Leadership reads, July 2022

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At the end of July, I got an idea that it would be nice to share in my blog some good posts I read. Can’t say that I read a lot, but I’d like to do a better job here. I also receive quite a lot of reading recommendations from various resources and struggle myself to read all of them or pick the best reads, so I thought you might have similar problems too. That’s why I want the list to be very lightweight, and carefully chosen. I want it to be something that resonates with me as an engineering lead or insightful for a person willing to create great products for real people.

Please note, there is no option to subscribe to that specific compilation. I think there are enough pings, dings, unread messages in whatever apps you use, so I don’t want this to become another one. This compilation is a free ride, you’re welcome to check and read it whenever you want or have time. Enjoy it!

So here it goes, the first edition.


Productivity for Developers

Link: https://giolodi.com/2022/07/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-productive-software-developer/

Gio Lodi is sharing his thoughts about what productivity means for Software Developers. Doing more? Doing better? Doing the right things? Those are great questions to think about for yourself, and I believe the true answer will depend on your own preferred balance of those things.

The Curse of knowledge

Scott Berkun wrote an internal post about the curse of knowledge concepts and how that affects product decisions made by us. That’s a very interesting problem and concept, being aware of which could help with looking at the problems from the different standpoint. I can’t share the post by Scott, but you can read more about the concept here and here, and try to apply that knowledge to product thinking on your own. Believe me, it’ll be a fun exercise.

Program and Platform teams

Link: https://newsletter.pragmaticengineer.com/p/the-platform-and-program-split-at

This is the story of how Uber get to the splitting teams into Program and Platform teams. Good read for the cases when the number of teams working on the same product is growing and the old approaches stop working at new scale. That also resembles the approach we started following at the end of 2021 for teams working on WooCommerce Payments. Some things already work the same way, and some ideas would be interesting to bring to life.

Learn together

Link: https://medium.com/shipup-blog/sharing-interesting-stuff-a-simple-yet-powerful-management-tool-771d3c2b39b7

That post explains a very simply but powerful idea for improving knowledge exchange and learning within daily work routines. In two words: suggest topic/post/article for discussion, give partner or group time to digest the content, get together to discuss and exchange opinions. The author uses the idea in 1:1s, but we took this practice as an experiment to run discussions within a group of engineering leads, and it works well so far.