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management mobile Usability

Creating the Productive Tension

When I joined the mobile team at Automattic, we had one designer – Matt Miklic, who wrote about the explerience of leading that team. However one thing I was reminded of following some of the current discussions around product development is how we thought about and approached design at the centre of the team, and […]

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management mobile

Phase 1 of Hiring, Getting from 0-30

Towards the end of 2017, we reopened hiring on the mobile team at Automattic which had been shut since the start of the year as we got things in order. I think of this as phase 1 of hiring on the team – nailing the basics of the process, and making some progress with diversity […]

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mobile

The State of WordPress Mobile

Slides from my WCEU talk on the WordPress mobile apps, you can see the full version with speaker notes here. It’s a recap of what shipped in 2017 and explores our themes for 2018. Mega thanks to my colleague Matt Miklic who made the deck.

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management mobile

Quarterly Rituals: Empathy Challenge

It’s easy to get so focused on your day to day that you forget the bigger picture of the product you work on. We’ve been doing these quarterly challenges with the idea of building empathy for our users. Each time, taking this mindset, I discover things that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I try to choose […]

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Career management mobile

One Year as 📱👑

One year ago today, I tweeted: ✨ first day @automattic ✨ — cate, a human being (@catehstn) November 7, 2016 Three weeks after that, when my support rotation ended… ✨ first day as 📱👑 ✨ — cate, a human being (@catehstn) November 28, 2016 As I recall, my friend James described it as “the most […]

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management mobile

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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Career mobile

Mentoring Calls Available

Just over a year ago now, I did this thing I called “mobile mentoring”. If you were under-indexed in tech and worked on mobile I would do a call with you about anything you wanted. I spoke to maybe… ten people? Most of them – in the way of mentoring – I never heard from […]

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management mobile

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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management mobile

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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mobile

Running an Effective Mobile Engineering Team, Part 3: Setting Priorities

Clear on priorities: When you ask people what is most important and why, they can answer. Problem: Leadership is often dominated by iOS users, so Android can feel like an afterthought. If you ask a person on your team what your top priority is as a team, can they tell you? Can they tell you […]