Light month journal due to a heavy month, but with important news!
Organize Your Week as an Engineering Manager starts with a joke for me xD: “let’s assume that you are an EM responsible for managing a team of 5 people”. For about 6 months I’ve been managing 2 teams with 17 direct reports, for a total of 21 people if you count 2 Tech Leads, 1 Product Manager and 1 Product Designer. In order to address that, I recently introduced a Team Lead layer in the larger team, reducing the count of direct reports down to 11, but without full delegation, and adding 3 more people as indirect reports (it made sense, even if that meant more work for me). Maybe I should write topics on how to deal with this situation? 🤔
I agree with having start-up routines. I have an Obsidian template that comprehends 19 steps (many of them are trivial), including things like checking Slack saved items, some Jira filter searches and email. The key one is “Preparing daily skeleton”, which involves creating a new entry for the meetings, and preparing the meetings themselves (anticipating 1:1 topics, for example). I also have weekly routines that I prepare on Monday and review once in a day.
The suggestion about journaling, for example, is a good one. I can’t conceive my 1:1s without action items that require being written down and acted upon.
TDD Prerequisites - by Kent Beck is a must-read for any software development practitioner. It gives structure (and an authoritive voice) to a common thought (“TDD is pointless in exploratory mode”) and goes beyond (micro-tests yielding macro-results).
I finished Blood Meridian, an astonishing trip through violence and war.