Have you heard of zombie standup? If not, there’s a good chance you’ve been part of one at some point. Zombie standup is just what it sounds like – a lifeless meeting where people go around a room and talk about what they are working on but nothing much useful happens as a result.
When done well, standups are a highly effective tool to keep work progressing in the right direction. In this post, I’ll talk about my experience with a different standup format than the one most commonly used. A format I think does a much better job of accomplishing the intended goal of standups in the first place.
Is your team scared to change their process? Are they endlessly evaluating or arguing over different options and their pros and cons? As an industry, we practice fast experimentation with new products and technologies; frequently releasing, getting feedback, iterating, and learning. So why do we resist doing this with our processes?
Does the above sound familiar? If you have worked in an engineering department for any length of time, you have probably had this experience.
So what is going on here?
The problem is that there is a fundamental disconnect between the two people about what they are actually talking about. The product person thinks the engineer is talking about a calendar time estimate. But the engineer is thinking about an estimate in terms of the effort involved – one that is completely divorced from any specific calendar or scheduling considerations. This is one of the reasons why many projects are late.
Analytics are critical to success in business today. Businesses can’t expect to understand their customers or the best path forward without constantly leveraging and gaining insights from their data. Just like business leaders use analytics to be more effective, so too should engineering leaders!
Leveraging analytics in your daily work as an engineering manager will help you make better decisions and increase your confidence in those decisions. Simply put, if you build the skills up and use them – it’s like a superpower. It will open up a whole new world of opportunities to make you and your team more effective.
You’ve probably heard of Harvard Business Review, but have you heard of the HBR IdeaCast? It’s a fantastic and free podcast that summarizes a lot of content in the Harvard business review publication and it’s been running for well over a decade.
I’ve been burning through the archives and created a list of the best episodes I’ve listened to. Hopefully these episodes give a sense of some of the great material available on the podcast.
I’ve recently begun the practice of maintaining a working thoughts document. The idea behind this document is to work through difficult or interesting problems I’m dealing with on a day-to-day basis at work through writing.
Another year, another podcast blog post. I’ve been binging on leadership podcasts for the last few months, and have hit on some new gems. The crazy thing is how many of these podcasts are super new – like in the last year or so. In particular, leadership content catered specifically toward technology and software engineering leaders. So without further ado, here’s my roundup:
In part 2 of this series, I talked about the lower levels of the test pyramid: unit & integration tests. In this post, I’ll be focusing on the highest level of the pyramid: browser-based tests.
Browser-based tests are slow. Really slow. They run an order of magnitude slower than other tests. Large browser test suites can quickly bog down your CI pipeline. Make sure there’s a good reason to write a test case as a browser-based test and that it can’t be accomplished at a lower level of the pyramid.