Welcome to the first edition of my weekly retro: A weekly reflection on engineering leadership.
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What I've Been Reading
Having recently been through another round of quarterly feedback, I think the skill of receiving feedback is extremely underrated. I've read a ton on how to give feedback (don't get me wrong, this is crucial), but I don't see as much on how to receive it.
Wonderful take on the trap many female leaders get thrown into: “she’s just not that strategic”. I highly recommend reading it.
Have you ever had a performance review, and you couldn't quite remember what you did in the last six months? And if you don't know, then your manager certainly doesn't know. That is why is love this idea of keeping a brag log of all of your achievements. Once the half-year review is there, you can share it with your manager.
Take of the Week
This is so true. So many times have I been in discussions about increasing developer productivity, and this point never gets taken seriously. I believe that any team changes require a change in stakeholder expectations, but that sadly rarely happens.
The 5 Minute Retro
What went well?
I am in the process of handing over two product engineering teams as I'll leave Clark and join Spotify in October. To prepare for that, I used Will Larson's idea of a Succession Plan, and it has been a game-changer.
What didn’t go so well?
A smooth handover process opens up another issue that I hadn't thought about: If things are going really well, I won't have a lot to do until I leave. This creates a weird void of not feeling productive even though I am.
What have I learned?
I've learned that ownership has to be long-term to be really useful. This applies especially to product engineering teams owning parts of the application. If they are not allowed to own it long-term, then it's near impossible to create long-term maintenance plans.
What still puzzles me?
I still have a hard time understanding why so many failing recruiting processes end up blaming the tech they use. They should instead review their culture, salary, remote offerings and parental leave policies.
That's it for this week. Let me know if you have any comments.
See you next week!