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Level Up - Issue #74


Level Up

January 10 · Issue #74 · 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.

Practice Timeboxing
Welcome back to the start of the working calendar year 🥳. Based on the many Out of Office emails I’ve received, many of you will have started work this past week or will be starting this coming week. Firstly I wish you this year to be much less chaotic, more successful and full of good health!
The rollover into a new year is interesting. A new year is an arbitrary new number, but many of us, like me, feel it is a great time to stop, reflect and plan for the upcoming year. In some way, we all need some way to mark the passage of time. This is why timeboxing is so helpful. Although I’m a big fan of flow-based methods like Kanban for teams, it doesn’t mean you need to completely give up other timeboxing approaches like weekly or fortnightly retrospectives, or quarterly goal/OKR setting. Note: In Kanban, you should still have these repeated timeboxes but not necessarily coupled to one other.
Timeboxing helps us because as I point out in my time management course, activities often expand to fill whatever time we have. We might have done enough (nothing is ever done!) and we can move on, but without an end date, we might continue iterating, refining with diminishing value.
Ask yourself what time boxes you have in place for you and your team and if you might benefit from more frequent or smaller time boxes.
If you find Level Up useful, please forward to someone you think would benefit. Stay safe and healthy 🙏
Want to level up your technical leadership skills? Sign up for the online workshop, “Shortcut to Tech Leadership” or a take a self-driven training course at the

Consider what time boxes you have in place
Consider what time boxes you have in place
Sponsored Content
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Nine Leadership Lessons 2020 Gave Us
Lessons from Managing for the Summer Part 2
Wellness: How to look after your mental health during lockdown
Being Chief Technology Officer: Lessons learned in my first year
Dates for Q1/2021 for an online course now online (click the banner above)
Dates for Q1/2021 for an online course now online (click the banner above)
Engineering Principles for Unruly Artists
An AI reporter's favorite books of 2020
Consistent Core
Want to sponsor an issue or advertise a leadership role?
🌟🌟🌟 Reach thousands of engineering leaders around the world. Maybe you want to share a leadership role you’re looking to fill? Interested in becoming a sponsor? Get in touch for details. 🌟🌟🌟
Organisation & Processes
Make High Impact Decisions with Confidence using Alignment Records
Principles for Managing a Remote Team
Revisiting How People Prioritise Software Architecture Work
How tech acquisitions work
Interesting tweets
A fun twitter 🧵 that looks back at Flash, one of the greatest examples of an anti-web concept. Flash was popular, but I’m also glad 2020 saw it end. Click the tweet below to expand the thread.
Matt May
Today is the Adobe Flash end of life date.

I come to bury Flash, not to praise it.

As an animation platform, Flash launched the web into new directions. But once it became a UX platform, without the structure of web or OS apps, it left millions behind. (thread)
Complexity has certainly increased! 😅
Tom Hombergs
10 years ago, we had an unmanageable monolith with a database and a server-side rendered web frontend.

Now, we have an unmanageable system of NoSQL databases, complex JS frontends, and a death star of micro services.
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? Watch out for future dates for the Shortcut to Tech Leadership online workshop, or check out 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