrics.

featured in #193