After the Toxicity the Toxicity Remains

Every so often, the conversation about leaving tech resurfaces, and things I wrote in ~2014 get referenced. I wrote a lot about leaving tech around then. I thought a lot about leaving in tech in 2014. And 2013. And in 2015, I thought a lot about what it had meant to be willing to leave, […]

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Interview: How to create momentum on day zero

I did an interview with GitPrime about hiring and onboarding. I really like how it came out, and I hope you like it too! “We talk about how engineers hate process,” says Cate Huston, Mobile Lead at Automattic, “but here’s my theory: engineers often love process, but when they love it, they call it culture.” It’s […]

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The Receptionist Test

The receptionist test: how does someone treat the receptionist? Alternative: a person with power or authority is someone’s first interaction with a company, e.g. by staffing the front desk. How are they treated (i.e. do people assume they are the receptionist). In the modern era there are three ways to pass the receptionist test. Look the […]

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That Time I Was an Imposter

I was reminded, recently, how much I have come to hate the phrase “imposter syndrome”. Not because I don’t think it’s a helpful concept (I do). But because it’s overused, and used harmfully. My post The Trouble with Imposters resurfaced, and I was in a BBC program about it. Then Rachel Smith wrote an awesome […]

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One Year as 📱👑

One year ago today, I tweeted: https://twitter.com/catehstn/status/795613608537423872 Three weeks after that, when my support rotation ended… https://twitter.com/catehstn/status/803379914988810242 As I recall, my friend James described it as “the most low key new job tweet”. I pointed out the extremely descriptive emoji for my job title, and he said “I felt both enlightened and informed”. I think […]

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On Improving Diversity in Hiring

Caveat: Diversity is more than gender. I’ve used gender in some of these examples because I have enough anecdotal data to support these theories wrt to gender but I don’t want to extrapolate beyond that. In general my policy is to test and measure women because we can actually have data for that, but then […]

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The AltMBA: A Retro

This summer I set aside four weeks and retreated up a mountain to focus on the AltMBA. Ever since it ended, I’ve been meaning to write a retro. At first I felt I needed some distance from it, then I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. I figure it won’t get easier with […]

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When Your Job Gets Harder, Make a Friend

I don’t like to give advice but there is one piece I give reasonably often in various forms, and feel pretty confident about. When your job gets harder, make a friend. It’s easy to hide away when we get overwhelmed thinking the best thing to do is to “focus” and “get stuff done” and 💯 […]

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Leadership Podcast with John Maeda!

My colleague John and I recorded a little podcast together, and you can listen to it here. We talked about listen-first leadership, being judged on performance vs potential, and how I think of a senior engineer as “making the whole team better”. There’s also a transcript available for those of you (like me!) who hate […]

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