Level Up

By Patrick Kua

Level Up - Issue #121

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Level Up

December 5 · Issue #121 · 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.


When your top leaders understand tech
This week’s transition of Twitter’s CEO from Jack Dorsey (Twitter Founder) to Parag Agrawal (former CTO) reminded me of a couple of things this week. Firstly how some companies likely think very long-term about succession plans, like Amazon’s CEO transition from Jeff Bezos to Andy Jassy. It also reminded me how digital companies have a strong advantage if their CEO deeply understands tech and isn’t simply a consumer of it. Microsoft’s and Apple’s CEOs are two other examples that come to mind.
But understanding tech isn’t enough.
If you’re a CTO, there are other sides to the business such as developing markets, products and also commercial concerns. But if your CEO understands tech, there’s going to be less arguing around topics like investing in technical excellence, building strong engineering cultures and, investing in R&D.
This reminds me of a lot of the digital transformations many “traditional” companies went through or are going through where the CIO is the only executive who has some background yet IT is still seen as a cost-centre. Change and transformation are hard. I know this, having helped many companies as a consultant, but it’s also worth it. As Deming puts it, “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” If you’re in a digital-first company, you might be luckier with your executive team and their level of tech understanding though it’s still no guarantee.
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? Watch out for future dates of “Shortcut to Tech Leadership” in 2022, or take a self-paced course at the http://techlead.academy.

Tech CEOs will enable building stronger digital products but still require other skills
Tech CEOs will enable building stronger digital products but still require other skills
Sponsored Content
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Leadership
Belonging to Amazon’s Principal Engineering Community
Scaling the Practice of Architecture, Conversationally (Part 1)
The Leader's Guide to Fighting Fatigue in This Era
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Tech
AWS unveils Graviton3 Arm chips and more. But the real story is the slide from IaaS to packaged solutions
An Overview of Machine Learning Operations
Multicloud architecture patterns
Have some training budget for 2021? Check out the courses at https://techlead.academy/
Have some training budget for 2021? Check out the courses at https://techlead.academy/
Organisation & Processes
Lessons Learned from Self-Selection Reteaming at Redgate
5 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Job
Save your engineers' sleep: best practices for on-call processes
Tweets of the Week
Great point of view 👏👇
Marcin Floryan 🌍 🇪🇺🇸🇪🇵🇱🏳️‍🌈
Every time I hear:
"This 2h meeting of 20 senior people is really expensive"
I wonder who is asking about:
"This quarter with dozens of engineers stuck waiting for each other with high WIP levels, constant task switching and needles rework that must cost a fortune"
This is a mind-blowing 🤯 thread 🧵 with details about the scale Shopify enduring during the recent Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend! Click the tweet below to read more
Shopify Engineering
2021 was our biggest Black Friday Cyber Monday ever! Together with our friends at @GoogleCloud we achieved near-perfect uptime while averaging ~30TB/min of egress traffic across our infrastructure. That’s a massive ~43PB/day!

Here are some of the most interesting stats 🧵👇
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