show episodes
 
Loading …
show series
 
In the last episode we recorded in the "before times", Nick and Brandon discuss the connection between blameless culture, systems thinking, and just culture. Nick explains how blame robs learning, and how to foster an environment that allows the system to learn and improve. They talk about how accountability fits into a blameless culture, and Nick …
 
In another episode recorded in the "before times", Travis talks about finding the balance between not enough and too much process. Is Scrum too much process? How do you tell when process is designed to help versus be a remote control for a team? What if the process is being blamed for other problems? They discuss the signals that tell you when a pr…
 
Travis, Nick, and Brandon ask: what do you do when you have a sense that things are about to change? What about when your work evaporates due to a startup pivot or major organizational change? They talk about how to help maintain a team's composure and capability during times of uncertainty or lack of clear direction, including leaning on your own …
 
Burnout is a very real problem right now, and is often aggravated in our jobs as managers, ironically in our work to help others avoid burning themselves out. Nick, Travis, and Brandon ask: how do you stop the cycle of overwork that led you to success in the first place? How do you take a break? Once you do, how do you come back to work? They discu…
 
Nick, Travis, and Brandon talk about the chaotic and downright scary state of the world and our own prior adjustments to remote work. They discuss ways to lead authentically in these times, and how remote work has helped them learn how integrate life and work (and also, paradoxically, how to keep them separate). Show notes: Bringing your whole self…
 
Travis and Brandon talk about the tendency of software developers to fall into an "overly strategic" or "overly tactical" style of thinking. How do you encourage individuals and teams to consider both near and long term impact in their day to day work? How does team design factor in? What can you do if external factors are causing or aggravating th…
 
Nick, Travis, and Brandon talk about the seasonality of work and how that affects individuals and teams. They talk about how they work with low points in the cycle and how to capitalize on the high points, rather than fighting these cycles. How can you change the rhythm when things are flagging too much? What do you do when you can't move dates or …
 
Brandon asks Nick about a piece of advice he doesn't even remember giving about teaching teams to manage themselves. Nick, Travis, and Brandon explore tough questions around self-managing teams: How do you know when to let go and when to step in? What is the job of a manager on a self-managing team? How do you deal with micromanagement from above? …
 
Travis and Brandon talk about how teams can support early-career developers and career changers. What environments are they a good fit for? How do you set expectations for newer folks? How can you help them get and stay productive? Is the cost of doing so worth it? They also talk about the surprising lack of definition around the space between "Ent…
 
Travis, Nick, and Brandon discuss a tough-but-frequent listener question: "How do I coach senior developers and tech leads to work better with each other when they have opposing personality types or passions?" They explore the personality types of "ship it" vs. "perfect it". Brandon talks about what happens in the 1 out of 5 times when the conflict…
 
Nick pays homage to one of his heroes, Captain Al Haynes, who saved hundreds of lives by managing a crisis during a famous airplane crash. Captain Haynes demonstrated one of the canonical examples of Crew Resource Management and "just culture". They ask why we still adhere to the "unquestionable captain" myth and point out some of the (very public)…
 
Travis, Nick, and Brandon talk about vacations after a summer full of them. When is it OK for managers to take vacations? How do you set things up to actually let yourself relax? What if something breaks while you're gone? Nick talks about the power of asking "When's the last time you took time off?" and how to clearly set the cultural expectations…
 
There is a healthy and active debate in the management community around Manager READMEs. Are they self-indulgent excuses for asking people to "deal with" your shortcomings? Or an essential tool to guide future conversations? Nick and Brandon explore the nuance in there and how their views about Manager READMEs have evolved (and continue to evolve) …
 
A thread on the "orange website" got Nick thinking: What are signs a manager is succeeding? What are red flags that they're on the wrong track? They ask the big question: How do you know when you are doing a good job? Are there any actual, useful measures you can use to know a manager is effective? And once you have an idea of what success looks li…
 
Nick, Travis, and Brandon explore trust as a pillar of successful teams. What does a high trust environment look like? How do you build trust? How do managers accidentally lower trust on their teams? How do you build (or rebuild) trust between a team and the rest of the organization? They relay the "marble jar" metaphor and explore what that means …
 
This week, Nick, Travis, and Brandon respond to a listener's question about when and how to successfully use performance reviews. Nick shares the idea of using "pattern matching" as a basis for evaluating performance. They discuss whether to tie performance to raises, and how to gather and provide feedback outside the performance review process. No…
 
Nick, Travis, and Brandon explore how they've tried to improve at assessing the technical abilities of potential hires during the interview process. They talk take-home tests, pair programming exercises, and Nick shares a technique that has worked better for his teams than either of those. Notes: Yahtzee problem http://codingdojo.org/kata/Yahtzee/ …
 
Travis, Nick, and Brandon talk about Rule #1 in running software teams: The Software Must Ship. How much of that is on you, the manager? They explore that question and talk about their experiences managing work backlogs, delivery cadences, and giving teams slack to help them go faster. Ron Jeffries's tweet: https://twitter.com/RonJeffries/status/11…
 
Nick, Travis, and Brandon talk about the vast array of "priorities" that can overwhelm a manager. The group talk through strategies they use to wrangle the "manager's calendar" and reclaim control over your time. Nick talks about how useful procrastination can be as a signal, and the group talks about using focus to make an impact in the face of "b…
 
Nick, Travis, and Brandon talk about their successes and failures working alongside product teams. They discuss what keeps engineering teams from feeling empowered and how to avoid becoming an "onshore offshore" team. They talk about how to achieve collaborative, healthy tension between product, marketing, and design, and how this work is at the he…
 
Travis, Nick, and Brandon respond to a thought-provoking question about jumping in to manage a team that's already established. They also talk about what to do when the team needs culture or performance improvements. Amy Unger's question: "Walking into a new to you but established team, whether you were hired into a job or you got a team as part of…
 
Now that you're a leader, you may be surprised to find that your words sometimes carry weight that you didn't intend, feeling like the proverbial "Bull in a china shop". Nick, Brandon, and Travis share stories about this, and discuss power dynamics and how to shift power to the people who can actually do the work. Show Notes: Transforming the Diffi…
 
Estimation is the bane of many software developers' existence. Nick, Travis, and Brandon discuss (and argue) about why estimation can be valuable, whether it's too expensive, and what you can do to help your team deliver consistent value whether or not you're expected to estimate software. We estimated this episode should last about 30 minutes, so …
 
With Travis out this week, Nick and Brandon discuss a strongly-worded Twitter thread calling out bad leaders, what they've done that has and hasn't worked, and how listening and vulnerability play into more effective leadership (and parenting). Simon Wardley's Twitter thread calling out bad leadership https://twitter.com/swardley/status/10831242641…
 
Blithe Rocher, Engineering Manager at Fastly joins Nick, Brandon, and Travis to discuss how and when to transition to management, what to expect, and what advice she'd give her past self as she started managing her peers. Blithe Rocher https://twitter.com/blithe If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look On My Face? https://www.amazon.com/Understo…
 
Travis and Brandon talk with Nick about his recent Lead Developer talk about Gustav Eiffel, the story of his iconic tower, and how that led to learning to fearlessly and authentically engage in "politics" to accomplish great things in your career. Eiffel's Tower by Nick Means https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RslVT-L2A40 You Can Negotiate Anything by…
 
Engineering leaders Sean Massa and Trek Glowacki join Travis, Nick, and Brandon to discuss what they've learned from their research on engineering ladders and growth tracks across dozens of companies. Hosts: Nick Means https://twitter.com/nmeans Travis Swicegood https://twitter.com/tswicegood Brandon Hays https://twitter.com/tehviking Guests: Sean …
 
Travis, Nick, and Brandon discuss the technical requirements of being a manager, the cultural impact of a manager's technical skills, and why hiring engineering managers is so difficult. Notes: DevOps Transformation/ DevOps Handbook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M9ASFQ3/ The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F1WZGNC/…
 
Nick, Travis, and Brandon discuss the purpose of one on ones, how to help get the most from them, avoiding common pitfalls, and share resources on improving them for you and your team. Show notes: Radical Candor by Kim Scott https://www.amazon.com/Radical-Candor-Kim-Scott/dp/B01KTIEFEE/ Questions for your first 1:1 https://larahogan.me/blog/first-o…
 
Travis and Brandon welcome new co-host Nickolas Means, Engineering Manager at GitHub, to talk about the tracks in engineering management, and the differing roles and responsibilities of the CTO and VP of Engineering. Show Notes: Eric Brooke: Software Engineering Leadership https://ericbrooke.wordpress.com/2018/09/16/software-engineering-leadership/…
 
Travis and Brandon discuss how central coaching is to quality management, the 2-way nature of coaching, and the critical role listening plays in becoming a better coach. HBR: The 9 Skills of Great Coaches https://hbr.org/2018/08/managers-think-theyre-good-at-coaching-theyre-not listening questioning giving feedback assisting with goal setting showi…
 
In this super-sized episode, Travis and Brandon discuss what makes a great manager, using 10 skills and traits developed by Google's Project Oxygen and updated over the last 10 years. What is the job of a manager? We discuss the role of a manager with this Google-developed evaluation framework as a guide: https://www.themuse.com/advice/10-behaviors…
 
Travis and Brandon introduce the podcast, discuss the book Measure what Matters by John Doerr, and talk about the value that OKRs can bring to a team. Notes: Measure What Matters: https://www.amazon.com/Measure-What-Matters-Google-Foundation-ebook/dp/B078FZ9SYB/ The Hard Thing About Hard Things: https://www.amazon.com/Hard-Thing-About-Things-Buildi…
 
Loading …

Quick Reference Guide

Copyright 2021 | Sitemap | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Google login Twitter login Classic login