A reading list for new engineering managers May 2nd, 2018
Like many engineers, I got thrown into management without any real guidance. I thought management was just telling people what to do. I thought there wasn’t any real science to it; you just needed to feel your way through it. I was wrong: there’s a whole field of study here, and you can learn a lot by, you know, studying! This is the reading list I wish I’d been given as a new engineering manager.…
Book Review: Team Topologies July 5th, 2021
Team Topologies (Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais, 2019) is, essentially, a book-length treatment of the Inverse Conway Maneuver. I recommend this book to folks looking to design or refactor product delivery organizations, especially those unfamiliar with the idea of aligning teams to delivery priorities.
Book Review: Powerful (Patty McCord) January 18th, 2022
Patty McCord was Netflix’s first head of HR and a member of its executive team for 14 years. She (along with Reed Hastings, Netflix’s founder and CEO). She’s probably best known as the co-author (with Hastings) of Netflix’s famous Culture Deck, a 125-slide deck that lays out Netflix’s unusual culture. Powerful is a deep examination of that culture and its ramifications. It’s one of the better dissections of what “culture” really is and how it works. I recommend it to anyone in a position to influence company culture. You may or may not want to mimic Netflix, but thinking through which parts of Netflix’s culture you do and don’t want to mimic is an excellent exercise – it certainly was for me.