Weekly Reading List #2

Answering technical questions helpfully

This post by Jon Skeet, one of the most well-known contributors to StackOverflow, is a useful checklist for technical writing that is useful, in StackOverflow, blogging, and anywhere else really.

Shorter Feedback is not Always Bett

Not an incidental typo to the quick post by John Boyd. Watch out for making the observation loop shorter than the time useful feedback can be generated. An observation loop that’s too small can create poor short-term optimizations that hurt long-term outcomes.

Running a learning hour

Creating a culture of learning is a holy grail for engineering organizations. Having engineers run workshop-style classes every month is a good idea.

Creating a career path

The ideas remind me of Run the Runway’s engineering ladder shared last year (strongly recommended). While Run the Runway felt more like fitting qualifications to a traditional engineering ladder (engineer I/II, senior I/II, staff, principle), Alexander Grosse followed the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition where he split his four criteria into levels from entry to expert. I found both ways reasonable. And I bet Alexander Grosse would agree the most important thing is to have some ladder that engineers can respect and plot their course on.

What Makes a Good Engineering Culture?

Another management/culture building post. Edmond Lau gives a lot of concrete advice that a manager or even an engineer can instill to improve the team.

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