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Tech Leadership Weekly

Issue 82, September 20, 2017

Carl Tashian
Managing Technical Debt

Building software is a complex work, and this complexity leads to technical debt. To combat this, design system flexibility based on current and future requirements. Refactor code that impacts team velocity. Use code reviews and testing, particularly for critical functionality. Each line of code and each dependency has a cost. Remove unused features, and reduce code and dependencies whenever possible. Build a culture around continuous improvement to reduce the impact of technical debt.

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Lighthouse Blog
The 9 Worst Pieces of Advice for 1:1s (and what to do instead)

Just doing 1:1s doesn't make them effective. Instead of fixing the allotted time (30 minuted, 10/10/10), consider longer 1:1s, up to an hour. Run 1:1s weekly or bi-weekly instead of monthly or quarterly. Meet more often with new hires and those with new responsibility. Come prepared with a list of questions. Spend time asking followup questions to get to the heart of the problem. Use the time to coach, give and receive feedback, career development, float ideas, and generally, focus on building rapport. 1:1s are important to both employee and manager. Make the most of them.

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Project Team Health Monitor

Regular retrospectives are important for keeping a project moving smoothly. Retros tend to focus more on the project than the people. Atlassian uses eight traits of healthy project teams to establish team health. These include: full time owner, balanced team, shared understanding, value and metrics, proof of concept, one-pager, managed dependencies, and velocity. Periodic retrospectives focus on how a team is doing in regards to these traits. The health of a team correlates to the team's productivity.

Reading Time: 5 minute

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