You are probably reading this because we recently started working together. While I favour face-to-face communication when building relationships, I've found that a document like this accelerates finding common ground.
The content of this evolving document is a reasonably up-to-date reflection on how to aspire to show up.
Things I value
As an engineer at heart, I'm passionate about coaching and leading teams to build well-crafted software that delights customers. In my 25 years, I've come to value;
- People above all: The best software comes from people who have a sense of belonging and purpose and strive to lead balanced lifestyles.
- Feedback loops: Short, closed feedback loops, implemented in systems, processes and teams, are the life-blood of continuous improvement. Learn from our experiences and adapt to the environment.
- Belonging and collaboration: Our team is the culmination of each individual, so work hard on working together. Give everyone a voice because our diverse perspectives will help us build great software.
- Growth and mentorship: Software is about learning! So, invest in our personal development and the growth of others.
- Simplicity: Maximise value. Focus on one thing. Work in small steps.
- Excellence: Strive for pragmatism and effectiveness while nurturing our passion and creativity.
Above all, I work for the team, and I aim to do this by;
- Providing alignment to vision, strategy, purpose, objectives and other groups,
- Supporting the team by creating an environment where they do their best work,
- Helping explore ideas, identify improvements and eliminate waste, and
- Mentoring, coaching and teaching the team as we grow together.
Getting hold of me
It's vital that you have support when you need it most. Regardless of how busy my day is, I will drop whatever I can to be there for you.
- Slack for regular interaction.
- Text if it is urgent and Phone if critical.
- I read emails irregularly.
I prefer talking face-to-face, and my calendar is usually either busy or blocked, so ping me, and I will find a spot to chat.
Some things about me (and quirks)
- Don't be afraid to be painfully candid. I encourage you to open up and share.
- I welcome disagreement as a fantastic opportunity to grow and improve.
- I occasionally get animatedly excited, whether beautiful code, a novel process or small breakthroughs.
- My expression between being stressed, tired, and deep thinking look the same. Don't be afraid to ask :-P
- I swear often. Let me know if it bugs you, and I will make an effort to manage it.
- When people ask questions, I occasionally pause for a seemingly long time to think about it.
- I think and reflect deeply and constantly.
- I work at odd hours. Please do not feel obliged to respond to me when you get messages from me.
- When on a video call, I often fiddle with something to help me from not getting distracted by things like Slack.
I love studying and learning about software development and the stories of software companies. Some of the material that shaped my approach (the most) include:
- Systems Thinking
- Spine Model (Podcast | Wiki)
- No Silver Bullet (Paper)
- Software Design: Why, When & How (Video)
- SPACE of Developer Productivity (Paper)
- Extreme Programming Explained
- Refactoring: Improving design of existing code
- The Art of UNIX Programming (first 3 chapters)
- Software Architecture for Developers
Outcomes and Output
People and Teams
- Google Project Aristotle
- Managing Humans
- Five Dysfunctions Team
- Nonviolent Communication
- Turn The Ship Around!
Learning from others
The above is not an exhaustive list, so I invite you to look at my Goodreads account for more.
This document applies to how I work with my immediate colleagues. It doesn't necessarily apply to other leaders in our organisation.
If you see something in here that you like, I suggest you bring it up with your manager and explore how values, principles or practices can work in your setting.
This document was initially inspired by manager readme's, especially "How to Rands." I evolved it to become a general readme to help bootstrap any working relationship.