Sharing the Data: How Technical Women Navigate Their Career

In May, Automattic’s engineering hiring team launched a user research study to better understand how our approach to tech hiring resonates with women and non-binary folks who may experience similar gender discrimination in the workplace and are experienced developers. We asked participants questions about how they saw their careers and next opportunities, as well as specifically asking […]

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How to build—and manage—a self-improving team

My latest in Quartz… A lot of things in management become clearer when you realize it’s much easier to measure a team’s progress than its state. A team produces 30 units of “x” in a week. Is this good? Well, we could start by asking what the value of each unit is, or by looking […]

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The firm with 900 staff and no office

I did an interview with the BBC on remote working, and how we operate without an office [full article]. Cate Huston believes fully remote working can actually be good for communication. “Remote work makes the problems of work more explicit and then we can set out deliberately to address them. “If you work in the […]

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The best thing you can do for your career is learn to be more coachable

My latest in Quartz… I really hate the “Peter principle“—the idea that people get promoted up to their level of incompetence. The very concept suggests there is a limit to people’s growth. It assumes a fixed mindset on the part of the person stuck in a role they’re not immediately equipped to handle, and a […]

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Why a good boss likes it when people complain

My latest in Quartz… I know some managers say “don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions,” but personally I don’t subscribe to it. I love when people complain to me. Of course, complaining is a national past time for the British, and we don’t just limit ourselves to complaining about the weather, or the poor […]

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As a leader, your job should change every six months even if you stay put

My latest in Quartz… Leadership roles evolve, especially through periods of transition. As a leader, I have found my own role changing as challenges on the team change—around every four months I realize everything is fundamentally different, and the way I need to spend my time changes, too. Recently the number of my direct reports more […]

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Does your team need to rebrand?

My latest in Quartz… Some leaders are fantastic at “team branding”—communicating about their group in ways that give the rest of the organization a good understanding of what the team is all about. Others are squarely focused on “team public relations”—telling a great story about a team that, if we looked more closely, we might […]

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Addressing Hiring Gaps Through User Research

The hiring hot take is a regular feature of every tech conversation. Newsletters. Conferences. Blogs. Twitter. We talk about hiring a lot, because the market is competitive, and hiring well makes a big difference. Hiring effectively goes well beyond the “quality” of people you hire – it sets them up for an experience inline with […]

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Where do you start when a team is broken?

My latest in Quartz… One of my friends just took over a new team and found… far more of a situation than she was expecting. She faced a choice: commit to the turnaround, or switch to something that seems like a better bet. Of course, I advocated for the turnaround. Struggling teams are places of  opportunity, both […]

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