Designing interview loops.

September 2, 2018. Filed under management 101hiring 8

Anyone who has flipped through Cracking the Coding Interview knows that evaluating folks for a new role is a coarse science. Most interviewers are skeptical of the accuracy of their interviews, and it's hardly the rare interview retrospective where folks aren't sure they got enough signal on a candidate to hire with confidence.

Communities of learning.

September 1, 2018. Filed under management 101

I've always preferred learning in private. Got something difficult? Sure, leave me alone for a few hours and I can probably figure it out. If you want be to figure it out with you watching, in that case I'm not even sure how to start. This is partly introversion, but altogether I'm pretty uncomfortable making mistakes in public. Like a lot of folks, my brain still helpfully reminds me of public errors I made decades ago, and they still bother me.

Time management: the leadership meta-problem.

August 27, 2018. Filed under management 101

When you sit down for coffee with a manager, you can probably guess the biggest challenge on their mind: time management. Sure, time management isn't _always_ everyone's biggest challenge, but once the crises of the day recede, it comes to the fore.

Problem exploration, selection and validation.

August 20, 2018. Filed under management 101product 5

Most engineering organizations separate engineering and product leadership into distinct roles. This is usually ideal, not only because these roles benefit on distinct skills, but also because they thrive from different perspectives and priorities. It's quite hard to do both well at the same time. This post takes a look at my high-level approach to product management for when you do happen to find yourself wearing both hats.

Introducing SREs, TPMs and other specialized roles.

August 13, 2018. Filed under management 101

Folks are sometimes surprised to learn that I started out working as a frontend engineer. I'd like to imagine it's because I'm so terribly knowledgeable about infrastructure, but I suspect it's mostly grounded in my unconscionably poor design aesthetic. Something that has stuck with me from that experience was feeling treated as a second-tier engineer: folks were unwilling to do any frontend work, but were careful to categorize it as trivial.