SWLW #605: Simplifiers vs. Complexifiers, AI Agents and the RaaS revolution, and more.

A weekly newsletter by Oren Ellenbogen with the best content I found around people, culture and leadership in tech. You can also read this issue online and recommend this newsletter to your teammates for a great discussion.

Like always, sharing my best findings for the week. 

 

This Week's Favorite


AI Agents and the RaaS Revolution (Results as A Service)
5 minutes read.

When you think of Results as a Service (RaaS), the interface mainly changes. If we were used to strict APIs and clear contracts, I can imagine a world where I'll ask for a solution with some partial information and expect a result back, maybe with some feedback on how to further iterate on that to make it better. AI Agents will be used behind the scenes to enable such interface shifts.

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Culture


Software Engineers Solving a Simple Problem in the Most Complicated Way Possible to Secure a Promotion
1 minute read.

My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face.

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Career Advice: Simplifiers Go Far, Complexifiers Get Stuck
4 minutes read.

Framing complexifiers vs. simplifiers is a great way to look at senior leaders as people who can create clarity in the chaos. This is spot on: "My test for spotting complexifiers is look for the following pattern: (1) Slow progress on results (2) Blamed on everything being difficult or complicated (3) With a tendency to find artificial prerequisite activities that sound plausible, but on further examination aren’t."

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Mark Zuckerberg on How He Learned to Manage People (Video)
4 minutes read.

Notice how Mark answers "how I became better at management" from the lens of getting better at hiring the right teammates. High leverage activities (e.g. hiring), wrapping insights into memorable and transferable principles (e.g. "hire people you'd work for"), and developing an intuition for where you need talent and which type of talent for each stage while iterating constantly.

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The 4 Keys to Creating Team Accountability
6 minutes read.

Taking Claire Lew's "4 critical questions to help establish clear expectations" as a team offsite can produce incredible results. The team can define it and align together to deliver work they'll be proud of and feel successful.

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Peopleware


Information Diet: High Agency vs Low Agency
4 minutes read.

"High agency information diets proactively seek sources with a proven track record. It has firewalls against passive consumption of the world's worst events or social media drama." -- Looking into how you consume data proactively and meaningfully is how you grow faster beyond what inertia forces you to do.

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Charlie Munger Did Life Right. Here Are the 10 Best Mungerisms From the Architect of Berkshire of Hathaway.
3 minutes read.

Rules for life are a great way to capture some of your learnings so far. What would you write to your younger self? What helped you reach so far that many others wouldn't endure or think possible?

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Why Do We Underestimate How Long It Will Take to Complete a Task?
8 minutes read.

Planning is a critical skill to improve if you want to create larger impact in your career. It's hard and we're often wrong, but the target is to get better at it. One tactic that worked well for me is breaking projects into smaller parts and creating dependencies between people when we split work, so there will be some inherent pressure to constantly progress and integrate parts together. On critical (risky/complex) parts, pair programming often helps push momentum forward quickly.

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And finally, inspiring tweets...


@lulumeservey: Original: This evil belongs to all of Middle-Earth. They must decide now how to end it. The time of the Elves is over, my people are leaving these shores. After legal review: We are engaging with input from a diverse set of stakeholders, as we focus on our overseas operations.

@jasonfried: You don’t get to call yourself a leader. That’s up to other people.



p.s. if you're interested in joining SWLW's Slack channel, simply reply to this email and let me know. If you're leading a team, consider writing your Manager README (it's free) or getting my e-book and interviews Leading Snowflakes: The New Engineering Manager's Handbook. You can also support me by becoming a SWLW Patron. Thank you ❤️




Keep reading, keep learning.
-- Oren Ellenbogen.

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