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Ship It! Ship It! #77

Seven shipping principles

15 years ago, Gerhard discovered magic in the form of Ruby on Rails. It was intuitive and it just worked. That is the context in which Gerhard fell in love with infrastructure and operations.

Today, for special episode 77, we start at Seven Shipping Principles, and, in the true spirit of Ship It, we’ll see what happens next.

Our guest is David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails, co-founder of Basecamp & HEY, and a lot more - check out dhh.dk.

The Changelog The Changelog #479

Principles for hiring engineers

This week we’re joined by Jacob Kaplan-Moss and we’re talking about his extensive writing on work sample tests. These tests are an exercise, a simulation, or a small slice of real day-to-day work that candidates will perform as part of their job. Over the years, as an engineering leader, Jacob has become a practicing expert in effectively hiring engineers — today he shares a wealth of knowledge on the subject.

Backstage Backstage #19

Honoring Veterans Day and #VetsWhoCode

We’re “doing it live” with Jerome Hardaway, a Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft and the Executive Director of Vets Who Code — a veteran-led and operated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that focuses on training veterans, active duty military, and military spouses in software development and open source with the goal of starting careers in the technology industry.

This is a lengthly conversation in and around Jerome’s story, the Vets Who Code mission and impact, the experience of being in the United States Military, and the opportunity and potential of 1.5x’ing one of the most elite group of people on the planet.

Ship It! Ship It! #22

It's crazy and impossible

Today we have a very special episode, where Gerhard gets to share his favourite learnings from Steve Jobs. If it wasn’t for his determination to build a better personal computer, Gerhard would have most likely continued with a career in physics.

We know what you’re thinking: it’s crazy and impossible to interview Steve Jobs, but on his 10th memorial anniversary, Gerhard was determined to combine the things that Steve said with his passion for computers, automation, and infrastructure.

Live your life and ship your best stuff because there’s nothing like the present.

Thank you, Steve.

The Changelog The Changelog #462

Learning-focused engineering

This week we’re joined by Brittany Dionigi, Director of Platform Engineering at Articulate, and we’re talking about how organizations can take a more intentional approach to supporting the growth of their engineers through learning-focused engineering.

Brittany has been a software engineer for more than 10 years, and learned formal educational and classroom-based learning strategies as a Technical Lead & Senior Instructor at Turing School of Software & Design. We talk through a ton of great topics; getting mentorship right, common coaching opportunities, classroom-based learning strategies like backwards planning, and ways to identify and maximize the learning opportunities for teams and org.

Ship It! Ship It! #16

Optimize for smoothness not speed

This week Gerhard is joined by Justin Searls, Test Double co-founder and CTO. Also a 🐞 magnet. They talk about how to deal with the pressure of shipping faster, why you should optimize for smoothness not speed, and why focusing on consistency is key. Understanding the real why behind what you do is also important. There’s a lot more to it, as its a nuanced and complex discussion, and well worth your time.

Expect a decade of learnings compressed into one hour, as well as disagreements on some ops and infrastructure topics — all good fun. In the show notes, you will find Gerhard’s favorite conference talks Justin gave a few years back.

The Changelog The Changelog #453

Leading leaders who lead engineers

This week we’re joined by Lara Hogan – author of Resilient Management and management coach & trainer for the tech industry. Lara led engineering teams at Kickstarter and Etsy before she, and Deepa Subramaniam stepped away from their deep roots in the tech industry to start Wherewithall – a consultancy that helps level up managers and emerging leaders.

The majority of our conversation focuses on the four primary hats leaders and managers end up wearing; mentoring, coaching, sponsoring, and delivering feedback. We also talk about knowing when you’re ready to lead, empathy and compassion, and learning to lead.

Miroslav Nikolov webup.org

Arguments for a project kickoff strategy

Miroslav Nikolov:

You may not be a project manager. Perhaps you are a developer who likes to code and solve technical challenges. The organizational matter is something you care less about. After all, your company is likely relying on some agile methods and there are product owners and/or SCRUM masters to handle the process. You just need to build new features.

While that’s true you have to sometimes get out of your comfort zone.

Evgenii Ponomarev evgenii.info

How to deal with pushback to your initiatives

This article covers three main reasons why other engineers may reject your technical initiative (such as refactoring, changing methodologies or switching tools):

  1. The proposed goals look unattainable
  2. They tried the first version and they didn’t like it
  3. They don’t agree that the problem is worth solving

For each of these reasons, there are tips you can use to drive your initiative forward.

Sarah Drasner CSS-Tricks

Mistakes I've made as an engineering manager

Sarah Drasner:

I’ve been a manager for many years at companies of different scale. Through these experiences, I’ve done my share of learning, and made some mistakes along that way that were important lessons for me. I want to share those with you.

The four mistakes that Sarah details, which we can all learn from:

  1. Thinking people give feedback the way they want to receive it
  2. Trying to do everything yourself as a manager is the best way to help
  3. Communicating something one time is enough
  4. You have to have everything together all the time

Culture annashipman.co.uk

Meeting everyone on a new team

I enjoyed reading what Anna had to say about the advice she had been given and the process she created for doing introduction one-to-one meetings with her new team.

When I joined the Financial Times as Technical Director for FT.com, I inherited a team of around 50 engineers. One of the first things I did was meet each of them for a one-to-one. I was initially resistant, but it was extremely valuable, I’m glad I did it, and I would definitely do it again in a future role. I ran each meeting in the same way. Firstly I ran through everything I planned to cover, and then stepped through it…

Practical AI Practical AI #96

Practical AI Ethics

The multidisciplinary field of AI Ethics is brand new, and is currently being pioneered by a relatively small number of leading AI organizations and academic institutions around the world. AI Ethics focuses on ensuring that unexpected outcomes from AI technology implementations occur as rarely as possible. Daniel and Chris discuss strategies for how to arrive at AI ethical principles suitable for your own organization, and what is involved in implementing those strategies in the real world. Tune in for a practical AI primer on AI Ethics!

Jason Warner medium.com

GitHub's CTO on architecting engineering teams that scale

Get some wisdom from Jason Warner, CTO of GitHub on building and leading engineering teams that scale.

If building a high-powered engineering team is hard, successfully scaling it through hyper-growth is near impossible.

The culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate. Culture isn’t just about the “feels;” it’s about accountability and behavior. Whatever you do as a leader and whatever you tolerate becomes the standard for your entire organization.

Gergely Orosz blog.pragmaticengineer.com

An engineering team where everyone is a leader

If you are a leader or someone aspiring to lead, consider this approach to engineering management.

This post is a summary of the approach and tools I’ve used to build an engineering team, where everyone is a leader - including sharing of the project management expectations Google Docs guide that my team uses. It’s also a reflection on the pain points that came with this approach. I can’t advocate for how universally this approach could work. However, based on my results, it is something I suggest engineering leaders - especially frontline managers - consider as an option.

Culture knowyourteam.com

How to manage up effectively

Claire Lew, the CEO of Know Your Team, shares 5 not-so-often-shared ways to manage up and have a better relationship with your boss.

You want to manage up – but what you really mean is that you simply want to work well with your boss. Who doesn’t? Especially when your boss is pestering you with questions via Slack after work-hours, or failing to give you enough time to complete projects…

Based on research we’ve done over the past five years with hundreds of managers and employees, and the insights shared in our online leadership community, The Watercooler, here are the 5 distinct ways you can manage up to have a better relationship with your boss.

The Changelog The Changelog #358

OSCON 2019 anthology

We’re on the expo hall floor of OSCON 2019 talking with Eric Holscher, Ali Spittel, and Hong Phuc Dang. First up, we talk to Eric about his work at Write the Docs, ethical advertising, and the Pac-Man rule at conferences. Second, we talk with Ali about her passion for teaching developers, her passion for writing, and her new found love for podcasting. Last, we talk with Hong about her work at FOSSASIA, the disconnect between America and Asia in open source, and several of the cool open source projects they have on GitHub.

Julia Evans jvns.ca

Not getting your work recognized? Brag about it.

Most people are modest about their contributions in the workplace. We also forget how important our contributions are. Then, when it comes time for recognition, you’ve forgotten, others didn’t notice because they don’t understand all the details and moving parts, and work just moves on. What do you do if/when your work goes unnoticed? Here’s what Julia Evans suggests…

Instead of trying to remember everything you did with your brain, maintain a “brag document” that lists everything so you can refer to it when you get to performance review season! This is a pretty common tactic – when I started doing this I mentioned it to more experienced people and they were like “oh yeah, I’ve been doing that for a long time, it really helps”.

Where I work we call this a “brag document” but I’ve heard other names for the same concept like “hype document” or “list of stuff I did” :).

BONUS — Julia included a basic template for a brag document at the end of the post.

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