The only truthful answer to any question about management

My latest in Quartz… With a few other people, I run a Slack chat group for engineering managers. We’ve made some deliberate choices—for example, we don’t have a channel for #inclusion. Every so often this comes up, and we invoke our argument: Inclusion is central to good management, so all channels are inclusion channels. We […]

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I’m a Terrible Mentor: Here’s Why

I hate mentoring and I don’t want to do it. This is mainly a product of me hating three things. One-directional relationships. Other people’s priorities not my own. Giving advice. One-directional relationships are so exhausting, because you can’t really be open. Being a manager has – oh the irony – made me less open to […]

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Advice for White Men

Some famous white dude in tech tweeted an inane remark that erased a significant portion of the population, and one of my friends was really mad. I asked why. Because my observation is that this guy dispenses advice for white men. In long form, and in trite remarks on Twitter. He tells them what they […]

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Advice, Mentors, and Questionably Helpful Emails

Foliage Danbo

Let me start by saying: I hate giving advice and I try not to do it. Typically my “advice” falls under two categories (in that order, often deployed together): Telling people that whatever their reaction (stress, sadness, fear…) is understandable. Suggesting books or lines of thinking that I have found helpful in related situations. Of course […]

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Some Thoughts On Mentoring

quokka family

I’m lucky to have a large and broad network, internally and externally. Well, I say lucky. I work at it. I stay in touch, ping people to say hi, schedule lunches, arrange to meet up when I’m in the area, or they are in the area, ask how they are doing, take an interest in […]

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Tlazolteotl 18:7:13

I was having a conversation with one of my mentors last week about a specific challenge I was facing, and she made this observation, and gave me a brilliant piece of advice that completely transcends that discussion and put so many things in context for me. If it’s affecting your confidence, then we have a […]

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Keep Telling Me to “Say No” Until I Learn

Red balloons

On the way to Toronto my friend is telling me I need to give up bagels, and I say, there’s enough change in my life right now without introducing more. But that I think it will be better next month. She says, “you always think that; you said that in August, too”. She’s right. This […]

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Wear What You Want

green rose sequin mini skirt

Today, I wore a mini-skirt (gray) over leggings (black) with ballet flats (gray) and a plain tshirt and cardi (both black). I wore my hair down, and (naturally) curly. I know, I don’t normally share the details of my wardrobe, but bear with me – I have a point. It was an ideal outfit for […]

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Advice for Future Engineers

I can’t tell you how happy this xkcd made me. It’s a powerful statement on women in science (and engineering) but also contains this snippet of amazing advice. You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great […]

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