Over 2022, I read ~300 articles and bookmarked even more.
My topics of interest cover everything CTOs, engineering managers, and tech leads deal with daily. How do I stay technical when I’m not wiring code anymore? How to balance the product priorities and the needs of different teams. How do other people solve the same challenges I’m facing now?
So I was reading a lot of useful newsletters (check them here if you wish) and saving blog posts I found practical for my needs. It ended up as a huge list of 72 articles that might be useful for others.
I sorted all articles by topic because there were so many of them, and I wanted to make it easier to read through them.
Engineering team culture
This section is my favorite and one of my biggest daily challenges. Team culture makes a safe space for productive collaboration, transparent communication, and better releases, as everyone is aligned towards the same engineering habits & practices. But how can we create such a culture among the engineers and cross-functional teams we work with? I learned a lot from experience shared in these articles:
- Setting your engineers up for success: how Skyscanner created greater clarity in our competencies and pathways to progression
- Does high velocity lead to burnout? That may be the wrong question to ask
- What a healthy team looks like?
- Building a team’s culture
- How to build an engineering-first company culture
- Сreating a culture of engineering excellence
- Run this diagnostic to thoughtfully build (and evaluate) your startup’s culture
- Working with very confident people (who dismiss you)
- Motivating developers to care about documentation
- The top 3 points you should have paid attention to in the Spotify engineering culture videos that aren’t squads, chapters, tribes, guilds
Hiring and onboarding
You’ll find everything related to finding great engineers and building a friendly hiring process here. Tech hiring is not easy. Sometimes it can take months to fill some roles. It took me several months to find a frontend developer, backend developer, and QA for my team in Lemon.io.
When you finally find someone you like, you need to build onboarding and integrate new team members. If those topics are something you need advice on, these posts should be helpful:
- Why I stopped interviewing with companies that require a coding test
- What are your tips for an effective developer resumé?
- Hiring for additivity
- First rule of the team: size
- How I interview engineers to assess ability to deliver impact
- How to scale a unicorn-building engineering team (and stay sane)
- Optimize local dev environments for better onboarding
- Learn to hire well, and you’ll never lose
- How to freaking find great developers by having them read code
In this section, you’ll find interesting guides on TDD, DevSecOps, refactoring practice, scaling infrastructure, and many tips on how other means set up the foundation for the engineering function. Many things from here will be useful for team leads as well:
- The power of code refactoring: how to measure refactoring success
- Mobile developer experience at Slack
- Trunk and branches model for scaling infrastructure organizations [uber case study]
- Real-world engineering challenges #7: choosing technologies
- Three “clean code” tips that will make your dev team 50% more efficient
- The pull request paradox: merge faster by promoting your pr
- A gentle introduction to domain-driven design
- Early security for startups
- Product hurricane maps to take into account tech debt when roadmapping
- Designing a secure API
- Stop writing API functionsbeing an introverted leader
Managing engineering teams
I’m a mix of introvert and extrovert, and I love to switch contexts. Actually, I can’t live without switching contexts, but a lot of us (technical people) are introverts, and people management is hard for us. Our energy level goes down from too many calls and tasks that require switching contexts. So we must learn to be introverted managers who support the team and have enough confidence to challenge people when needed. There are good directions to improve as a technical leader:
- Being an introverted leader
- Why is everything so slow? Measuring and optimizing how engineering teams deliver
- How do I deal with underperforming engineers?
- How to run an effective retrospective?
- Leading as an engineering manager
- How to write a project status report that works for your team
- Investing in internal documentation: a brick-by-brick guide for startups
- The best managers don’t fix, they coach — four tools to add to your toolkit
- Product engineering todos for startup leaders
- The five p’s of agility
- “Sharing interesting stuff”: a simple yet powerful management tool
- 17 traits of awesome tech leads
- Technical leadership: a comprehensive guide
- A manager’s guide to helping teams face down uncertainty, burnout and perfectionism
- The coders programming themselves out of a job
- On measuring: company metrics, team KPIs, and OKRs
- A staff-shaped hole
- Why you should care about creativity
- Why goal cascades are harmful (and what to do instead)
- Six tips for staying technical as a CTO
- Extensive list of best development resources – 121 links to guides, cheat sheets and more list of resources
- Take your GitHub repository to the next level
- Make your GitHub profile stand out
- Lessons from a tech lead: roles, responsibilities, and words of advice
- How to structure your day using energy levels as a product manager
- How to interview a VP of engineering
Career and productivity tips
The last section is about small things to become more productive with the right work setup, useful tools, hotkeys, development resources, and habits.
- Stop lying to yourself – you will never “fix it later”
- How I’m a productive programmer with a memory of a fruit fly
- How to deal with information overload – a leader’s guide to managing communications
- Git organized: a better Git flow
- Git cheat sheet (50 commands + PDF and poster)
- 18 useful GitHub repositories every developer should bookmark
- 3 obvious mistakes I made as a junior team lead
If you wish to have more helpful articles, I have left guides from small subtopics that I found useful, and maybe you’ll like them as well:
- Adobe’s internal developer platform journey and lessons
- Advice for transitioning from early stage startup to big tech [cool thread on reddit]
- How to evaluate the UX maturity of a company
- From web page to web player: how Spotify designed a new homepage experience
- Using design thinking to create ideas that better meet customers’ needs and desires
- The business power of design: understanding Airbnb’s redesign
- How to build a minimum lovable product (MLP)
If you’re searching for a top-quality developer to bring onboard, look no further
We can help you find the perfect fit for your team. Contact us now to start the hiring process!