In the last Mektup, I talked about product thinking. That struck a chord on HackerNews, and thousands of people read and commented on it. I haven’t read the comments yet. I always have mixed feelings about comments (stress/curiosity/doubt) on HN; that’s why I’m waiting a bit.
With that, this month candost.blog passed a big milestone of 100,000 page views from whopping 94,000 visitors like you! I started this blog in December 2020. Although I was mainly writing on my previous blogs, starting fresh and building up was a big challenge; it still is. However, I enjoy writing down my thoughts and learnings and will keep doing it for the foreseeable future.
Anyway, in honor of achieving the milestone, I will keep it short and recommend five articles I have written before. These articles will help you gain a new perspective, open doors in your growth path, and challenge you. Although I wrote them a while back, they are timeless and still popular.
Give them a read if you haven't yet!
There are many 1:1 guides for managers but near to nothing for engineers. The meeting is for engineers; it’s their meeting. Therefore, engineers should own the meeting and make it effective. If your manager doesn’t care about 1:1s, you can nudge them. This is what I did. When I changed my perspective and worked on improving my 1:1 meetings, the results were terrific. I increased my communication with my manager, and I felt I was learning and growing faster than usual. This led me to become an engineering manager.
When we find ourselves in endless debates where everyone defends their idea (tabs vs. spaces, React vs. Angular, iOS vs. Android, Reactive vs. Object-Oriented programming), we don't know how to handle the situation. We often create conflicts between ourselves and other team members. We eventually find a way out, but what we need is an excellent system. In this article, I explain that system.
I always thought that we need to learn all of the fundamentals of a topic before taking any action. It was the approach I took as a software engineer. I spent my whole life going down the rabbit holes, researching, learning, and coming up with solutions that substantially solve the problem. Think twice (or more); code once. I was wrong with my approach. All I needed was action. Having a bias to action is more helpful than discussing and researching everything prior. Quantity beats quality in learning. Action beats perfection.
Consensus decision-making means everyone explicitly agreeing to the proposed idea. The leader needs explicit agreement from everyone and shouldn't assume consensus in the absence of objection. Many people assume there is a consensus when they don't are faced with silence. This pattern became more common in virtual meetings. In this post, I shared why we have these silences and how it impacts the decision.
The most critical problem I've seen is having struggles in the decision-making process. The inflexibility in decision-making is at the root of various issues. Many leaders either use a lot of authority or seek consensus. I wrote this post about The Decision-Making Pendulum. The leaders must learn the skills to move in the pendulum from side to side.
Until next time, take care!
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