Close out, solve or delegate.

March 29, 2018. Filed under management 127

Navigating the transition to manager-of-managers can be hard, and part of it is because things that used to make you successful don't work anymore. This post provides a tool to use if you've entered a larger role and finding yourself confronted with an increasingly large pile of work.

Managing in the growth plates.

March 21, 2018. Filed under management 127

There is no one way to manage, and even though you'll have a default style, you have to switch up your approach to be appropriate to match your current situation. In particular I find there are explicitly different values for managing in rapidly changing environments and stable ones, and this post explores how and why they're distinct.

Notes from "Good Strategy, Bad Strategy."

March 1, 2018. Filed under management 127review 13book 12

Over the last month I've been reading Good Strategy, Bad Strategy during my commute, and it's been the most thought-provoking book I've read in some time. Given the number of times I've referred to it recently, I've written up some notes to share!

How I write group emails at work.

February 17, 2018. Filed under management 127

I believe for most folks working in technology, our most important daily contribution is communication. Lately I've started to experimenting with systemizing how I write emails at work, particularly emails to groups of folks, and these are my notes.

Product management in infrastructure engineering.

February 6, 2018. Filed under management 127infrastructure 34product 5

Recently a bunch of teams I work with have turned the corner, having paid down technical debt to a long-term sustainable level. The future unfurls with possibility. Many of the infrastructure engineer teams I’ve been a part of have struggled to make the transition from maintenance to innovation, and I wanted to write down some of the ideas that we’re exploring to ease this shift.

Inclusion in the first shift.

January 23, 2018. Filed under management 127

Several years and an employer ago, I was interviewing a candidate for an engineering management role and asked them how they built diverse teams. They mentioned the pipeline problem and concisely summarized their experience: it’s hard. I knew it was a weak answer. And mine was uncomfortably similar.

Vulnerability.

January 20, 2018. Filed under management 127

Vulnerability is sharing more of who you are emotionally than people expect, and often more than they’re comfortable with hearing. If you read enough management books, you’ll get this sense that there is a skill called authenticity for you to learn, but I think it’s less something that you need to add, than having the courage and the willingness to put away some of your masks for a while.

Cold sourcing: hire someone you don't know.

January 8, 2018. Filed under management 127hiring 9

Most managers devote their hiring attention to folks that they already have a relationship with, which can lead to uniform teams and becoming a hiring bottleneck as your company scales. This post looks at the process of reaching out to folks you don't know, frequently referred to as cold sourcing.

Roles over rocket ships, and why hypergrowth is a weak predictor of personal growth.

January 2, 2018. Filed under management 127career 20

How often have we read or been pitched that we should find a rocket ship and get onboard? I think that advice is generally only true for folks going into leveraged roles, and most roles aren't. This post explores a few common hiring and career tropes, and provides a perspective.

Engineering management stuff I learned in 2017.

December 29, 2017. Filed under management 127infrastructure 34

I've been working with Stripe's infrastructure engineering team for 2017, getting to work an increasingly interesting set of problems, at an increasingly large scale, and with an increasingly talented group of folks. These are some of the things I got to learn over the past year.