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Level Up - Issue #64


Level Up

November 1 · Issue #64 · 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.

Train yourself to ask questions
Many technical leaders step into their leadership role with their “Engineering” hat still on. An engineer defaults to problem solving and means they default to offering solutions. You may do this because you find satisfaction in solving problems. Unfortunately this behaviour is often counter-productive in a leadership role.
When you solve other people’s problems, you rob them of the opportunity to learn and therefore an opportunity to grow. You’ve also started to train others to come to you for the “right answer”, which is definitely not what multipliers should be doing.
Instead of jumping in with advice, focus on asking questions. Ask questions to find out how someone will approach the problem. Ask questions to find out what assumptions lead to that idea and what alternatives did they seek and what trade-offs did they make.
Asking questions also forces you to practice listening. Good questions do not follow a pre-planned list. Good questions take into account what details or assumptions you hear, which means you have to really listen for that detail. Be careful of what a lot of people do - waiting for a pause to say something which isn’t the same as listening. Ask questions and truly listen instead of providing answers and you’ll find you level up your leadership game. This approach will be especially useful this upcoming week.
I hope you enjoy this week’s content. If you find it useful, please forward to someone else and send me feedback. Stay safe and healthy 🙏
Book now for the Nov 18 cohort of “Shortcut to Tech Leadership”, an online guided course on technical leadership, the last course in 2020 🎉!

Learn to ask questions instead of offering solutions by default
Learn to ask questions instead of offering solutions by default
Sponsored Content
This expert blog written by Ori Keren (CEO at explores the complexities of having to be the translator between development and executive teams, and how that makes being VP of Eng. the hardest and loneliest executive role. 
How Google Cloud's Kelsey Hightower became one of the most respected people in cloud computing - Protocol
The basic boss formula (25% / 50% / 25%)
The Prominent Tech Team Leadership Styles of Middle Earth
Level up your technical leadership skills with this online workshop. Click the banner!
Level up your technical leadership skills with this online workshop. Click the banner!
ThoughtWorks' Technology Radar Volume 23
Managing technical quality in a codebase.
Data Alone Is Not Enough: The Evolution of Data Architectures
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Organisation & Processes
Managing Migrations
Onboarding to a new team as an engineering leader
Remote Onboarding Changes the New Hire Experience
Most Common Health Problems in IT and How to Prevent Them
This is hilarious 😂 What’s your favourite? Hold on “Pure flower and socks” or Adopt the “Stolen Machine”?
Jim Kinsey
To celebrate the release of the latest #TWTechRadar, I fed their previous tech radars into a neural network, then back into their build-your-own-radar to get a glimpse of the future

This time next year you'll all be deploying Gremp apps to Japanese Chrome Farms running Swigg
Looks like their algorithm could use a bit more work 😅
Roborace is the world first driver-less/autonomous motorsports category.

This is one of their first live-broadcasted events.

This was the second run.

It drove straight into a wall.
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please send me feedback and share with others!
Want to level up your technical leadership skills? Join the Shortcut to Tech Leadership remote training workshop, or check out the self-paced courses at the Tech Lead Academy including “Time Management for Technical Leaders” and “Fundamentals of Systems Thinking”.
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany