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Level Up - Issue #25

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This week involved a lot of personal interactions, helping a number of tech leaders level up. It's su
 

Level Up

February 2 · Issue #25 · View online
Level Up delivers a curated newsletter for leaders in tech. A project by http://patkua.com. Ideal for busy people such as Tech Leads, Engineering Managers, VPs of Engineering, CTOs and more.

This week involved a lot of personal interactions, helping a number of tech leaders level up. It’s super personally satisfying to watch people start to shift their mental models from Maker to Multiplier mode and to help them find and practice tools to help them do so. One of the most pattern in questions sounds like, “What’s the best way to do X?” (e.g. resolve conflict, make a decision, etc) This is, of course, a natural process of learning.
I find a better question to ask is, “What are some approaches to do X?” This is a must better question because it reflects the complexity of the real world. No team, no software and no organisation is exactly the same. There are, of course, good practices (like automated testing, refactoring, CI, CD, team chartering, 1-1s, etc) but there are also circumstances where those practices break down.
There are no silver bullets. As the old saying goes, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
I hope you enjoy this week’s content. If you find it useful, please forward to someone else and send me feedback.

Build your technical leadership toolkit. Think about when and where to apply them.
Build your technical leadership toolkit. Think about when and where to apply them.
Leadership
3 Reasons Why Great Engineers Don’t Become Managers
Recovering from Burnout
Leadership Derailers: Anger
Tech
Conference report: DeliveryConf
25 years on: what I've learned about software development
Joining Tailscale: Simplifying Networking, Authentication, and Authorization
Organisation & Processes
Fit for purpose
An old lesson about a fish
Interesting tweets
Ouch! 🤕
Steve Purcell 🇪🇺
If your org doesn't have deliberate software architecture, then all your software engineers are building arbitrary undesigned structures, and your CTO is the mayor of a software shanty town.
9:14 AM - 27 Jan 2020
Clay Christensen (author of the very well read Innovator’s Dilemma) passed away. This thread is an interesting read to understand what “disruptive” was meant to mean. Click through the 🧵 to read more.
Jason Crawford
RIP @claychristensen, who influenced the strategy of an entire generation of founders.

Christensen's term “disruptive” is used loosely today to mean any big change—but it actually has a precise, technical meaning.

In honor of his legacy, here's what “disruptive” actually means:
9:34 PM - 24 Jan 2020
There is a lot of truth to this tweet.
Tanya Reilly
Process is hard.

no process: wasted time figuring out how to do things

guidelines: people treat it as law and want to document every edge case

clear process: pages of legalese; everyone hates it

And "use common sense here" turns out to be a very subjective thing.
5:48 PM - 24 Jan 2020
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please send me feedback and share with others!
If you’re interested in growing and supporting technical leaders in your company, get in touch about my “Tech Lead Skills for Developers” course.
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany