Clippings of 2019 Jul

Change Pro-Tips   Change Management

  1. Change Pro-Tip: Lining Up The Betters - -- Helping Geeks Produce

    • The four ubiquitous “betters” are
      1. better according to my idea.
      2. better according to some company’s idea.
      3. better according to a team’s idea.
      4. better according to an individual’s idea.
    • As a general rule, all four of these betters are different in the beginning.
    • To align four "betters"
      1. For me, it starts at the bottom of the pile: with an individual human.
      2. Once we get past the individual, to a relationship or a team or a company, it’s even easier: those lists are usually gigantic, with many possible better “selves” implied.
      3. If I can find the overlap, it’s all over but the crying.
        • when you give people a new experience that tickles their “better”, you have changed the world very successfully.
  2. Change Pro-Tip: What We Can’t Change - -- Helping Geeks Produce

    1. We can’t (purposefully) change what we don’t sense,
    2. We can’t (purposefully) change what we don’t talk about,
    3. We can’t (purposefully) change what we assume can’t be changed.
  3. GeePaw Hill on Twitter: "Change Pro-Tip: It's common, but mistaken, to believe that some change I want to make will be procedural, given, sweeping, and final.…"

    • Procedural, Given, Sweeping, Final
      her plan focuses most heavily on a kind of org-as-machine view
      her approach involves her giving us the system she has in mind
      The changes will touch on every aspect of the org
      It will be the last change, because it's perfect there, there's no need to change
    • Human, Taken, Local, Iterative
      • Instead of a procedural focus, I propose a human one.
      • Instead of giving the change, let's try taking it.
      • Instead of sweeping change, let's try local change,
      • instead of final change, let's iterate.

A different kind of new manager checklist: The 4 essential questions to ask yourself as a leader - Know Your Team - Blog   Management

  1. How can I create an environment for people to do their best work?
  2. How can I create as much clarity and coherence about what needs to get done and why?
  3. How can I personally model the behavior I want to be true across my team?
  4. How can I see things for what they are, instead of what I want them to be?

Jeff Weinstein on Twitter: "A year in, here are the top 10 things I appreciate about Stripe and I’d suggest mimicking."   Company Job Career

  • Every company is a ~disaster. The question is,
    1. is their disaster actionable?
    2. do you want to action it?

Tyler Treat on Twitter: "Let's talk about code reviews (again). I usually encounter two camps when it comes to code reviews: those who think they are necessary and good and those who think they are an unneeded process that slows people down (or a less efficient alternative to pair programming). 1/"   CodeReview

  • code reviews, when taken seriously, are important to any team for a few reasons.
    1. Code quality
    2. level up teams in a way that scales by fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
    3. when done right, code reviews promote a culture which separates self from code.
    4. code reviews are critical for regulatory/compliance purposes.
  • How to avoid rubber-stamping or people not engaging in code reviews? -> Build it into your org's promotion process!
  • One tactic I've found to be effective is periodic group code reviews, especially for large/important things.
  • code reviews are only effective if you pursue them with purpose.
    • If you're just going through the motions, they merely become red tape for getting code merged.
    • They aren't magic, nor is anything else.
    • The only process that really matters is one of continuous improvement.

Why extends is evil - JavaWorld   OOP

Improve your code by replacing concrete base classes with interfaces

Good designers write most of their code in terms of interfaces, not concrete base classes. This article describes why designers have such odd habits, and also introduces a few interface-based programming basics.

Domain-Oriented Observability   Testing Mock Observability

This post not only explains how to add instrumentation to your application code in a domain-oriented way, but also gives great examples of how to write domain-oriented tests with mocks. More importantly, this way of structuring and testing can be applied to other areas out of instrumentation, too.

  • Domain Probe

    class DiscountInstrumentation {
            this.logger = logger;
            this.metrics = metrics;
   = analytics;
            this.logger.log(`attempting to apply discount code: ${discountCode}`);
            this.logger.error('discount lookup failed',error);
            this.logger.log(`Discount applied, of amount: ${amountDiscounted}`);
  'Discount Code Applied',{

GOTO 2019 • Deliver Results, Not Just Releases: Control & Observability in CD • Dave Karow - YouTube   Observability ContinuousDelivery DevOps

  • It's not about the pipeline, it's about the payload
    Control of Exposure
    How do we decouple deploy from release, revert from rollback?
    Observability of Exposure
    Who have we released to so far? How is it going for them (and us)?
  • Takeaways
    1. Decouple Deployment from Release
      • Deploy is infra
    2. Build-In Observability
      • Know what's rolling out, who is getting what, and why
      • Align metrics to control plane to learn faster
      • What two pieces of data make it possible to attribute system and user behavior changes to any deployment?
        1. unique_id
        2. timestamp of observation
    3. Going beyond MVP yields significant benefits
      • Build for scale: solve for chaos
      • Make it trustworthy: make it stick
      • Design for diverse audiences: one source of truth

How to Run a Post-Mortem (With Humans, Not Robots), Velocity 2013   Meeting Management PostMortem

  1. What is a Post-Mortem?
    • Something you do when your company has badly screwed up
  2. What To Do in the Post-Mortem Room
    • Challenge: Get team out of moral mindset
    • Fundamental Tool: Make 'Em Laugh
    • Tips
      1. Share Your Personal "Bad Things"
      2. Mock Hindsight Bias To Its Face
      3. Relish Absurdities of Your System
      4. "Broadest Fixes" vs. "Root Causes"
  3. Corrective Actions / Remediations / Fixes
    • Require Small Steps From Your Team
    • "Automation" vs. "Tooling"
      Humans Cause Your Problems
      Humans Solve Your Problems
  4. Read this

"Agile" is short feedback loops for everything getting done in your org.   Agile 

One Technique to Being Awesome You Aren’t Using Enough: Questions - kate{mats}   Management Question

  • Your real understanding at work can come from asking good questions.
    • Dealing With Challenges
    • Working with a Team
    • Making the Most of a Mentor
    • Teaching Your Team
  • Asking Good Questions
    • Instead of just asking the first question that comes to mind next time, remember: phrasing, timing, and consideration can have a huge impact on the response you receive.
    • Asking questions is a way of letting people know that their opinion is important to you
    • You can categorize your questions for best results by breaking them down into four distinct types
      #1 Questions that give you perspective
      These questions help you clarify, and can keep brainstorming sessions and meetings moving forward
      #2 Questions that help you evaluate
      Evaluation questions get you concrete answers and narrow your focus to one goal.
      • “Which of these features will be the fastest to produce?”
      • “Why were your traffic numbers down last month?”
      • “What members of your team have the most experience with UX design?”
      #3 Questions that lead to action
      This kind of question is your lead-​in to making changes, motivating teams, and setting future directions.
      • “How can we ship this product in [X] weeks without bringing on new staff?”
      • “When will the team complete this new feature?”
      • “What strategies will you implement to ensure your team is aligned?”
      #4 Questions that lead to knowledge
      Gathering information about current projects, past projects, goals, and technical processes
      • “Can you explain to me how [xyz] process works?”
      • “What results did we achieve with the last email campaign?”
      • “What is our customer profile?”

Pivot or Fail? – AVC   Startup