Some common hiring manager mistakes.

August 2, 2020. Filed under management 114hiring 9

There’s a lot to say about engineering hiring, and I’ve written a fair amount about it, but as I was chatting with a few folks over the past couple weeks, I realized one thing I haven’t written about is the recurring challenges that you’ll often see new hiring managers encounter.

Customizing screen and screenrc.

July 26, 2020. Filed under screen 1

While my professional development has moved to VSCode (and don't get me wrong, I write effectively zero code as a CTO), I still do my personal work in a combination of Screen, Emacs and shell commands. I recently bought a new home computer to replace my aging iMac, and decdied to try something different: what if I left auto-update enabled instead of clicking 'Remind me tomorrow' every day until this computer, too, is replaced?

Create space for others.

July 26, 2020. Filed under staff-plus 18

One of the best measures of your long-term success as a Staff-plus engineer is that the organization around you increasingly benefits from, **but doesn’t rely upon**, your contributions. Because many folks reach their first Staff-plus role by being the “go to” person for the organization, it can be a difficult transition from essential to adjacent.

Staff-plus interview processes.

July 12, 2020. Filed under staff-plus 18interviewing 4

When we talk about designing a Staff-plus engineer interview loop, the first thing to talk about is that absolutely no one is confident their Staff-plus interview loop works well. Many loops end up looking for a senior engineer who’s _really_ fast at solving problems, which doesn’t reflect the actual role. Others focus on communication skills, which _are_ a key part of the role but certainly not the entirety of it. A few companies even construct their process to assess whether the candidate _feels_ like a member of their existing senior engineering team, conflating excellence with familiarity.

External office hours.

July 7, 2020. Filed under management 114

While I was taking some time to rest before starting at Calm, one day I had an appointment downtown and decided to run an experiment to see if I could grab coffee and lunch with folks I didn’t know. The day before I typed up a tweet asking if anyone would be interested in meeting.