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Level Up - Issue #113

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Level Up

October 10 · Issue #113 · View online

Level Up delivers a curated newsletter for leaders in tech. A project by https://patkua.com. Ideal for busy people such as Tech Leads, Engineering Managers, VPs of Engineering, CTOs and more.


Tech is an amplifer. Are you being responsible?
It was hard to go by this week without hearing something about Facebook. You probably heard about their major outage (and a second one) or about their whistleblower, Frances Haugen, who aired on 60 minutes (video here) and exposed questionable decisions and actions (which, co-incidentally wasn’t the first time this has been highlighted). Read this article for a short summary.
Just as leaders are multipliers, tech companies with large platforms like Facebook are major amplifiers. What may be discounted as a small percentage (e.g. 1%) of users still might affect 3 million or more people (approximately the same number of people in Jamaica!)
If you’re in tech, you’re likely privileged in this current market with so many job opportunities. All tech leaders I know are struggling to hire if that’s any indicator. If you have this privileged opportunity, you also have an opportunity to ask if you’re part of a company mission that uses tech in a responsible way. Or are you part of one amplifying something harmful?
To help you explore this question I want to use this week’s newsletter to highlight the Responsible Tech Playbook which I recently came across. Inside the playbook, you’ll find a more detailed explanation about why this matters as well as a number of tools worth experimenting with. Many of the tools don’t require a lot of time (e.g. 1-2 hours), so you have little to lose and lots of potential insight to gain. Your challenge this week is to flip through the playbook and pick one of the tools to learn more about. Go one step further and make a plan to use that tool.
Enjoy this week’s newsletter and be sure to pass it on to a friend or colleague.
Want to level up your technical leadership skills? Sign up for the online workshop, “Shortcut to Tech Leadership” or take a self-paced course at the http://techlead.academy.

Working in tech doesn't require taking the Hippocratic oath but we can still ask ourselves if we're working on responsible tech
Working in tech doesn't require taking the Hippocratic oath but we can still ask ourselves if we're working on responsible tech
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Organisation & Processes
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Tweets of the Week
On the back of the Facebook issue, this is a great thread that communicates what BGP is. Excellent lesson in communication to observe 👇
Jason Crawford
Facebook is down this morning, apparently due to a BGP problem.

What's BGP? It's an absolutely essential but fairly obscure internet protocol. I have a CS degree, but I only know about it because I did a summer internship with @Akamai a very long time ago.

A brief explainer:
For a slightly different perspective, also a great read about leading design teams and their relationship to other functional areas. Read this thread 🧵 to boost your empathy and understanding of other disciplines.
Stuart Clarke-Frisby
I’ve been running design organisations for almost eight years now. First as the senior-most IC in a design immature company where I was trying to establish a design practise, then as it’s head of design, and most recently in that same role in a more design mature company.
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please send me feedback and share it with others!
Want to level up your technical leadership skills? Watch out for future dates for the Shortcut to Tech Leadership online workshop, or check out self-paced courses at the Tech Lead Academy.
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany