Bi-Monthly Rituals: The State of All the Things

At the end of last year, I somehow found myself as the lead of a team that was 4x as big as my previous one. Many things were different, but one of the big ones was changing from having one person on each platform who really knew everything that was going on… to having some […]

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Monthly Rituals: Snaps

A few months ago, I started putting up posts like this each month. Some other teams started doing it too. I like the idea of encouraging people to take a moment for what they’re happy about, and the things others have helped them with.

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On Skip 1:1s

One of the first things I did as a new manager of managers was schedule skip 1:1s with everyone on the team. I blocked off an hour per person, and crammed ~20 hours of them into my first two weeks – along with a lightning trip from Buenos Aires to Philly for WordCamp US. It was […]

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The Magic of #FEELINGStime

A truth that should be universally acknowledged – but isn’t – is that a group of hardworking people do not necessarily make a high performing team. On a basic level, a group of hard working people checking code into the same codebase isn’t necessarily a team. At a more complex level, hard work doesn’t necessarily […]

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Org Survey Part 2: Analysis

This is the second part of running an org survey. You can find the questions in part 1. What Does The Data Look Like? First step is color-coding the spreadsheet to show trends in the numbers. I made a sample spreadsheet and generated random data – so it looks a little chaotic – but you […]

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Org Survey Part 1: Questions

I remember when I managed a 6 person team, and I always felt like I had a handle on what was going on (perhaps I’m being overly nostalgic here). Now I manage a ~26 person organisation, and on a good day I feel like I have a general idea of what’s happening, and certain specific […]

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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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Running an Effective Mobile Team, Part 6: Encouraging Accountability

Accountable: People can have expectations of each other. This includes leadership. Problem: Often these things result in mobile being a bit disconnected. Server side changes can break clients, and then mobile teams take the heat from users and leadership. This can lead to resentment, which makes accountability hard. Accountability comes last, because it builds on […]

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Running an Effective Mobile Team, Part 5: Automating Things

Let’s talk about automation. This seems like an out of place thing in this series. Predictable! Prioritized! Connected! Accountable! These are all fuzzy people things. Automated sounds like… more fun? Like Proper Developer Work? Automation is like documentation, but developers might actually write it. Without automation: It’s easy to have random esoteric things that few […]

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Running an Effective Mobile Team, Part 4: Building Connections

Connected: People work together and take an interest in each other (this doesn’t mean everyone has to be friends – but they are friendly). Problem: We lack a clear model for mobile infrastructure. This leads to discussions like whether to have a mobile team or pods. Regardless of what your “mobile teams” look like – […]

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