/Career Advice

Why I Left Google: Work-Life Balance

- Scott Kennedy tl;dr: "Somebody once described balance to me as three buckets filled with water. One for career, a second for physical health, and a third for social and family life. At any point, one bucket might be running low. But as long as the overall water level is high enough, things should be fine," Scott discusses how the events in his life, in this context, guided him to leave Google.

featured in #317

Why Success Is Often Elusive At The Highest Echelons

- Cindy Sridharan tl;dr: "Many leaders mould the organization in their image or the image of the past workplace. Engineering leaders brought into embattled organizations tasked with stabilizing the chaos are often heavily incentivized to do this. Many a time these folks, in my experience, tend to fail harder and more often than those who try to learn the organizational ropes and tailor their leadership style to fit the organizational culture."

featured in #317

Complexity Is The Mind Killer

- Philip Kristoffersen tl;dr: "When faced with a choice, always pick the simplest thing that solves your immediate problem. Then make sure you can change your mind later. By the simplest thing I mean the solution that is easiest to reason about."

featured in #316

The Other Kind Of Staff Software Engineer

- Adam Gordon Bell tl;dr: Adam discusses the difference between line and staff software engineers, where a line engineer is core to the mission and staff is a supporting role. Although roles can be similar in either context, this variable is important to consider as it will directly impact your experience. Adam outlines how, as well as pros and cons of both. 

featured in #316

103 Bits Of Advice I Wish I Had Known

- Kevin Kelly tl;dr: "Today is my birthday. I turn 70... I’ve jotted down bits of unsolicited advice each year...": (1) About 99% of the time, the right time is right now. (2) No one is as impressed with your possessions as you are. (3) Don't ever work for someone you don't want to become. (4) Cultivate 12 people who love you, because they are worth more than 12 million people who like you. (5) Don't keep making the same mistakes; try to make new mistakes.

featured in #315

How To Chart Your Engineering Career Path: IC, Manager or Technical Founder?

- Amber Feng tl;dr: Underrated traits of the best engineers: (1) Crisp writers and communicators. (2) Aim for the broadest impact. In this post, Amber "guides other engineers up and down the org chart as they weigh their next career moves, leaning on the frameworks and lessons she’s pulled from in her own career."

featured in #314

Building Bridges With Difficult Co-workers

- Sally Lait tl;dr: Proactively avoiding difficult situations, especially as a new manager, can be done by asking the following: (1) If we were going to have friction, how do you think it’d be most likely to happen? How can we proactively avoid that? (2) What are the biggest risks of us working together? (3) How do you like to move past problems? And more.

featured in #314

Why Naming Stuff Is Hard?

- Shekhar Gulati tl;dr: Shekar provides 3 reasons: (1) Developers don’t re-read their code often enough. (2) Lack of business domain understanding. (3) Undervalue good naming. Also, helpful questions to ask: "which business concept is this functionality related to? How can I map business terms to code? What can I learn from API contracts and / or documentation of competitors?"

featured in #313

The Niche Programmer

- Asko Nõmm tl;dr: "Being a niche programmer is not bad at all. Pay is great, competition is low and the interview processes for the most part very humane.' Asko discusses his relevant experience with Clojure. 

featured in #313

The Untapped Potential Of Less

- Leidy Klotz tl;dr: "No one argues that, when trying to improve something, we don’t often subtract. We pile on “to-dos” when we really need “to-stops,” or create incentives for good behavior … but don’t get rid of obstacles to it." People think first about adding and, as a result, systematically overlook subtractive changes.

featured in #312