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Level Up - Issue #153


Level Up

July 17 · Issue #153 · View online

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

What happens if someone doesn’t want a growth opportunity?
Great managers should find ways to grow their people, but there will be many situations where a person maybe doesn’t want to grow. How do you handle this?
Firstly, it’s useful to imagine that growth is not linear. An intense period of learning and growth often requires stability and recharging. A series of tough challenges that force growth, directly one after the other often results in burnout. These situations, unfortunately, happen in hypergrowth companies all the time.
Secondly, it’s useful to find out what is most important to people *right now* and in the near future. As an example, new people to the industry (e.g. boot camp/university graduates, interns) are often full of curiosity, and motivation and are very open to learning anything and everything. Compare this to a seasoned person (e.g. 10+ years of experience) who will be more opinionated in areas they want to grow in. A more seasoned person may want to avoid certain growth challenges because it repeats past experiences or they are not interested in growing in those skills. For example, asking a distributed backend systems engineer to pick up iOS skills may not be a growth area they want to focus on long-term.
Finally, it’s important to remember that work reflects only one aspect of a person. I tend to reflect on a person’s full ability to learn, which will be affected by other aspects of someone’s life. For example, someone may have an extreme lifestyle change (e.g. the first newborn, or going through a divorce/separation) where learning isn’t their top priority. World events such as the pandemic and war also affect people in different ways, especially in their capacity to take on new experiences.
Great leaders build trust with their team so they can have open and candid conversations about a person’s needs. Sometimes people will be happy being a solid team member at work without needing a growth challenge for several months and that’s okay.
Enjoy this week’s newsletter, and please pass it on to a friend or colleague who might benefit.
Future dates for Shortcut to Tech Leadership and Engineering Manager Essentials are now live. Also consider levelling up your skills with self-paced courses at the

What happens if someone doesn't want a growth opportunity?
What happens if someone doesn't want a growth opportunity?
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Engineering Manager vs Scrum Master
Transitioning into the Staff+ Engineer Role - from Player to Coach
Technical Writing for Developers
Sign up for the next workshops with dates now live
Sign up for the next workshops with dates now live
Using GPT-3 to explain how code works
Functional programming is finally going mainstream
Things You Should Know About Databases
Struggling with time? Take this self-guided course to find out different approaches that might work for you
Struggling with time? Take this self-guided course to find out different approaches that might work for you
Organisation & Processes
The Structure and Process Fallacy
Read the memo Google’s CEO sent employees about a hiring slowdown
Revert to Source
Tweets of the Week
A good reminder about biases built into AI 👇
Lily Ray 😏
My jaw actually dropped.

@wilreynolds showed 3 examples of black doctors/nurses where Google’s Vision AI rated the image as 70%+ “Street Fashion” despite them literally wearing scrubs

When he painted the nurses white, it switched to “Formal wear”

Truly unbelievable

Movable Type (an ancient form of blogging software) 😅🤣
John Wiseman
On October 8 2001, Movable Type (an ancient form of blogging software) was released. On November 10 2001, at 2 AM, I published my first post on, my "mostly Lisp" blog. I blogged there for 7 more years.
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany