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Le Podcast

Grow your Software Engineering Career with Emilien

Emilien Macchi is a Senior Principal Software Engineer at Red Hat. He is French and lives in Canada. He contributes to OpenStack nearly since the inception of the open-source project.

I had the pleasure to get Emilien on Le Podcast to discuss how learning and sharing were essential ways of growing his career in Software Engineering.

We covered many topics: peer reviews, pair programming, remote work (he thinks that collaboration is easier and better remotely). Of course, I also asked what he thinks are the most important things to develop as a coder (spoiler, it is not only technical skills).

As Emilien is also one of the first people who let a text review on Goodreads, I asked him what he thought of I am a Software Engineer and I am in Charge: The book that helps increase your impact and satisfaction at work.

I hope you will enjoy the episode! In any case let me know email, Twitter, or Linkedin.

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Le Podcast

Jason’s Thirteen Rules of a Team

In this episode of Le Podcast, I had the great pleasure to receive Jason McKerr. Jason is the Engineering leader for Management and Automation at Red Hat (great things like Ansible, Insights, Satellite…)

My objective was to have Jason explained his Thirteen Rules of a Team which I discovered during one mentoring session with one member of his team.

Here are the 13 Rules for Team Members and Team Leaders.

  1. Have Fun
  2. Do Good Work. Make some money.
  3. Take care of the people who work for/with you. The Team comes first.
  4. Take care of the user/customer.
  5. Take care of the people you work for. Rules 3 and 4 will do most of the work on rule 5, but the boss always comes last.
  6. It is the team’s obligation to challenge its leader. You won’t get smacked down, you’ll get MORE respect. However, do it appropriately and respectfully. In private.
  7. Once the team lead has made up his mind, even if a team member disagreed before, it is now his/her responsibility to push that decision to the outside world as though it was his or her own.
  8. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A BAD TEAM, ONLY BAD TEAM LEADERS! If the team is bad, it’s still the leader’s responsibility to make it good.
  9. It is the team leader’s job to protect the team from the outside so that they can do their jobs.
  10. Don’t ever say, “That’s not my job.”
  11. It is a core component of every leader’s job on this team to pass their knowledge onto others in the team. So pass it on…
  12. It is a team leader’s job to push power and loyalty down, not up.
  13. See Rule 1

Listen to the podcast to learn about this framework for leaders to make good decisions. And learn how Jason review the rules with the new people he onboard to the team.

I hope you will enjoy the podcast! Share what you think the usual means: email, Twitter, or Linkedin.

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Le Podcast

All about OKRs with Bart

In this episode of Le Podcast, I had the pleasure to discuss Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) with Bart den Haak. Bart is a Software Engineer who fell in love with OKRs at a startup more than 10 years ago. He continues to use OKRs since then and he is now advising companies on how to use them.

In a previous episode, I shared an approach to creating great goals using OKRs and Impact Mapping. Get ready to learn more!

In this episode, we covered:

  • What are OKRs?
  • What are the main differences with other goals approaches (balanced scorecard, Hoshin Kanri, MBOs, 4DX…)?
  • Who can use OKRs? (organizations, teams, or individuals?)
  • Where to start?
  • What are the critical aspects of pushing you out of your comfort zone in your learning zone while avoiding the danger zone?
  • What are the common pitfalls?

Bart’s approach resonates really well with me, you will easily make the connection if you read Changing Your Team From The Inside, or my next book I am a Software Engineer and I am in Charge: The book that helps increase your impact and satisfaction at work.

Speaking about books, Bart is currently working on a book, I will keep you updated on that!

More about Bart:

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Le Podcast

Do you want 10x Engineers?

In this episode of Le Podcast, I had the pleasure of discussing with Julien Danjou. Julien has more than 20 years of experience as an open source software hacker. Julien wrote two books about Python.

I wanted to ask him about the myth of 10x Engineers and what advice he could have for Engineers who want to grow their skills.

According to Julien, above the technical aspect that everybody think of, two other aspects are essential to grow as a software engineer: understanding the business, and understanding the social component.

I loved all the examples Julien gave and that could be put into practice immediately. It resonates a lot with me and I think it aligns very well with Michael and I shared in our new book I am a Software Engineer and I am in Charge. I hope that I will have the opportunity to discuss the book with Julien soon!

References:

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Le Podcast

The Anatomy of Peace

In this episode of Le Podcast, John Poelstra and I had a conversation about the book The Anatomy of Peace.

John recommended the book in our previous conversation on how (not) to provide feedback. I read it twice and fell in love with it. John mentioned that in Changing Your Team From The Inside, I said that Change starts with you, it seems The Anatomy of Peace pushes it further: change starts with who you are.

The highlights of the conversations:

  • When your heart is at peace or your heart is at war,
  • When people are doing the right thing, a good opportunity for positive reinforcement,
  • Our body gives us signals to listen to when our heart is at war,
  • What about those times when we consider people as objects, obstacles, or considering them as people, other human beings,
  • The idea of being stuck in a box (I deserve, better than, the need to be seen as, the worse than) and how it could map with the responsibility process of Christopher Avery,
  • We have the choice to honor or betray our senses and desires,
  • The idea of judging others and judging ourselves,
  • The practice of Hoʻoponopono,
  • The connection with the practice of meditation.

Find more information and resources about The Anatomy of Peace on the Arbinger Institute website.

Please feedback, comments by the usual means: email, Twitter, Linkedin!

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General Le Podcast

Psychological Safety

Psychological Safety is the term coined by Amy Edmondson, the author of The Fearless Organization.

I already talked about Psychological Safety, when I presented the work of Google on the project Aristotle, and how it was a very good conversation starter for my team.

The two other books I mentioned in that episode of Le Podcast are:

  • The Coddling of the American Mind
  • In Great Company

The questions we asked to assess psychological safety are:

  • When someone makes a mistake on my team, it is often held against him or her
  • In my team, it is easy to discuss difficult issues and problems
  • In my team, people are sometimes rejected for being different
  • It is completely safe to take a risk on my team
  • It is difficult to ask other members of my team for help
  • Members of my team value and respect each others’ contributions

The scale to answer the questions ranges from “Strongly disagree” to “Strongly agree”.

Tell me what you think!

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Le Podcast

When your team is distributed

John Poelstra, Michael Doyle and I talk about how to make distributed teams efficient. We had that conversation while we were spread over 15 timezones: John in Portland, Oregon, Michael in Brisbane, Australia, and me in Boston, Massachusetts.

The conversation is republished from John’s show.

Let me know what you think!

Happy to connect to share remote facilitation approaches!

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Le Podcast

Changing Your Team with John Poelstra

I had the opportunity to have a great conversation about the book, Changing Your Team From The Inside, on John Poelstra’s show.

John proposed the idea to cross-publish our conversation on our respective podcasts. In order to do that, I had to re-listen to the conversation and I really enjoyed it.

Yes, of course, there is some Ego involved in that, and this is one of the topics we covered in the podcast, among the other aspects of what makes a team great and how to get your team to be a great one!

Give it a try! And let us know what you think!

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Le Podcast

Coming to terms with terms – Michael DeLanzo

In this episode of Le Podcast, I had the great pleasure to receive Michael DeLanzo to discuss the importance of coming to terms with terms. Michael and I met at a Boston Spin event when I gave a talk: The Change Starts Here. You can find more about speaking engagement here.

What precipitated the idea to discuss this topic was an email feedback exchange on Le PodcastHow to create great goals?“. As a listener, Michael did not agree with the level of abstraction or scope provided to goals and objectives. The reason turned out to be that we had different meanings of the term goals and objectives. Once he understood the definition I had of these terms, the issues with scope and level of abstraction were no longer there.

Michael ended the recording by asking me a question from Daniel Kahneman “Thinking, Fast and Slow”

  • A bat and ball cost $1.10
  • The bat cost $1.00 more than the ball
  • How much does the ball cost?

Highlights of the episode:

  • Clarify the terms is the starting point for any collaboration
  • Writing or Speaking communication, or synchronous and asynchronous communication
  • Cultural differences, and language struggle (There is a quote attributed to George Bernard Shaw that follows along the lines “Britain and America are two nations divided by a common language”.)
  • Passive Thinking and Critical Thinking
  • From The Basecamp Guide to Internal Communication
    • If your words can be perceived in different ways, they’ll be understood in the way which does the most harm.
    • Meetings are the last resort, not the first option.
    • Five people in a room for an hour isn’t a one-hour meeting, it’s a five-hour meeting. 
  • From CNBC: Jeff Bezos: This is the ‘smartest thing we ever did’ at Amazon
    • Jeff Bezos: “Many, many years ago, we outlawed PowerPoint presentations at Amazon,”“And it’s probably the smartest thing we ever did.”
    • Jack Dorsey: “Most of my meetings are now Google doc-based, starting with 10 minutes of reading and commenting directly in the doc,” Dorsey tweeted in 2018. “This practice makes time for everyone to get on same page, allows us to work from many locations, and gets to truth/critical thinking faster.”
  • I already mentioned the Valve Software New Employee Handbook in this article about the Neuroscience of Trust. I repeat here that it is worth to have a look 🙂

Book recommendations:

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Le Podcast

How (not) to provide feedback – John Poelstra

In this episode of Le Podcast, I had the great pleasure of having John Poelstra to discuss a very personal experience about providing feedback.

John has a great show. I have been on the show twice. The first time to discuss Changing Your Team From The Inside. The second with Michael Doyle to discuss how to build and lead effective remote teams.

The highlights of the episode are:

  • the difference between the content of the feedback and how it is delivered
  • the place of the ego in the feedback process
  • who is responsible for our experiences
  • how to deal with expectations or needs
  • how the responsibilities are on both ends
  • the dance between people is the relationship
  • how you show up makes a big difference
  • polarization, win/lose mentality makes it worse

Recommended book in the episode: