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Career management

The culture of process

My latest in LeadDev… One of the challenges we face as engineering managers is how people react to process differently. Sometimes it’s like we’re talking about entirely different things – we propose something we expect to be lightweight, and people react like we’re instituting TPS reports or time-tracking in six minute intervals (normal for lawyers, […]

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management

Pandemic Problems

For the past couple of months, I’ve kept a post it on my desk. It says: How are people doing? – Downtime– Social isolation– Perspective You can probably guess what it’s for – it’s a reminder of the core struggles I’ve been noticing from people. Downtime: downtime is lower quality, and people struggle to recharge. […]

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LeadDev management

Empowering your engineering team with an effective decision-making process

My latest for LeadDev… A common area where managers fail to scale is in decision-making. The two extremes are: being responsible means making all decisions and enabling a team means staying out of details and letting them make decisions. Both of these are bad. One is controlling and fails to scale for obvious reasons. The other fails to […]

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management

Lead Time Chat

My friend Jean and I recorded a little video for her Lead Time Chat series on the topic of coaching. Some topics we covered… The difference between an external coach and a manager. Working with an external coach across multiple jobs. Finding a good fit with a coach. Whether an engineering background is what you […]

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management

Leading your engineering team with ‘experiments’ not ‘processes’

My first post for the LeadDev… Many teams have the same fear when it comes to a new manager: they fear the process monster. Process monster (n): a manager for whom the answer is always, always ‘process’. The process monster will add more and more processes to the team until the team collapses under the […]

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management

Supermanagers Podcast

I recorded an episode of the Supermanagers podcast and it was really fun! We talked about many things including the importance of coachability, why you should get rid of your boring meetings, and the worst manager I ever had. Listen on: [iTunes] [Spotify] [Google Play] [Anchor]

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management

You can fix your hiring process: Here’s your five-step plan

My latest in Quartz… As a manager who has usually taken over teams that have been struggling in some way, there is something that I’ve consistently had to do: fix the hiring process. Hiring well is a huge lever for team transformation. Getting it right doesn’t just mean hiring good people (although that part is crucial), […]

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management quartz

Hotfixes for your Newly Remote Team

As many of us accept the new reality, hair increasingly wild, and perhaps having embraced a pandemic wardrobe (daytime pajamas are a legit work outfit now), there’s no return to the office in sight for those of us who can work remotely. It’s time to consider some of the ways in which our teams are […]

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Career management

Remote Work Discussion on Channel 4 News

I was on the UK’s Channel 4 news talking about remote work, you can see the video which is provocatively titled “‘Economy could be at a standstill if we don’t get people back into work’ – businesswoman Linda Plant”. I do get the concerns about the economy, social interaction, and creativity. But, I think we […]

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management

Remote-team managers can learn a lot from open-source communities

My latest in Quartz… It is truly a difficult and emotionally exhausting time to be a manager. Even those who are used to managing remotely are having to navigate the shifting expectations and chaos of disrupted lives and disrupted businesses. Of course, some people deal with that level of disruption by trying to increase control. […]