Seven For Sunday

Hi. I'm Jon Oropeza, and these are the seven most interesting things I discovered, referenced or dug up this week for my fellow engineering leaders: Engineering Managers, Principal and Distinguished Engineers, VP / Director of Engineering, Startup CTOs and those aspiring to be.


1. On Talking To People

How To Talk To Anyone, a channel on Medium.

Becoming an engineering leader is about shifting towards creating value through influence. In another life you created value through creating and nurturing code. In your new life, you use your words. Some written, some presented, some through face to face conversation.

2. What Other People Think

Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think by Tim Urban.

Continuing a sub-theme of transitioning from individual contributor to leader. As a software engineer, you can often reduce your critical relationships to a small handful. Two or three people with whom you prioritize caring what they think. Maybe they're your manager, an influential peer and an architect.

Once you hit leadership, that simple view of the world goes out the window. In a maturing org you might have twenty to thirty people you need to keep up with. At least a few of them are going to be mad at you all the time. If you're not used to that, and you care too much about what other people think? It'll eat you alive.

3. Hiring From The Candidates Perspective

How do I understand the results of my job search from Ask Hacker News

Posts like this give great insight into what candidates are facing; knowing what the environment is like out there gives us an opportunity to design our own hiring pipelines differently.

4. Wisdom From Poetry

Mending Wall by Robert Frost

Really? Really. The breathing cultural metaphor for how we can design our systems for scalability by placing walls that, rather than silo-fying, are the devices that make good neighbors.

5. Interesting Book

Don't Shoot The Dog by Karen Pryor.

A Tim Ferriss rec. Thinking around behaviors.

6. Fiction Worth Pondering

Affordances by Cory Doctorow

7. Lessons

5 Things I've Learned in 20 Years of Programming by Erik Dietrich