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Level Up - Issue #85


Level Up

March 28 · Issue #85 · 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.

Dealing with Information Overload
At least once a quarter, I receive an email as feedback to Level Up that sounds like, “Thanks for the effort in editing Level Up. I find lots of useful content, but do you think you could include fewer articles? I am struggling to keep up.
I understand the challenge. We’re all time-poor and it’s a struggle to keep on top of emails, slack communities, blogs and podcasts and everything else. The good news is, everyone feels pretty much the same, with some level of FOMO. I feel like I should be reading deeper and wider about new tech trends, running remote workshops, coaching skills and more. This a challenge for everyone in today’s digital age, and especially for leaders.
A foundation leadership behaviour is prioritising. Decide what is important for you - when it comes to that you read, which invites/meetings you accept and what tasks you do versus delegate. Categorise and prioritise, then do. Here are a few additional tips for content in particular.
Don’t feel you have to click and read every article. It’s one of the reasons, I hand-craft each blurb to share how I think it’s relevant to technical leaders. If you don’t think it’s immediately relevant, skip it (and save time).
Don’t feel you have to read every article *now*. You might be in between meetings, on the go, or not in a great focus area to read with attention. Use your system, save your content and read it later. Experiment to find a system that works for you. For example, I personally enjoy and pay for Pocket for this use case and then email interesting articles for Level Up to myself, which are automatically tagged and categorised which I use when build this newsletter.
Declare bankruptcy. I love the idea of declaring email bankruptcy. Apply this concept to your growing notifications of content. You might delete all, mark all as read, archive all if you find an ever-growing “unread list” unsettling. I apply this concept to blogs, podcasts, Slack, etc. 😅
Enjoy this week’s edition. If you find Level Up useful, please forward it 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 take a self-paced course at the

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Focus on Your First 10 Systems, Not Just Your First 10 Hires — This Chief of Staff Shares His Playbook
A Product Manager Assessment
Everyday People, Extraordinary Leadership
Improving large monorepo performance on GitHub with Project Cyclops
Linus Torvalds on where Rust will fit into Linux
Kubernetes Is Not Your Platform, It's Just the Foundation
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Organisation & Processes
Should You Trust the Myers-Briggs Personality Test?
Don’t Zoom in too close: 30% of us are wearing PJs in work meetings, some no pants (trousers) at all!
Putting People at the Centre of Operations
Tweets of the Week
Great example of reframing!
Brian Guthrie
Instead of saying "We have to move slow to move fast," instead ask "What can we do to improve reliability without sacrificing speed?"
Absolutely agreed. Ensemble programming is worth trying
Jon Reid
Not just management. Programmers resist ensemble programming, out of habit & fear:
- I’ve always coded alone.
- I’m an introvert.
- I think better alone.
- I hear pairing is tiring.

You’ve no idea how much fun it is. Or how effective. Or what you’ll learn.
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