/Leadership

The Problem With Fighting Fires

- Ed Batista tl;dr: "The problem isn't that you're too busy. If you view being busy as the problem, there's no solution. You will always be too busy, and that'll never change." The problem is that "you're acting like a firefighter instead of a fire marshal. You're rushing from one fire to the next, never slowing down to install smoke detectors" and, likely, "you're really good at fighting fires."

featured in #330


The Platform And Program Split At Uber: A Milestone Special

- Gergely Orosz tl;dr: "More than 100 people would need to be hired across engineering, product and design, to staff these teams. The new teams were stack ranked by importance e.g. teams responsible for growing the supply of drivers were ranked much higher than those generating rider demand." Gergely discusses Uber's biggest engineering organizational change: creating cross-functional program teams and introducing platform teams.

featured in #330


Eigenquestions: The Art of Framing Problems

- Matt Hudson Shishir Mehrotra tl;dr: 3 techniques for expert framing, including Eigenquestion, when one critical decision has ten related questions. The Eigenquestion is the question that, if answered, answers all the subsequent questions as well, discussed in more detail here.

featured in #330


How Do Individual Contributors Get Stuck? A Primer

- Camille Fournier tl;dr: ICs often get sidetracked or stuck by: (1) Brainstorming: “I must have thought through all edge cases of all parts of everything before I begin this project.” (2) Researching possible solutions forever. (3) Refactoring: “this code could be cleaner and everything would be just so much easier if we cleaned this up.” (4) Helping other people instead of doing their assigned tasks. (5) Finishing the last 10–20% of a project. And more. 

featured in #329


Software Engineering RFC And Design Doc Examples And Templates

- Gergely Orosz tl;dr: "This article collects some openly available RFC templates and examples, and a list of companies that use such a process. I’d encourage to use these examples for inspiration. Take parts that resonate with you, experiment with them and modify them to your needs."

featured in #328


Stop Overcomplicating It: The Simple Guidebook to Upping Your Management Game

tl;dr: Focus on the big 3 elements of leadership: (1) Direction: Ensure that every member of the team understands exactly what's expected and when. (2) Coaching: Coach people towards both short and long-term success, helping them understand what they should continue to do and how to improve. (3) Career: Invest in people’s careers in a way that considers long-term goals and aspirations beyond the company. 

featured in #328


How I Learned To Love Feedback Loops (And Make Better Products)

- Neil Kakkar tl;dr: "One common theme that stood out was how feedback loops between each stage lead to much better decisions. In this post, I want to talk about why these feedback loops are useful, and how to actively seek iterative gains from these loops."

featured in #328


The Best Managers Don’t Fix, They Coach — Four Tools to Add to Your Toolkit

tl;dr: Tools to help coach are: (1) Outcome shift - help your report shift from the problem to solution. (2) Options exploration - ask clarifying questions that help make options more concrete. (3) Acknowledging strengths - increase confidence by bringing awareness to their gifts. (4) Uncovering limiting beliefs - make unconscious assumptions conscious and shift to productive beliefs.

featured in #327


Using Systems Thinking To Craft High-Leverage Strategies

- AbdulFattah Popoola tl;dr: "This post proposes a systems-based model for diagnosing, detecting, and fixing the fundamental issues that plague engineering teams. It is a distillation of lessons acquired from identifying and implementing high-leverage strategic remedies across multiple products."

featured in #327


State Of Engineering Time 2022

tl;dr: The Stack Overflow memes are true: 60% of senior engineers commit 10-100 lines/week of copied and pasted code. And there is more: read the report to learn how 600 engineers (ICs and managers) spend time, from wrangling machines to wrangling people.

featured in #327