The “Just Checking” Manager

It’s very common for newly minted managers to be too cute and unassertive. When needing to check up on an employee who used to be a peer just months ago, they usually go for the non-checking check: “By the way, where are we with the X project?” Or even just a Slack message that might […]

Busy is Easy

Too often managers I work with are sucked into the busy trap. For periods of weeks and months they seem to be hurrying from one thing to the other. From meetings, to tasks, to more meetings. It may feel productive, or feel like that’s what managers should be doing, or simply fun. I know of […]

Tailoring A Hiring Strategy

In today’s market, hiring is harder than ever before. Even businesses that are willing to pay top talent top dollar are having a hard time filling all their positions. If you’re trying to grow your company, you should make sure that your hiring strategy fits your company. The right hiring strategy varies tremendously between businesses. […]

Avoiding the “Big Guns” Stack

We were on a conference call. The client was kickstarting a new project, electing to use an ecosystem less common for them, because of business needs. Right off the bat, the names of the biggest and meanest tools for the job, in that ecosystem, were being called up. Slow your roll. I understand how reaching […]

Avoiding Surprises: Employee Career Management

“All of a sudden he came to me and told me he thinks it’s time for him to move to another team” “She left us to be a manager, but never told me she wanted to be a manager” You’ve probably heard quotes like these, and if you’ve been in management long enough, it’s likely […]

Alone at the Bridge of a Rocketship

I’ve seen many a CTO and VP R&D who have grown their company from the 3-developers-sharing-a-pizza stage up to the 3-digit-head-count state. It is common knowledge that ably managing the former has almost nothing in common with ably managing the latter. Yet, that’s not what I’ve got on my mind today. A more neglected issue […]

Growing Teams Too Quickly

“We’re going to double by this time next year.” Some form of that quote appears in most post-acquisition/funding articles, boasting the intention to bring in a new person every few days. While it is no surprise that in today’s market the hiring strategy should tend more towards growing than maintaining size (more on that in […]

Managing Overly Optimistic Developers

In all seriousness, developers who are overly optimistic are an important part of every team, especially senior developers. It just so happens that most senior developers lean towards the pessimistic and cynical side, maybe because being optimistic has burned them once too many. And yet, without optimism you’ll always schedule more time than necessary (the […]

Keep Internal Changelogs

Considering how smart developers are, the easiness with which they forget the history of their own projects can be mind boggling. How many times have you tracked a bug down until you’ve found the exact change that introduced it, yet the responsible developer couldn’t remember why that change was made? Even more commonly, developers as […]

The Rambo CTO

Most good tech directors are also experienced technically. You may still be proud of the Good Ol’ Days when you used to burn the midnight oil and crank out amazing code, kinda Silicon Valley style. And as most experienced people can testify, we usually have a sense of how a certain project or task should […]