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Hi friend! I hope you and everyone you care about are well.
I've spent quite some time with many e-mail tools and this month I'm trying ConvertKit. While writing and publishing on Substack were easy, I wanted to own and have more control over the content I produce. So, I will move out from Substack, use ConvertKit and publish these emails on my website as well.
Tools like Substack creates a marketplace and brings discoverability to the table. After choosing to own the content, the effort to make it discoverable is immense. The same applies to Superpeer for my live streams. Even though I love Superpeer and its easiness, it's not great for discoverability. I'm considering hosting live streams somewhere other than Superpeer as well. If you have any suggestions, hit the reply button and let me know.
Now, onto the Mektup.
Every career has stages. Our thoughts and perspectives change, we learn and evolve. We drop some ideas on the way while learning new ones. This is what we call growth. What Chris shared in the article is one of the good examples of growth. I've experienced a similar thought process. I disagree with some of Chris's opinions, such as the ineffectiveness of project managers or calling people weirdos. But, he has good points where we can learn. I also shared the lessons I learned in my years of experience with the software.
One of the most forgotten and (sometimes) misunderstood concepts is sponsorship. It is neither mentorship nor promotion; it's sharing your trust in a person and opening a gate to that person. Although sponsoring a person looks like requiring authority, it actually does not. Lara Hogan (one of the greatest people I follow) shows the way to sponsor others. Also, it has a great impact on the glass-ceiling effect. Since sponsorships are rare, whenever there is one, most of the time, white cis-men gets it. We need to learn how to be inclusive.
This post is not only for managers. It's also for the people who would like to understand managers. One thing mentioned in the article strikes me a lot is communicating once is never enough. When I look back my managers, I remember them repeating same messages over and over again. Once I started taking leading responsibilities, I also realized this. If a manager wants to give a message or ask something, they have to repeat it again and again until it becomes annoying. And this is not the only mistake managers make. The other ones that Sarah talks about are very common as well.
In February, I had for amazing guests in my livestreams. If you want to join one of these sessions and ask your questions to my guests, subscribe my streams on Superpeer.
Living abroad or working with people from around the globe has many challenges. People carries their cultures with them. Erin Meyer, maps them to eight scales in the book The Culture Map. I'm a fan of that book and wrote about it before. We created our team's culture map at work. And what we realized is that we can understand why people behaves in a certain way. Right now, our team's map guides us in our communication. Felipe and I talked about our experiences about these eight scales and working as an ex-pat.
The engineering career is often not a straight line. When people switch from software engineering role to management role, they change profession. Although knowing engineering might help in management, and we act like it as a promotion, it's not. Also, people who miss the hands-on working think that going back to technical side is demotion. This is false. Management and engineering are two different jobs. And I would argue that knowing the management side can help them to become a better engineer. It's useful for growing the career faster (if they didn't stay too long in management). Tobias went to management and came back to engineering. He shared his experiences with me and we talked about how engineer can grow in their careers.
One thing I didn't know about on-call is how DevOps had a significant impact on it. The culture and the strategies changed with DevOps. Building a healthy on-call culture is difficult. However, there are specific processes that helpful for the on-call engineer. Creating the on-call system and using best practices mitigate system failures and the health of the engineer. Serhat and I talked about adjusting systems for avoiding alert fatigue and engineering burnout. He shared the best practices of healthy on-call environments and building a great culture around on-call.
In the ever-growing and -changing front-end world, people struggle to find their way around. Learning has different paths, and the strategies are distinct for everyone. The most important is motivation. If you're motivated to start learning front-end, then you're already on a good start.
In February, I wrote two articles. I am planning to write more in March.
I'm transitioning into engineering management. I was curious about how a manager can build trust and I asked people around. The pattern around answers were keeping promises, listening, asking questions and being aware of differences in people. I collected the suggestions from different managers and summed them up in a post.
Last month, my curiosity kicked in and I took a look at one deployment strategy. While researching and reading my notes about deploying software, I learned different strategies. What I understood from blue-green deployment strategy is we duplicate production environment. We make deploy our latest service and make a quick switch. I explained this strategy with graphics. Also, you can find the differences between blue-green and canary and rolling deployments.
Once I had 400+ notes, I needed to have a better way to find out what I had written. I have notes from 2013 that I found by mistake. I wrote them but never take a look back. And they are not linked to another note. That’s the problem. I tried many tools such as Dropbox Paper, Evernote, Bear, Ulysses, etc. Now, I'm using Notion and love it! With Notion, I started using Slip-Box and the method Sönke Ahrens explains in the book to solve problem with notes. The book explains the method and it's advantages in detail. It is written mostly for academics but I recommend it if you are looking for a better note-taking strategy.
This is a fascinating book. We need break from all the things that we have to learn and enjoy a good story. I'm almost finishing this book and it's well-written, addictive and amazing story. I'm perusing this book. Because I don't want to finish it. I take my time and pause reading once in a while. I also can't wait to read the rest of the series. I don't want spoil anything from the book, just go and read. That's all I can say.
At the end of 2020, we have lost a colleague at work because of cancer. Reading Charlie's journey brought back the grief. It helped me better understand how hard it is and it can happen to everyone. We might think that the life in pandemic is hard. But, people with cancer doesn't only deal with the weaker immune system, but also deal with the negativity around. Keeping the positivity is extremely difficult. We need to support each other to create more positive vibes around us. And the last thing, whenever possible, we should get the vaccination. Some people like Charlie cannot get vaccinated for Covid-19 because of the weak immune system. If you are healthy, you can do it. Not only for you, but for everyone.
What have you been reading the last month? Hit the reply button and send them to me. I'm curious about what passes from your screen or which book you are reading. I read and answer all my emails.
Until receiving your email, see you around, my friend!