/Culture

Why I Quit Google’s WebAssembly Team, And How It Made Me Sick

- Katelyn Gadd tl;dr: "This is a partial story of what went wrong with the process and how it permanently damaged me. My hope is that this story will help people recognize toxic cultures in their own workplaces, or help new hires have a better career at Google."

featured in #316


IBM's Asshole Test

tl;dr: "They called it the "group test"; around 8 of us were led to a room and asked to solve a puzzle together. Each of us was given an information pack, there was a white board, and a timer ticking down from 60 minutes."

featured in #314


The Workplace Perks Your Developers Actually Want

- Nicole Kow tl;dr: (1) Expanding care benefits for the young and elderly - "61% of companies are opting for more flexible childcare benefits." (2) Flexibility - "2 out of 3 workers still want a balance between complete flexibility and a predictable work schedule." (3) Focusing on mental health - "76% of respondents reporting at least one symptom of a mental health condition in 2021."

featured in #312


Dimensions Of Power

- Kent Beck tl;dr: At Kent's company Gusto, the engineering team switched from private to public engineering levels and, as part of the transition, Kent wanted to emphasize to senior engineers and managers that power should not be misused. Here is Kent's ways in which to exercise "power advantages" & experience power disadvantages.

featured in #307


The Scoop: Inside Fast’s Rapid Collapse

- Gergely Orosz tl;dr: "I am covering details from the vantage point of software engineers and engineering managers." Gergely covers how Fast able to hire engineers competing with the big tech companies, warning signs within the company as seen from an engineering perspective, the current situation within the company, and more.

featured in #307


How Google, Twitter, And Spotify Built A Culture Of Documentation

tl;dr: "Today we’ll look at how 3 high performance engineering companies handle their technical documentation" starting with Google and their g3docs system, which "made documentation radically simpler for engineers." It (1) presented one way to document things, removing decisions. (2) Hosted docs next to the code so engineers can stay in their IDE. (3) Automatically rendered docs into designed HTML pages on commits.

featured in #298


The Ritual Of The Deploy

- Vicki Boykis tl;dr: "Deploying is a ritual, one of my coworkers wrote recently. It’s a sacred place, a quiet place, and a dangerous place, where anything can happen. In deployment, the system is in a fragile state, and you are in a fragile state." Vicki points to a prod deploy as a common, ritualistic moment for engineers.

featured in #265


Why Flow Matters More Than Passion

- Sarah Drasner tl;dr: "In flow, obstacles that would cause anxiety are perceived differently, and people have more resolve to push through a task." Managers can help engineers reach flow by: (1) Creating a "clarity of purpose." (2) Set "challenging but not impossible" work. (3) Providing a sense of ownership over work. (4) Provide feedback quickly. (5) Compensate fairly. (6) Believe in their abilities.

featured in #264


The Pragmatic Engineer Test: 12 Questions On Engineering Culture

- Gergely Orosz tl;dr: "12 questions to get a sense of what a tech company is like to work at, based on things most job postings do not mention:" (1) Are code reviews and testing both part of the everyday development process? (2) Do you follow an internal open-source model, where any engineer can access and contribute to most other codebases - with appropriate code ownership in place?

featured in #261


Nurturing Design In Your Software Engineering Culture

- Nick Tune tl;dr: Tactics to improve the "design mindset in your engineering culture," such as (1) the use of pair programming and mobbing because to vet every and debate small decisions. (2) "A good understanding of the business domains" so engineers and architects can create business-optimized designs, and more.

featured in #232