jm + management   27

Air Canada near-miss: Air traffic controllers make split-second decisions in a culture of "psychological safety" — Quartz
“’Just culture’ as a term emerged from air traffic control in the late 1990s, as concern was mounting that air traffic controllers were unfairly cited or prosecuted for incidents that happened to them while they were on the job,” Sidney Dekker, a professor, writer, and director of the Safety Science Innovation Lab at Griffith University in Australia, explains to Quartz in an email. Eurocontrol, the intergovernmental organization that focuses on the safety of airspace across Europe, has “adopted a harmonized ‘just culture’ that it encourages all member countries and others to apply to their air traffic control organizations.”

[...] One tragic example of what can happen when companies don’t create a culture where employees feel empowered to raise questions or admit mistakes came to light in 2014, when an investigation into a faulty ignition switch that caused more than 100 deaths at GM Motors revealed a toxic culture of denying errors and deflecting blame within the firm. The problem was later attributed to one engineer who had not disclosed an obvious issue with the flawed switch, but many employees spoke of extreme pressure to put costs and delivery times before all other considerations, and to hide large and small concerns.

(via JG)
just-culture  atc  air-traffic-control  management  post-mortems  outages  reliability  air-canada  disasters  accidents  learning  psychological-safety  work 
7 weeks ago by jm
swill’s tech leadership essentials – Medium
very useful tips and advice from Stephanie Williams (nee Dean), who was instrumental in setting up the ops teams in Amazon Dublin, by all accounts
management  stephanie-dean  stephanie-williams  managing  teams  work  hiring 
11 weeks ago by jm
the origins of bike-shedding
'bike-shedding', or needless arguing about trivial issues, actually dates back to 1957 as C. Northcote Parkinson's 'law of triviality'
triviality  bikeshed  bikeshedding  management  arguments  decisions  history 
november 2016 by jm
Management levels
I’ve had the privilege of experiencing a few different management levels (responsibilities? jobs?) at Etsy since I’ve joined. At each stage, I felt like the job of being a manager totally changed. What I did day-to-day changed, what was hard about it changed, how I measured my own success changed, and though I feel like the experiences built on one another, it continues to be an enormous shift in brainpower each time the gig changes a bit. Given how intangible (and often hidden) management work can be, I’ve outlined some highlights of what my work has been like as a manager over the last four years. (Obvious, major caveat: this is just my experience, and there’s lots in here that is unique to this particular work environment, hierarchy, requirements, and challenges!)
business  engineering  management  career  lara-hogan  managing 
october 2016 by jm
Airfixers - Hosting without the hassle
Full AirBnB property management service in Dublin
dublin  airbnb  management  rental  services 
october 2016 by jm
How Fucked Up is Your Management?
Oh dear.
Score 1 “My management culture is fucked up” point for each of the following:

We have an unlimited vacation policy;

We don’t do regular 1:1s, but we have open office hours/are super available if anyone wants to chat;

We don’t have a process for interviewing, we just hire awesome people when we meet them;

We super care about diversity, but we don’t want to lower the bar so we just hire the best person for the job even if it means diversity suffers;

We don’t have defined levels and career paths for our employees, we’re a really flat org;

We don’t have formal managers for every staff member, everyone just gets their work done;

We don’t have, like, HR HR, but our recruiter/office manager/only female employee is super good if you want someone to talk to;

We don’t do performance improvement plans for employees that are struggling. We just have a super honest conversation about how they aren’t a good fit and fire them;

We would have some hard explaining to do if our salary list accidentally became public.
startups  management  culture  work  vacation  hiring  office-hours  managers  diversity  careers  hr 
october 2016 by jm
Algorithmic management as the new Taylorism
'its legacy can be seen in factories, call centres and warehouses today, although new technology has taken the place of Taylor’s instruction cards and stopwatches. Many warehouse workers for companies such as Amazon use handheld devices that give them step-by-step instructions on where to walk and what to pick from the shelves when they get there, all the while measuring their “pick rate” in real time. For Jeremias Prassl, a law professor at Oxford university, the algorithmic management techniques of Uber and Deliveroo are Taylorism 2.0. “Algorithms are providing a degree of control and oversight that even the most hardened Taylorists could never have dreamt of,” he says.'
algorithms  labour  work  labor  taylorism  management  silicon-valley  tech  deliveroo  uber  piece-work 
september 2016 by jm
re:Work - The five keys to a successful Google team
We learned that there are five key dynamics that set successful teams apart from other teams at Google:
Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?
Dependability: Can we count on each other to do high quality work on time?
Structure & clarity: Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear?
Meaning of work: Are we working on something that is personally important for each of us?
Impact of work: Do we fundamentally believe that the work we’re doing matters?
teams  google  culture  work  management  productivity  hr 
november 2015 by jm
Volkswagen emissions cheating was technical debt
Is this the first case of tech debt costing $18 billion?
"Perhaps the engineers told themselves that the cheat was a stopgap, and they’d address it later. If so, they didn’t."
tech-debt  vw  volkswagen  management  prioritisation  planning 
november 2015 by jm
RentTheRunway's Engineering Ladder
One of the best things about working at Amazon was having a clear, well-defined career progression, and it's something that's always been absent in startups. Career growth, levelling, and tech management is important, and also helps in hiring by providing clear levels. This is the RentTheRunway engineering ladder, Camille Fournier's team, which they open sourced back in March 2015
engineering  hiring  management  career  renttherunway  camille-fournier  amazon  startups  career-growth  levelling  ladder 
october 2015 by jm
Notes on Startup Engineering Management for Young Bloods
Below is a list of some lessons I’ve learned as an startup engineering manager that are worth being told to a new manager. Some are subtle, and some are surprising, and this being human beings, some are inevitably controversial. This list is for the new head of engineering to guide their thinking about the job they are taking on. It’s not comprehensive, but it’s a good beginning.
The best characteristic of this list is that it focuses on social problems with little discussion of technical problems a manager may run into. The social stuff is usually the hardest part of any software developer’s job, and of course this goes triply for engineering managers.
engineering  management  camille-fournier  teams  dev 
october 2015 by jm
Let a 1,000 flowers bloom. Then rip 999 of them out by the roots
The Twitter tech-debt story.
Somewhere along the way someone decided that it would be easier to convert the Birdcage to use Pants which had since learned how to build Scala and to deal with a maven-style layout. However at some point prior Pants been open sourced in throw it over the wall fashion and picked up by a few engineers at other companies, such as Square and Foursquare and moved forward. In the meantime, again because there weren’t enough people who’s job it was to take care of these things, Science was still on the original internally developed version and had in fact evolved independently of the open source version. However by the time we wanted to move Birdcage onto Pants, the open source version had moved ahead so that’s the one the Birdcage folks chose.


(cries)
tech-debt  management  twitter  productivity  engineering  monorepo  build-systems  war-stories  dev 
september 2015 by jm
The Terrible Technical Interview
TechCrunch, very down on the traditional big-O-and-whiteboard tech interview. See also https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9243169 for some good comments at HN. To be honest I think a good comprehension of data structures and big-O is pretty vital though....
interviewing  jobs  management  hr  hiring  techcrunch 
march 2015 by jm
Avleen Vig on distributed engineering teams
This is a really excellent post on the topic, rebutting Paul Graham's Bay-Area-centric thoughts on the topic very effectively. I've worked in both distributed and non-distributed, as well as effective and ineffective teams ;), and Avleen's thoughts are very much on target.
I've been involved in the New York start up scene since I joined Etsy in 2010. Since that time, I've seen more and more companies there embrace having distributed teams. Two companies I know which have risen to the top while doing this have been Etsy and DigitalOcean. Both have exceptional engineering teams working on high profile products used by many, many people around the world. There are certainly others outside New York, including Automattic, GitHub, Chef Inc, Puppet... the list goes on.

So how did this happen? And why do people continue to insist that distributed teams lower performance, and are a bad idea?

Partly because we've done a poor job of showing our industry how to be successful at it, and partly because it's hard. Having successful distributed teams requires special skills from management, which arent't easily learned until you have to manage a distributed team. Catch 22.
business  culture  management  communication  work  distributed-teams  avleen-vig  engineering 
january 2015 by jm
Dan McKinley :: Thoughts on the Technical Track
Ouch. I think Amazon did a better job of the Technical Track concept than this, at least
engineering  management  technical-track  principal-engineer  career  work 
december 2014 by jm
Scaling email transparency
This is quite interesting/weird -- Stripe's protocol for mass-CCing email as they scale up the company, based around http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_inattention
communication  culture  email  management  stripe  cc  transparency  civil-inattention 
december 2014 by jm
Move Fast and Break Nothing
Great presentation about Github dev culture and building software without breakage, but still with real progress.
github  programming  communication  process  coding  teams  management  dev-culture  breakage 
october 2014 by jm
Ex-Apple managers reveal Cupertino’s killer workload
a “firehose of emails that are just going out at 2:45 in the morning” and “if you forwarded something to one of your people at 1 o’clock in the morning and they didn’t reply promptly, you got a little annoyed at them.”


Fuck. That.
apple  workplaces  work  time-life-balance  downtime  insane  sick  1am  management  corporate-culture 
october 2014 by jm
Painless, effective peer reviews
This sounds like a nice way to do effective peer-driven team reviews without herculean effort, which were one of the most effective reviewing techniques (along with upwards reviewing of management) I encountered at Amazon. (Yes, the Amazon approach was very time-consuming and universally loathed.)

The potential downside I can see is that it doesn't give the reviewer enough time to revise any review comments they have second thoughts about, whereas written reviews do, but that would be an easy fix at the end of the process. Also, it's worth noting that in most cases, a good review requires a bit of time to marshal thoughts and come up with a coherent review of a peer, so this doesn't completely avoid the impact on effort. Still, a definite improvement I would say.
hr  management  reviews  performance  peer-driven-review  360-reviews  staff  peers  work  teams  amazon 
august 2014 by jm
The best "why estimation is hard" parable I've read this week
'A tense silence falls between us. The phone call goes unmade. I'll call tomorrow once my comrade regains his senses and is willing to commit to something reasonable.'
agile  development  management  programming  teams  estimation  tasks  software 
february 2012 by jm
What Larry Page really needs to do to return Google to its startup roots
massively detailed critique of Google's corporate culture -- lots of internals exposed
google  management  culture  aws  corporate-culture  gossip  from delicious
march 2011 by jm
Op-Ed Contributor - Microsoft’s Creative Destruction - NYTimes.com
MS internal politics routinely torpedoed cool new projects. surprise, surprise. 'Engineers in the Windows group falsely claimed [ClearType] made the display go haywire when certain colors were used. The head of Office products said it was fuzzy and gave him headaches. The VP for pocket devices was blunter: he’d support ClearType and use it, but only if I transferred the program and the programmers to his control.'
cleartype  microsoft  software  bureaucracy  politics  culture  management  corporate  nytimes  from delicious
february 2010 by jm
Programmer Competency Matrix
actually quite a good breakdown of software eng skill progression
software  coding  programming  management  hiring  engineering  matrix  skills 
july 2009 by jm

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