The Mektup by Candost #3 - Effective 1:1s, DevOps, Atomic Habits, Staff Engineer & more

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Here is the one I sent on March 24, 2021.

Hello friend,

Every last Thursday of the month, you get this newsletter from me. It takes less than ten minutes to read. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please share it with your friends.

After a long time, I traveled by car to see my friends in Berlin. I cannot explain how much I needed it. Now, looking forward to seeing them again and planning the travel to Turkey, my home country.

On the personal side, I decided to change the format of my Tuesday Livestream talks. There won't be a live stream from now on, but I will continue as a podcast. More on this later under the Software World with Candost topic.

Now, onto The Mektup.


Cover image for blog section. Two people on the computers are on the sides and in the middle, it says "Blog"

๐Ÿ‘ฅ Effective 1:1s - Own Your One-on-One Meetingโ€‹

When I started my professional career, I didn't have regular 1:1 meetings with my manager. I discussed many topics with my peers instead. Most of the time, they went nowhere. In my latest job, I started having 1:1s, and I was already feeling better. However, it was unstructured and needed improvements. So I decided to take ownership of my personal 1:1 meetings with my manager and start facilitating them. I saw that I could solve my problems and get better answers which satisfy me. This mindset resulted in having a better relationship with my managerโ€”check the post to learn how you can do it.

๐Ÿ›  Building Microservices Book Notes - Continued (Chapter 4 Part 1, Part 2)

On the other hand, I continued publishing my notes from Building Microservices Book by Sam Newman. The fourth chapter, Integration, was a bit longer than the others. So, I posted it in two parts. The first part focuses on Synchronous vs. Asynchronous, Remote Procedure Calls, REST, and events. The second part is about code reuse, versioning, and user interfaces.


Software World with Candost cover image. Two people sitting around the table and talking while a camera and microphone recording

โญ๏ธ The Life Of a Generalist Software Engineerโ€‹

Ricardo is one of the most generalist engineers I know. He did such a variety of things, such as running a company, developing mobile apps, working as a manager, creating web frontend app, and engineering backend services and APIs. In our talk, one thing was clear that you need to be an expert on one topic to become a generalist software engineer. Without knowing one tech stack, it isn't easy to learn many things at once. Even though I was focused on iOS development for many years, I always considered myself a generalist software engineer. Now, it's more clear why it worked for me. Check out the full talk either as a video or a podcast.โ€‹

โ˜€๏ธ DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering as a Careerโ€‹

One of the most popular and demanding career paths is DevOps Engineering, although DevOps is a discipline, not a title. I had a lot of confusion in understanding DevOps and Site Reliability Engineering's (SRE) differences before our talk with Rene, one of the area's experts. Rene humbly explained the differences and even laid out great recommendations and tips about starting a DevOps and SRE career and growing it. Check out the full talk either as a video or a podcast.โ€‹

โ—๏ธ Update about Software World with Candost

I decided to stop live streaming. I am currently writing a post about the reasoning. However, the main decisive factor is seeing the higher benefits of creating other types of content than the live version. That means, instead of having live sessions, I will now continue as a podcast. Every Tuesday at the same time (19:00 CET, 11:00 PT), there will be a new episode starting in April. And you will also sometimes hear me speaking alone. I am very excited about the new format. If you want to join me in one of the sessions, reply to this email.


Cover image for three interesting things I've been reading and thinking about.

โ˜๏ธ Know Your One Job and Do It Firstโ€‹

It's the story of an engineer who does a lot of glue work but lacks technical work. Charity Majors suggests that if you are working on a lot of stuff that impacts the company while being an engineer, you should focus on your job and do that well first. Suppose you have the feeling that you're doing many things for the company while not entirely focused on the technical work you're hired for. If you feel this way, you should read this post and the follow-up post, and I even recommend you to send this to your manager and talk about your career. That's what I did.

โœŠ Staff Engineer Guidesโ€‹

Will Larson was writing a lot of articles and guides around being a Staff Engineer. I found them very helpful and already bought the book Staff Engineer and added it to my to-read pile. If you would like to advance your career in the individual contributor track, not manager, I highly recommend Will's articles. I haven't read the book yet, but some of my friends liked it a lot.

๐Ÿง Improving Morale Using Paloma Medina's BICEPS Frameworkโ€‹

BICEPS framework focuses on morale and points out where precisely it's getting worse. The spreadsheet attached to the article uses coloring to point out the problematic cases. Usually, managers should initiate implementing the framework; however, everyone can do it by themselves. I did it alone and found out that I had red alerts in five points. Now, at least that I know the specific problem, I'm looking at ways to improve them.


Cover image for books

Last month, after reading How to Take Smart Notes, I finally saw ever-growing and very well-connected notes in my Notion. I am delighted that I gave a shot to the Zettelkasten Method. I recommend it to anyone who is not happy with their note-taking system.

๐Ÿ‘‰ This month, I started reading Atomic Habits (by James Clear) with one of my friends. This book was recommended to me by many different people and was staring at me on my Kindle for a while. So far, we are reading the second and third chapters. I must admit that up until now, I very much liked the book. The stories and problems defined in the book resonate with me a lot. It has an unambiguous and easy language. While we read this with my friend, we decided to publish our talk and start a new podcast called Bi' Tek Dรผnya (The podcast is Turkish ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท ).

๐Ÿ—ฃ After I evaluated and restructured Software World with Candost Show, I wanted to improve my public speaking. I was already following Lara Hogan, so I picked up her book, Demystifying Public Speaking. So far, my biggest highlight is "Turn your fear and anxiety about public speaking to deeply caring about the topic or subject. There is no shame in caring stuff." This idea is excellent, and it already helped me look at the topics of my talks from a different angle.

๐Ÿšข I finished reading Turn the Ship Around by David Marquette, a retired submarine captain. The army and navy are well known for being hierarchical and having top-down decision-making processes. Marquette explains how he created bottom-up processes in the book, as he calls intent-based leadership. Everyone makes decisions but only informs the boss about their intent. Although I liked the book very much, I find it hard to implement the ideas laid down there. To execute some ideas from the book, you still need to be on the top of the organization. If you're at the bottom or near the bottom, it is hard to apply similar strategies. If you read this book, let me know what you think.


Closing thoughts cover image

๐Ÿค™ Many overwhelming things are happening around us. It's been a year since the first lockdown started here, Europe. It's visible that some people don't care about anything while others fight with lockdown fatigue. If you feel alone and stress and want to talk to someone, go to superpeer.com/candost and book a call with me using the "3MEKTUP100" discount code (limited to the first ten people). The code will give you a 100% discount so that anything you book is free.


That's it.

How do you like this newsletter? 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!

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