Remote work comes in many flavors, some may be the cause of indigestion ...

Remote work comes in many flavors, some may be the cause of indigestion ...

In this blog post I'll describe why remote work != remote work, what's wrong about satellites and isles, why differences in communication bandwidth are worse than overall low bandwidth and what does it have in common with osmosis & water cooler.No, I'm not going to describe pros & cons of a remote work in depth. This is well covered in many sources & in a way I couldn't have matched in a blog post (or even series). My intention is to address a very simple & well isolated issue: plenty of people, encouraged by some commonly known successful examples of…

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How does Dunning–Kruger effect impact collaboration in tech teams

How does Dunning–Kruger effect impact collaboration in tech teams

This blog post is all about: cognitive bias (one particular one), how quickly we get used to "the new normal", how being insatiable when it comes to knowledge can make us ashamed, why we get annoyed when some junior pops up with "microservices now!" idea, why leader in the trenches may help (& what does it really mean).Habit of fooling ourselvesYou've heard/read about cognitive bias, didn't you? If not, you should definitely read up - there's zillion of resources on them available on-line, e.g.:http://www.visualcapitalist.com/every-single-cognitive-bias/https://betterhumans.coach.me/cognitive-bias-cheat-sheet-55a472476b18https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/…

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The ancient art of leading teams

The ancient art of leading teams

TL;DR Even today, many treat leading teams as a modern form of livestock herding. Limit the information (to avoid distraction), assign tasks, make a checkpoint each week, force controlled crunch before deadline, rinse & repeat. Fortunately, we can do so much better than that, if we manage to break some basic mental barriers - first: leading can (& should) out-scale; second: leading doesn't have to take ownership from team members; third: leadership is about communication (hence: understanding), credibility (hence: trust) & initiative (hence: driving actions). There are some topics that never stop popping up: even if in different contexts,…

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Common misconceptions regarding code ownership

Common misconceptions regarding code ownership

TL;DR If you see that teams "reject" the (part of) codebase, working with it lowers their engagement level, they have neither energy nor will to tackle its challenges, it's very rarely the matter of codebase's size. Sober-minded engineers just do not want to have anything to do with crappy code, especially if they don't feel responsible for its "crappiness". What they need is not their nametags pinned to particular mounds of dung, but a viable, credible & feasible strategy to dispose it. Code ownership problem is almost as old as teaming in software engineering. At…

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Rotting aura of a Bottleneck Superhero

Rotting aura of a Bottleneck Superhero

Have you ever met a Bottleneck Superhero (BS)? I guess you can't tell as the term doesn't tell you anything. No surprise as I've just coined it for the sake of this blog post :> Yes, people who know me in person do know how I like naming things (or people) ;) Hero of the (every) day Ok, let's start with the description of such a "role model". Imagine a person (in a company / team / project) who: has got the most knowledge / experience (relevant to the overall context) or just the "broadest" perspective (his/her knowledge is…

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Where do you belong? Straddled between teams

Where do you belong? Straddled between teams

Once in a while I try to catch up on some classics I've somehow omitted to read. One of them is (was) Lencioni's "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team". Title may cause setting some wrong expectations, subtitle is crucial here - "A Leadership Fable". Why so? It's written from executive's perspective & its intended audience is mainly executives (of various levels). Don't flee just yet, I'm not going to review it here :) but there's one particular observation / remark I've found particularly interesting, so I've decided to turn it into a blog post. Straddled At some point,…

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Productive conflict: why some degree of discord is essential

Productive conflict: why some degree of discord is essential

I've recently read Lencioni's Five Dysfunctions of a Team - widely recognized classic on leadership & executive management. I'm not going for a full review here (you can easily find my review on Goodreads), but I want to refer to one of book's key output thoughts (paraphrased for the sake of brevity): Conflict in a team (or any other kind of collaborating group) is not something to be afraid of. Quite the opposite - productive conflict is an essential element of creative processes within each team, required for its real, healthy growth. Yupp, software delivery journey shouldn't be like Ponyville…

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Body-leasing: self-imposed trend to make team shaping even harder

Body-leasing: self-imposed trend to make team shaping even harder

This blog post is some sort of a supplement to my previous post on building teams organically - you can find it here. As we all know, software developer job market is terribly twisted by huge disproportion between demand (crazy) & supply (barely dripping). Huge gap between these two has resulted in uncontrolled boom of a particular trend I find strongly harmful: developer "body-leasing" (or "talent outsourcing" - as some prefer to call it). It's basically about hiring developers in companies that work pretty much as intermediaries / work agencies who offer their employees for Time &…

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