015: Potluck #1
This week, we're trying something new: each host has brought with them a topic for the crew to discuss. Topics range from considerations about data-context; what does and does not make for a good manager; code that we're proud to have written; and, what it looks like when a team develops a strong bias for action. One particularly thought-provoking matter is the fact that 20% of Tim's clients prefer to make payments over the phone even when given a web-based option. This is a great reminder of the "bubble" that we can live in, often forgetting that what seems like an odd, archaic choice to us can actually be the "preferred choice" for others.
Triumphs & Failures
Adam's Triumph - His desk is normally an obstacle course of empty Mountain Dew cans, thumb drives, pens, papers, and whatever else piles up and refuses to be thrown away over time. But, he finally cleaned up his office and even vacuumed the floor. And, heck if it doesn't feel good; well, at least for the next 6-hours.
Ben's Triumph - He fixed some bugs! On a small team, there's always a tension between new feature development and fixing bugs. And, unfortunately, building the "newness" tends to win out. In the last few weeks, however, he's really focused on allocating time to grooming the backlog and fixing long-standing issues, each one of which represents a real user that's experiencing real frictions.
Carol's Triumph - Her communication style can be a bit too curt. In a professional setting, she tends not to mince her words, which can ruffle feathers. Lately, however, she's been making an effort to "people" better, pushing back against inaccuracies with questions instead of just showing people where they went wrong.
Tim's Triumph - Building a successful software product is far more than just writing the code. As Tim puts it, you have to be a "bridge builder". Which means, spending time getting everyone else on board: finance, legal, engineers, and the leadership within the corporate hierarchy. Everyone needs to understand why something is being created; and, why it's worth the time, money, and investment. Historically, Tim has not felt very effective at this consensus building. But lately, he's been really crushing it. He can't share too many details at the moment; but, when the time comes, we won't be able to shut-him-up!
Notes & Links
- Girls Who Code - an organization focused on building the world's largest pipeline of future female engineers.
- Go Time podcast - a Changelog podcast focused on Golang.
- BFF: Backends For Frontends - an architectural pattern in which backend APIs are built for specific frontend clients.
- Tef: Write code that's easy to delete - an article espousing the virtues of code that is written to be deleted.
- Ward Bell - co-host of the Web Rush podcast.
- Dark Matter Developers - the quiet majority of engineers that do their job but don't necessarily participate in the greater web development community.
- IGROW - Issue, Goal, Reality, Options, Way Forward: a model for mentoring and coaching.
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