SoftwareLeads – Newsletter #34
Monthly newsletter on software engineering and leadership
Welcome to the 34th edition of Software Leads, a monthly newsletter on software engineering and leadership. It curates articles for tech leaders, managers, and senior ICs.
Below you will find my top finds for last month.
How to address tech debt vs. product debt vs. business debt
Tech debts are things that slow development down. Product debts are things that slow AARRR down. How then does a company address these debts? It must address it by driving alignment and driving it often. [..]Every division in a company has its own pain points. While it seems that one department refuses to fix the problem of the other, it is also true that most people in the company work with good intentions. Hence, if everyone is trying to do a good job and they also complain about each other, the problem therefore lies in communication (or more specifically, communication breakdown.
Evaluating managers: 5 heuristics to measure managerial impact
Am I an effective manager? That is the million-dollar question every manager wants to know – we all want to be good at our jobs, we crave that satisfaction in knowing we are delivering impact and nurturing talent. But how do you know you are doing the right things as a manager? This post by @abdulapopoola provides some answers; it gives line managers a self-evaluation mechanism and can be used by middle managers to guide their reports.
The ultimate guide to software architecture documentation
This comprehensive guide shows you how to write, structure, visualize and manage software architecture documentation in a lean way using appropriate documentation tools. A good read for technical folks.
Reaching peak meeting efficiency.
“When you bring together a team of talented and diverse individuals, the only way they will come to operate as a team is by spending time talking, listening, and understanding the perspective individuals bring to contribute to a larger whole. Unless everyone hired shares the same background and experiences, there’s no way a group of people can converge to a high-performance team without meeting, sharing, and learning together.”
For folks looking for their next jobs, the trick is to figure out what you naturally gravitate toward and where your natural abilities lie and then hone them to become not just good at something but exceptional at it.
11 principles of engineering management
In this post, @AlanJay1 shares management lessons he had learned over the years as a manager.
When we think about how we grow our people as leaders, our focus is often simply on getting them promoted. But promotion isn’t the only way to help someone progress in their career. As leaders, we need to be dynamic in how we help people navigate towards new roles and opportunities.
A few key tools worth considering include:
Giving stretch assignments
Rotations with another team
One takeaway here could be that your management team will probably make communication work, one way or another, no matter how poorly you do it. That might even be true, but your goal is to make things run more effectively, not less. Fortunately, you can significantly improve the quality of internal communications within your organisation by adopting the practices in this post.