Meeting people.

January 26, 2019. Filed under management 89career 8

In the earliest bits of my career, I spent a lot of time worrying that my lack of pedigree was holding me back. How much easier things would have be for me, I imagined, if only I'd attended a feeder school like Stanford or started out at a prestigious company like Google. Memories of that angst bubbled up when I was chatting with someone at a recent conference, and they asked how I knew so many of the people nearby. My first reaction was that I don't know very many folks, but it's also the case that I know meaningfully more folks today than I did just a few years ago, and that change isn't entirely accidental.

An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Eng Management.

January 22, 2019. Filed under management 89writing 30elegant-puzzle 8

I wrote a book, An Elegant Puzzle, which will be available in late May, 2019. This is something I've been working on over the past year, and which I'm extraordinarily excited to share!

Metrics for the unmeasurable.

January 19, 2019. Filed under management 89metrics 4

As organizations grow more complex, the folks running them interface with reality through increasingly incorporeal abstractions. On the smallest teams, leadership might be deep in the code on a daily basis. A bit larger, and you're talking about tasks in sprints. Larger still, and you're talking about collections of tasks, and adopting fancy terminology like 'epics.' At a hundred plus engineers, you're likely talking primarily in themes of work with focus on several key initiatives. Next, you might be talking about the investment frameworks for making prioritization decisions.

Good process is evolved, not designed.

January 1, 2019. Filed under management 89

Time management is an ongoing challenge for managers: so much to do, so little time. The early-career manager, learning to balance being pulled in so many directions, is a sympathetic figure. Empathy for senior managers, dashing between back-to-back meetings and five minutes late to each, can be hader to summon.

Defining policy, process and programs.

December 30, 2018. Filed under management 89

I'm working on a presentation for the SFELC Summit 2019 on the topic of designing effective process. There is so much worth saying here that I initially had some trouble narrowing it down. I think the best piece I've written on this topic is "Work the policy, not the exception", but hey, that's about policy not process.