Why HR Depts are such a bad idea

Why HR Depts are such a bad idea

It's hard to find a company bigger than 30 people that doesn't have its HR Department - even if it consists of just 1 person. And the name itself is of secondary meaning: some call it Human Resources, some prefer People Operations, Human Capital, etc. Regardless of name I think that the bigger the company, the less existence of such a Dept makes sense. Why so?The work usually associated to such units is of a wide variety: Performance Mgmt, Talent Mgmt, Recruitment, Compensation & Benefits, Employee Relations, Growth and Organization Development, Employer Branding, .... But nearly all of those areas…

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We're probably bad at job titles. And it's OK.

We're probably bad at job titles. And it's OK.

There's no point in re-inventing the wheel. We all walk in the footsteps of industry pioneers & use the legacy of their lessons learned for our advantage. However ... Think for yourselfI hate mindlessly copying "industry standards" & "best practices". Software Engineering varies so heavily & is so contextual that what (IMHO) works best is crafting your own solutions to solve your own specific problems (by MAPPING others' experiences onto your own environment). This involves three critical steps I call: Awareness -> Understanding -> ClarityAwareness is all about asking the proper questions, relentlessly exploring the reality (instead of acting…

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Why scaling organizations is so difficult?

Why scaling organizations is so difficult?

There's plenty of hard topics in building software, but if you asked me what's the most challenging one, I'd answer without doubt: scaling (engineering) organizations. Why so? first of all: economies of scale do not work for building software (I've written an article about that few years ago, if you're interested in more details)the role of contextual knowledge is more important than in other industries (people/roles are not so easily replaceable), so learning curve for new people is steeper & adaptation takes them more timeorganizations can grow much faster than the sharpest & most successful people within these…

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996, Cristiano Ronaldo, 40h work week, SEALs & changing the world - part II

996, Cristiano Ronaldo, 40h work week, SEALs & changing the world - part II

This blog post is all about: ruling time out of the equation (because it's very deceptive), what happens when Purpose meets Social Contract, what does Autonomy really mean (and why freedom is a minor part of it), whether 50h is better than 40h (or you simply need to go beyond 60h ...), why over-time has nothing in common with seniority and how do all these things correspond to Engineering Culture.Part I of the series can be found here. Where were we? Just about to get into the details of what constitutes a work environment of high achieving where teams truly…

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United by the purpose and ... social contract: how to achieve more TOGETHER

United by the purpose and ... social contract: how to achieve more TOGETHER

This blog post is all about: a special kind of contract that is almost never written down, comparing rat-race with inspired evangelism or a quest for workplace happiness, what does happen when "social contract" is broken (& why does it happen), why respecting "social contract" (and first - having it at all!) makes such a difference.I've started few series of blog posts - one related to compensation, another to the level of commitment required to achieve the success, but ... I've recently found out that I can't conclude any of those without introducing one important concept (that rarely gets named…

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996, Cristiano Ronaldo, 40h work week, SEALs & changing the world - part I

996, Cristiano Ronaldo, 40h work week, SEALs & changing the world - part I

This blog post is all about: what Jack Ma has in common with Elon Musk, whether we always condemn people who sacrifice personal balance to pull over-time (in fact we ... don't), is "up-or-out" culture unfair, how does Cristiano Ronaldo differ from a creator of next-generation Internet start-up ...Some topics seem to be very sensitive in our (Software Engineering) community: female engineers & diversity, crazed job market & salary bubble, hype-train proneness, ... The issue of crunch does belong to this category undoubtedly. Widely condemned, actively opposed by Agile approach to building software (good!), still omni-present in gamedev, but apparently reduced by…

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Rule #0: Don't. Be. An. Asshole.

Rule #0: Don't. Be. An. Asshole.

This blog post is all about: the Mother of All Rules; consciousness of assholes; why being an asshole with almost 100% certainty eliminates the possibility of building up sustainable, high-performing team; what's the problem with sarcasm (& how easily it can be solved); How not to be an asshole (it ain't that hard, really ...) Each week I'm trying to share some thoughts & frequently even make some advice to you: about architecture, leadership, technology, management & what not. And still, until this very day I didn't mention THAT. The most important advice. The most valuable rule. The mother of all…

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Elephants, dead fish & vomit

Elephants, dead fish & vomit

This blog post is all about three particular kinds of issues Airbnb focused on when declaring their way to fix problems in their company culture; why its important to name such issues explicitly; what happens if you ignore them & why it's so important not to do so.Disclaimer: the concept presented in this article is not mine, hereby I take no credit neither for the naming nor the idea itself. The terms come from Airbnb's CPO Joe Gebbia & I've read about them in "The Airbnb Story". I just think they are cool (& useful) enough to get you…

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