Scaling Your Engineering Org Checklist
Scaling, scaling, always scaling. We see how the Twitter layoffs turn out. But I do think this list has great content. If you’re scaling, there is at least one nugget of gold in there for you.
Move faster, wait less: Improving code review time at Meta
“Code reviews are one of the most important parts of the software development process” Agreed. And I see so many bad code reviews. Mostly because CTOs let developers decide how to do code reviews without any guidance. So appreciate every bit of wisdom on code reviews. The focus of this article is to do them fast. They use AI to find out what to review next.
Context Switching as a Software Developer
Context switching is the hard counter for software engineers. “Cornell University’s Ellis Idea Lab found that it takes 9 and a half minutes” - this is the key that everyone at a company needs to understand. Interrupting software developers is one of the biggest killers of productivity. If you shotgun meetings into a developers calendar, with 1h gaps in between, you lose 9+ minutes from that hour each time. If you stand next to a developer as a founder, good for the short feedback cycle if it’s developer initiated, but bad for productivity if it’s forced on the developer.
One of my pet peeves is that CTOs - and we as an industry - need to become more professional. Being professional also means knowing what has been there before. This article digs into the very old programming languages - beginning with the often-forgotten first one “Plankalkül” from Zuse. I’ve learned something from the list and feel more professional already.
I drink before I interview
The title says all. Remote enables different behavior. I think in some ways interviews are nerve-wracking and the engineering job also is sometimes nerve-wracking and stressful. So the interview process is fine. But should it be done in a way that people think they need to drink a glass of wine before an interview? (I drank some Schnaps before my wedding ;-)
All Companies are Fucked Up
“For some people, this probably sounds amazing right? No corporate politics. No bullshit meetings. Just do whatever you feel like! It was great for half a heartbeat but then it turned into “Lord of the Flies”” There is this feminist paper from the 70s that describes the same thing. For me, it’s important as a manager and leader (ha!) to give enough guidance so people can make the right decisions. Especially with self-organizing teams. And of course, kick the idiots. “All companies are fucked up… the trick is finding a company that’s fucked up in a way that works for you.”
The Seven Levels of Busy
Love the levels. It gives us more work to talk about “Busy”. You to your boss “I’m busy”. Developer to you “I’m busy”. Aha - how busy? “Level 5: Cracks in the facade”-busy?
The Near Future of AI is Action-Driven
Article on AI with some deeper ideas. Not those fluff pieces.
Habits are not needs
It’s very short so I quote it completely “Habits are not needs - It’s easy to imagine that they are, as it lets us off the hook as habits become negative, or even addictions. If someone else is thriving without the habit we seem to need, then it’s likely a desire pretending to be a need. For example You can be a successful professional without spending time on social media.”
My ADHD founder toolbox
I sometimes think I would have been diagnosed with ADHD as a kid, but ADHD wasn’t “invented” yet. Looking at the CDC website I score 7/8 symptoms as a kid. ADHD is interesting to me and would have helped me a lot. Don’t think ADHD is someone else, read the article and relax.
Where does Boilerplate come from
“It comes from the peculiar interplay of two industrial revolution technologies: steam engines and hot metal typesetting.” I won’t spoil the answer though, go read it yourself. And impress a developer by asking “Where do boilerplate come from?” - as a CTO you need to play all the tricks to survive.