Build a network of peers.

September 4, 2020. Filed under staff-plus 24

As I talk to more and more Staff-plus engineers about career advice, the most consistent recommendation was to develop a personal network of peers doing similar work. Not every person emphasized this approach, but more than half mentioned it and for those who did it tended to be their first and strongest recommendation.

Performative leadership.

August 23, 2020. Filed under management 123

Earlier this year, I realized that I had been using the term "performative" incorrectly. This led to an interesting discussion, with Laura sharing the proper definition, and Julia pointing out that literally no one uses the term as it's "properly" defined.

The Grand Migration.

August 13, 2020. Filed under architecture 30anti-pattern 2pattern 1

Shortly after a senior leader joins a new company, sometimes you’ll notice them quickly steer the organization towards a total architectural rewrite. Perhaps this is a switch from batch to streaming computation, perhaps a switch from a monolith to a services architecture, perhaps it’s a rewrite into a new programming language. If you take a few minutes to reflect, I bet you can identify several times where you’ve had this experience. Regardless of the proposed technical change, it’s always coupled with the promise of fixing a broad swath of organizational and technical challenges. I’ve coined a name for this pattern of proposing a sweeping technical shift to address a multitude of organizational challenges: The Grand Migration.

Promotion pathologies.

August 9, 2020. Filed under management 123

As I was working on the Staff promotion packets article, I originally included a section on 'Promotion pathologies' to (attempt to) avoid when going up for a promotion to a staff-plus engineering role, but it ended up making the article less cohesive so I scrapped it there and have pulled it out here as a separate post.

Staff promotion packets.

August 8, 2020. Filed under staff-plus 24

Some folks think of their promotion packet as the capstone of reaching a Staff-pus role, but I’ve seen many folks succeed by taking an opposite approach: starting to write their first Staff promotion packet long before they think they’re likely to be promoted to Staff, much the way they might use a [brag document](https://jvns.ca/blog/brag-documents/). Used this way, your packet becomes the map to accomplishing your goal.