The Slow Decline of Highly Motivated Developers

#142 – June 05, 2023 View in browser

Tech Lead Digest

The Slow Decline of Highly Motivated Developers

Why developer motivation decreases and what can managers do about it?

How to Reduce Friction in User Signups (sponsor)

Acquisition. Activation. Adoption. Retention. Revenue. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start when you are being asked as a leader what projects to prioritize in your roadmap. Check out this guide that starts at the beginning, at acquisition, and gives a basic framework for unlocking growth through a low-friction user signup process.

The Next Larger Context

Frequently we will be given problems to solve by other people. Early in our career, these problems will usually be well-scoped and specific. And as we grow as engineers these tasks become bigger but often the success criteria remains well-defined.

Four layers

There seems to be some layering rhythm to how software capabilities are harnessed to become applications. Every new technology tends to grow these four layers: Capabilities, Interfaces, Frameworks, and Applications.

360 degrees of phony back-patting

In all the years we ran 360 performance reviews – the employee assessment process where you solicit feedback from peers, reports, and manager – I can think of only once when it lead to a meaningful follow-up.

The complicated parts of leadership: Betting on people

These experiences have taught me invaluable leadership lessons and greatly influenced my management style. I hope to help others become more effective leaders by sharing these anecdotes.

Thriving in Chaos

In the rapidly evolving tech industry, managers often face unpredictable challenges, shifting priorities, and an ever-changing technological landscape. To thrive, they must possess a unique set of skills and qualities that will enable them to navigate in the fields of the unknown with confidence and poise.

Engineering Levels: A Simple Framework for Startups

Helping engineers perform and developing their careers is not easy. Startups tend to have very little structure to begin with, so managers and engineers often find themselves reinventing this wheel while pushing it uphill. But there’s a trick from established companies that can help: engineering levels.

Large-scale User Sequences at Pinterest

Understanding and responding to user actions and preferences is critical to delivering a personalized, high quality user experience. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how multiple teams joined together to build a new large-scale, highly-flexible, and cost-efficient user signal platform service, which indexes the relevant user events in near real-time, constructs them into user sequences, and makes it super easy to use both for online service requests and for ML training & inferences.

Creating a Culture of Listening

Certainly part of why Steve Jobs “always got it right” was that he was a genius. You can’t operationalize or imitate genius. But genius was only part of the story; there are plenty of geniuses with brilliant ideas who can’t turn them into anything tangible. More important than genius was the way, Steve led people at Apple to execute so flawlessly without telling them what to do.

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