Just another blog…

Steve

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LeadDev - Motivating Engineering Teams

LeadDev recently hosted a panel discussion on ‘Creating and sustaining motivation in your engineering team’. I recommend listening as many topical points were covered that may spark ideas around motivation in your teams.

My takeaways:

  • Motivation can be considered on 3 levels: Individual, Team, and Organisational.
  • Fairness – there should be an appearance of fairness. Leaders must understand the processes in the company to be able to justify decisions/levels to their team in one-on-ones.
  • Stay interviews could be considered to fix things before it gets too late. Ask candid questions to understand individual motivators. What do people enjoy/not enjoy about coming into work? Gives understanding in how to help people.
  • Peers are a motivation to stay, are people around you challenging you to be better? Find a place to learn from your peers. Peers can help you keep ‘on track’. Reminds me of the First Team mindset.… Continue reading
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Burnout risk during this pandemic

I miss my commute to work. That’s something I never thought I would say! Working from home continually seemed like a dream at the start, an extra lie in each morning followed by the first catch up online in my dressing gown. But over the months I realised that work and life have blended into one, I have lost that separation. My commute gave me that, it was my mental way to separate the two. Many of us are in the same situation, forced to work remotely, we’re ‘always on’ and likely putting in more hours than pre-Covid. This should cause a few alarm bells to go off as burnout could be on the horizon!

I enjoy communicating with people, whether it’s in meetings or simply socially around the office. I miss the face-to-face connection. Zoom calls can only do so much, they certainly don’t help with the casual conversations… Continue reading

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MeetUp talk: Building a Tech Culture at Medidata

As part of the TechHeads meetup on 30th July I gave talk titled – Building a Tech Culture at Medidata. It was followed by a YouTube Live Q&A.

A tech culture can be hard to define and even harder to build. My talk covers some of the approaches used to build a tech culture at Medidata. These include a common mission, core principles, and other initiatives to encourage making decisions and learning together.

Here is the talk:

The live recording that includes Q&A is also available here.

Thank you to Duncan Goldie, Woodrow Mercer Group, and Alex Frois from Pusher for making this possible.

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With the current coronavirus pandemic the majority of us are working from home. As leaders, it’s important that we maintain relationships with the people in our teams during this period so that no one is feeling isolated or lonely. This can be difficult though, in the video below I share some of things we are doing to maintain the social activity while being remote.

There are many other good ideas, what is your team doing?

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Having a First Team mindset is important for the success of an organisation. This mindset is a change in thinking and can go against the natural instinct to focus on the teams you lead. But, once understood, it’s easy to see the benefits this provides to the organisation and individual teams.

I cover this First Team mindset more in my first engineering leadership video…

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TL;DR – Bill Walsh, an ex-NFL coach, had a leadership approach that transformed the success of the San Francisco 49ers. His ‘Standard of Performance’ covers a wide range of leadership traits that apply across industries. Each point offers learning relevant to leading tech teams today.

There’s no hiding from the fact that results are important. If release targets or customer subscription and retention numbers are not met jobs could be at risk. However, as counterintuitive as it sounds, solely focusing on results will probably have the opposite effect!

“Concentrate on what will produce results rather than on the results, the process rather than the prize.”

Bill Walsh was an NFL coach whose advanced leadership transformed the San Francisco 49ers from the worst sports franchise to a legendary dynasty. The Score Takes Care Of Itself details Bill’s take on leadership which can apply to any industry not only on the football… Continue reading

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Setting a good impression for new hires is important, we also want to show that we’re organized and prepared as a new person starts their journey with us. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, with our busy days it’s not easy to pass on information in a structured way. At times I’ve forgotten to share or explain certain things at the beginning which then ends up being passed on in an irregular way. This can affect their impression of us, but will certainly impact the onboarding efficiency.

The usual route is to maintain a list of things (an on-boarding checklist) for the new hire. I’ve done this and it works, but either it’s passing a lot of information at once or holding some back and then deciding the right time to pass it on, making it more of a scheduling challenge that is never productive.

I needed to try something… Continue reading

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