What if I told you there was a way to overcome that sinking feeling associated with delivering feedback? Yes! You can learn to deliver great feedback with deliberate practice. Read on to learn some useful techniques.
Evaluating Managers: 5 heuristics to measure managerial impact
Measuring a manager's impact is hard since outcomes take time. The manager takes full responsibility for the team - be it stagnation, execution woes, poor collaboration, churn, or a lack of focus. This post provides early evaluation metrics as well as tips for course correction.
Scaling past Port Exhaustion: when 100k+ ports were not enough
One of my favorite technical projects involved overcoming a network constraint. The virtual machines (VMs) hosting the core services kept exhausting available ports. Once all ports were used up, new connections would fail, tanking our availability and reliability. Read on to learn how we overcame this issue and opened up opportunities to reduce costs by a third.
Why most monitoring strategies fail
A team without proven observability and on-call strategies will invariably suffer from reactive disruptions; mitigating outages will be painful, like finding a needle in a haystack while blindfolded.
Book Review: Slack, Getting past burnout, busywork, and the myth of total efficiency
Leaders (managers, directors, VPs, etc.) should read this book if they want to create teams that execute predictably; the book also covers culture and other subtle elements that make teams work efficiently.
Defense-in-depth: a strategy for leading understaffed teams
Leading an underfunded team is a challenge most managers will face over their careers. This blog post provides techniques and a framework for delivering impact under such conditions.
Book Review: A Philosophy of Software Design
The book’s core thesis is minimizing complexity in software development by adopting complexity-eliminating approaches. The upfront investment in learning and adopting better designs pays off because it leads to high-quality software. Recommended read for software developers and line managers.
3 quick tips for leading through uncertain times
This post offers three tips for leading teams going through a difficult period. It could be attrition, product changes, reorgs, uncertainty, etc. It is a playbook of 3 key things to keep in mind and includes a FAQ list of likely questions.
Using Systems Thinking to craft high-leverage strategies
Most teams struggle with removing friction because they concentrate on surface-level reactionary fixes instead of addressing the fundamental causes of inefficiency.
Four mistakes I made as a new manager
This article relates hard-learned lessons as a newbie engineering manager. It targets new leads by clarifying leadership pitfalls to avoid.
When sleeping dogs bite: Unmaintained systems breed disasters
The issue with systems that do not 'fail' is that they have no fixes when they eventually fail.
High Leverage Activities for Teams : Documentation
Excellent documentation leads to efficiency gains, insufficient documentation leads to bottlenecks, while poor documentation sprouts confusion.
9 multipliers for boosting your team’s productivity
Multipliers make or mar engineering organizations - teams that invest in boosting the right capabilities at the right time will get more done with less. Teams that neglect these capabilities will eventually get bogged down – they’ll get less done with more.
Leading through difficult times: Put on your oxygen mask first
The story of the most challenging stretch of my career so far and how I acquired years of leadership experience within months.
No Surprises: A framework for Software Quality
When most teams complain about poor quality, they usually mean reliability woes; however, quality spans a more extensive spectrum and can mean many things. If you complain about your software being of low quality, what dimension do you mean? Use the Maslow quality hierarchy to identify the pertinent challenges and make the right tradeoffs.
The SOAR technique: How to get buy-in and overcome friction
You have a tried and tested approach for solving a knotty problem; however, getting organizational buy-in feels like pulling teeth. You’ve tried cajoling, begging, storming, bargaining and more to no avail. Nothing seems to work; you’re frustrated and thinking of quitting.
From Chaos to Comfort: Transforming business output by eliminating pain
This post describes leading a team through a tough turbulent transition while handling hypergrowth and business pivots. It details the focus on high leverage activities to break the loop of never-ending toilsome tasks and reactive fires.
How to successfully ramp up remote teams
One of my most frustrating leadership experiences involved setting things aright after a near miss with a remote team
How to Accelerate Team Bonding with Tuckman’s 5 Stages of Group Development
A team will go through some rough patch before it jells. Watch out for it, expect it and plan towards making it smooth. Brace for impact.
How to rapidly onboard new teams: Part III
This post focuses on techniques and tactics for onboarding scenarios. These are the techniques I have seen over a decade of remote mentoring, being in teams and leading teams. Think of the suggestions as tailored heuristics for onboarding a new team based on the scenario.
How to rapidly onboard new teams: Part II
This post focuses on steps to take during the first 3 months of forming a new team. It is the second post in the "How to onboard teams" series which covers lessons and techniques acquired from ramping up many teams.
Lessons Learned from rapidly ramping up 3 teams in a year: Part I
How do you get a brand new team to become productive within three months? This post describes the lessons and techniques from rapidly ramping up these teams. These tips should help new members become productive within 12 weeks.
How to run better stand-ups
There is a high chance that you attend or have attended an inefficiently-run stand-up. I have seen various stand-up styles over the years. Sadly, most of the roughly 2000 stand-ups I attended were unproductive. Mildly put, most were status reports for some manager or higher up.
A simple framework for optimizing career decisions
This post describes a simple framework for evaluating career choices along three dimensions and helps you to choose what is most important to you.
Avoid bugs by understanding hole processing in JS arrays