🌹 What am I grateful for this week?
Had such a wonderful time learning from our fellow delivery leads at our virtual community away day. All the lightning talk presenters did a stellar job; whether John covering attribution theory, our tendency to look for causality rather than considering the randomness of events, or Raph giving a brief history of agile and making me think he could easily do a Hawking-like intro for the masses. Olga’s Accelerate overview was timely as we look to incorporate its learnings across our business — coincidentally I spotted Selina posting some learnings from HelloFresh taking the same steps with their teams. It’s encouraging to see we’re collectively rowing in the same direction!
But beyond learning from the community, building community was equally rewarding, and I found our team song-humming icebreaker challenge surprisingly effective at getting everyone in the right mood for the rest of the day. Lingering on the call afterwards was probably the closest we’ll get to those pub chat days of yore*, given the current way of the world.
🌵 Where did I get stuck this week?
Time management is an ongoing challenge for me, but especially so when taking a short week. I’ve got nothing but admiration for all the working parents and folks doing compressed hours and flexible weeks and still keeping pace. Given I have an afternoon off next week too, I’ll need to be careful not to let things snowball.
💡 What stuck with me this week?
Of all the lightning talks, it was Laura’s junior list that definitely made the most impact. Thinking back to the time we worked together on PagoFX also reminded me of Lani, and how she helped me develop my own coaching skills while we supported a growing team there. A few of my favorite points that came in handy during those times:
- Remember to introduce your new starters and proactively bring them into conversations with key stakeholders. Sharing a stakeholder map with photos can help prepare them for a dizzying first day.
- Show, don’t tell. Offer to pair together to get things started.
- End each week with an AMA** over coffee/lunch/beer.
There was also a point on smiling and nodding 😁 which I took more as a reminder to be encouraging. Consulting can be particularly intimidating when going client-side for the very first time; there’s already enough pressure to go around, so no need to add to the pile!
📚 What did I discover this week?
This is a view from 2018 of where I wanted to go next as a delivery lead, which in light of the week’s delivery discipline conversations makes for an interesting look back. The feedback questions still resonate, in terms of being similar outcomes to what I’m interested in driving in a newer context today.
Enjoyed this article that Aine cited during her excellent lightning talk about being a gratitude-driven leader. Along with her insight that “it’s not about people being problems, it’s about them having problems,” it’s also clear that we can tap into gratitude to help defeat a victim mentality and put our best work forward with optimism and positivity.
Why Leaders Should Cultivate Gratitude
Gratitude is an oft-overlooked aspect of leadership, but it is so important for cultivating the proper spirit and…
Came across an oldie/goodie from Brad this week, in the context of a Slack discussion about social media. I remember him sharing this out a while back and it sticking with me then — the idea of attention monsters always lurking in the background of our lives. One of the beautiful things about paper is it doesn’t demand anything from us.
Stab a Book, the Book Won't Die
How do we account for the resilient nature of books? They're not dead, though according to a hundred years of…
This 3 tribes model for programmer/engineer culture is quite compelling. I feel like I came out of college in the hardware-loving camp 2, still enamored by FPGAs*** and the thrill of being close to the metal, but over time moved into camp 3 and was drawn to the product world. But I love the observation that camp 1 is where we get our leaps and advancements in languages, algorithms and other foundational tech — and the camps all need each other for the industry as a whole to continue to thrive.
3 tribes of programming
There's an old joke that computer science is a lie, because its not really about computers, and its not really a…
I noticed back in July I thought about sharing the occasional post I disagree with (and seem to have forgotten since then!), but after finishing this 1/10/100 series I may have found another candidate.
The premise sounded interesting enough; an award-winning documentary about what flexing your video budget can do for you. But two hours later, you’re left with the ultimate takeaways being to… invest in a creative person, invest in creative people, and invest in creativity. And have watched 3 ads for their product along the way. Maybe I had the wrong expectations heading into it, but the whole exercise felt self-congratulatory and I’m not feeling much wiser about where to deploy my next video budget (well, certainly not to blow $100,000).
One, Ten, One Hundred - A Wistia Original Series
Streaming now, Wistia's Webby Award - winning video series explores the relationship between money and creativity.
🌱 What am I looking forward to next week?
Do we really have to come back to London tomorrow? 😢
Lots to get stuck back into next week though. Working sessions abound, a lunch is hopefully in the cards, and we’re hiring again! I’m going to need to brush up on interview questions before my next loop.
Loving Bath this weekend. Bristol as well. Can’t believe the last time we made it out here was in 2016!
Sometimes you just need to get away for a bit, and the change in scenery is everything. I miss the travels we used to plan and take so casually when the world was different, but I count myself lucky that we still have so much accessible to us with just a bit of effort.
And we got doubly lucky with the weather, despite some rough forecasts — goes to show, you can’t always trust them.
*Once upon a time, our delivery team outing of choice was Dishoom. I dug a bit in the Slack archives and managed to find The Order™️: calamari, chicken ruby, grilled masala prawns, chicken tikka, spicy lamb chops, chicken berry Britannia biryani, veg biryani, black daal, gunpowder potatoes, slaw, mattar paneer, raita, and all the naans (plain, garlic, cheese). YUM.
**I remember Andy telling me he’d rebranded the classic “ask me anything” session as a “stupid questions” session, to great effect, with others he coaches. By leaning in to the idea and framing the session slightly tongue-in-cheek, you can get to the intended outcome faster.
***Field-programmable gate arrays. The CS150 memories are fuzzy now, but they involved some sort of Pong-like game as the class project, the joy of writing your own RCA “display driver” and seeing color on the TV for the first time, debugging by measuring voltage on a wire, a whole lot of Verilog and basically no unit tests (oops). Still my favorite class of my undergraduate program.