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Scaling Software Teams
45 minutes | 6 months ago
Achieving Gender Parity with Active Allyship with Denise Yu
Denise is a Senior Engineer at GitHub, a prolific speaker, as well as an author and illustrator.In this episode, we dive deep into the role that gender plays in inclusion. What solutions can narrow the gap between men and women on engineering teams? Listen in as Wes and Denise break it down.Wes’ Takeaways: Gendered language matters We have a responsibility as allies to speak out Documentation and the Double Rooney Rule can help us narrow gendered gaps Don’t correct people publicly on inclusion things
57 minutes | 6 months ago
Being Black in Tech with Kevin Stewart
Kevin Stewart is an engineering leader who has worked across multiple company stages such as Fastly, Heptio, Nodesource, and Adobe. Today, he is the VP of Engineering at Harvest.In this episode, we talk about the invisible burden that code-switching puts on underrepresented groups. How can we build D&I initiatives that actually lead to more diverse hiring and greater inclusion on our teams? Listen is as Kevin and Wes discuss.Wes’ Takeaways:Our metrics may undermine our D&I efforts.Code-switching places an invisible burden on under-represented folks.If we’re in a position of privilege, we need to champion underrepresented groups instead of tokenizing them.Make sure people like public praise… Also, praise their work instead of their identity.
31 minutes | 6 months ago
Firing and Getting Fired with Zach Holman
Zach Holman was employee number 9 at Github. He was one of their earliest engineers, and he saw the team expand to over 250 employees. Years later, he was fired from his role and has since gone on to start his own companies and advise other startups.In this episode, we talk about a really hard subject… firing and getting fired. We also cover why your onboarding process may be to blame if you have high turnover and the next steps you should take after someone is let go.Wes’ Takeaways:Fire humanely: Give warning, offer PIP, and understand/think deeply about human impactDon’t let this be the end of your relationship. “Once you’re out, you’re out” is lame.Onboarding is highly correlated with firing… If you’re seeing high turnover, it’s likely an onboarding problem.Your goal should be: How do we make a company that most of the people who work here are happy and successful?If things end well, ex-employees can be referral sources and advocates
49 minutes | 7 months ago
Developing Leaders on a Team with Jill Wetzler
How do you lead the leaders on your team? Today’s guest has been developing leaders for years, and she’s sharing her insights on this episode of Scaling Software Teams. Jill Wetzler is the Head of Engineering at Pilot. Before her current role, she scaled Lyft’s Infrastructure Engineering organization from a handful of people to over 100 infra engineers. She was also Lyft’s Director of Engineering Leadership Development. In this episode, we talk about the principles and tactics she’s used to develop leaders; from skip-level one-on-ones to developer advocacy. We also dive into the management issues that can hold under-represented individual contributors back and what we can do to fix them.Wes’ Takeaways:Skip-level one-on-ones can be incredibly useful for finding coaching areas for managersHire managers who think about management the same way you do–Stay in front of management hiring.Use a charter to align teams on tasks, priorities, and customer needs.Developer advocacy is critical for a developing team. (What engineers wish HR would be)If under-represented groups are stuck, it’s likely a management issue.
40 minutes | 7 months ago
One-on-Ones with Jason Evanish
How do you know if your one-on-ones are effective? In this episode, we’re diving deep into one-on-ones with our guest, Jason Evanish. Jason Evanish is the founder and CEO of GetLighthouse, a company that’s focused on helping develop great leaders by enabling better one-on-ones. Jason is passionate about helping teams build strong relationships, and it starts with building trust through one-on-ones. What are the three elements of a successful one-on-one? Listen in as Jason breaks it down.Wes’ Takeaways:1. The top 10% of managers have regular, well-executed, one-on-ones.2. One-on-ones are for building trust, not giving status updates.3. Remote 1:1s are different, and that’s okay.4. Make sure you’re using this time for clear expectation setting.
27 minutes | 7 months ago
Cultivating a Highly Performant Remote Engineering Team with Jeremy Wight
These are challenging times, especially for engineering leaders. How do you “engineer” the trust in a distributed team that would occur normally in a localized workforce? Today’s guest is here to show you how. Jeremy Wight is the VP of Product and Engineering at Base. Base raised $2.6M in 2019 to build the first software platform that’s exclusively for Executive Assistants. Jeremy has been building a remote team for the past two years, and he’s collected some amazing insights about building a fully distributed engineering team. In this episode, we talk about the best-practices he’s used to keep his remote team rowing in the same direction and shipping product that matters.Listen in to hear the full conversation.Wes’ Takeaways:1. High-functioning remote teams focus on moving KPIs instead of shipping features.2. Little “p” product ownership breeds more autonomous remote workers.3. Serendipity breeds trust, but serendipity is hard on remote teams.4. How you win is putting the fire out in 30 seconds or less.5. If we aren't building the right things, it doesn't matter how much we work.
39 minutes | 7 months ago
Becoming A Resilient Manager with Lara Hogan
A resilient manager is the foundation of every successful team. How do you become a more resilient manager? Today’s guest is here to show you how. Lara Hogan is the co-founder of Wherewithall, the former VP of Engineering at Kickstarter, and the former Engineering Director at Etsy. She’s also the author of two books: Resilient Management and Demystifying Public Speaking. In this episode, Lara does what she does best: management coaching. She provides Wes with some 1:1 coaching on his management style and uses the BICEPs framework to help him better understand resistance patterns he may see in his daily work. Listen in to hear the full conversation.Wes’ Takeaways:1. Take a 5-minute walk around the block.2. Do a 2-minute breathing exercise.3. Open my TODO list.4. Open the #candidate-quotes slack channel and read happy feedback from our customer's candidates.5. Open the #gratitude slack channel and write a short message about something I'm thankful for.
6 minutes | 8 months ago
Wes Winham | Scaling Software: What to Expect in Season 2
Scaling Software Teams is back for Season 2! Last season we heard stories of triumph and failure from startup and scale-up leaders around the world. For Season 2, we want to do something different – we want to give you an engineering leadership survival guide so you can thrive in the midst of challenging times. This season, we’ll equip you with resources from incredible engineering leaders at companies like Kickstarter, BASE, Pilot, and GitHub. Listen in as they share expert advice on everything from running the perfect one-on-one to aligning your fully-distributed team.Subscribe so you don’t miss an episode.
52 minutes | a year ago
Starting Up Your Second Office, With Brian Delahunty
Brian Delahunty is the Head of Reliability at Stripe, and was the Site Lead who helped them open and hire for their Seattle office. Throughout this process, he talked to leaders at over a dozen companies who led an HQ2 effort, and learned what worked and what didn’t. Today, he’s sharing those lessons with us.In this episode, we talk about how he used recruiting as a partner to grow the Seattle office, why Stripe Seattle’s culture is different than Stripe San Francisco, and how managing chronic pain helps him empathize as a manager.
40 minutes | a year ago
Running Remote, with Liam Martin
Liam Martin is the CoFounder of staff.com and timedoctor.com. Combined, they have 40+ employees in 9 different countries and specialize in remote long term employee management. Liam also runs the Running Remote conference, which is the world’s largest remote conference specifically designed for building remote teams.In this episode, we talk about how to transition from a co-located development team to a remote team, and what to look for in your first remote hire.
40 minutes | a year ago
On Startups and Escape Rooms, with Gregory Koberger
Gregory Koberger is the founder of ReadMe, a company that helps dev teams create and manage documentation and monitor APIs. He founded ReadMe after working at several startups in Silicon Valley, including Mozilla, and finding himself writing documentation for all of them.In this episode, we talk about how he uses Challenge Coins to build community, human connection to drive out toxicity, and builds a technical interview that doesn’t feel like a pop quiz.
47 minutes | a year ago
Launching a Coding School Without Writing a Single Line of Code, with Ariel Camus
Ariel Camus is the Founder and CEO at Microverse, a YC-backed distributed school for software engineers. They are available anywhere in the world, and they don’t charge students anything until they get hired. In this episode, we talk about why remote workers are so much better at documentation than co-located workers, the practices that help hiring managers hire remote junior developers, and how Ariel launched a coding school without writing a single line of code.
37 minutes | a year ago
The Three Questions To Ask Every New Manager, Part Two With Doug Gaff
This week, we bring you part two of our conversation with Doug Gaff. Doug is the VP of Engineering at Zapier, the software solution that helps your other software work together more effectively. As the leader of an organization with over 100 engineers, he has learned a lot about effective management and leadership.In this episode, we talk about Doug’s management style and what questions he asks everyone who says they want to get into management.
32 minutes | a year ago
How Zapier Scales Past 100 Engineers, Part One With Doug Gaff
Doug Gaff is the VP of Engineering at Zapier, the software solution that helps your other software work together more effectively. His team recently crossed the 100 engineer threshold and they’re currently going through some exciting transitions as an organization. Their current inflection point has them moving from a functional focus to a vertical product focus. We’re excited to share what Doug has learned through this transition. In this episode, we’re going to dive into Zapier’s organizational structure and learn how his team plans to scale to the next 100 engineers and beyond.
18 minutes | a year ago
Building a World-Class Onboarding Process For Your Software Engineering Team
This is the final week of our community questions series, and we saved the best for last.We're not talking about hiring...we're talking about what comes next. How can we build a world-class onboarding process that keeps our new teammates engaged from day number one? In this episode, we chat with folks from large companies who have learned a lot about effective onboarding to find out what makes their process different.
22 minutes | a year ago
What Do The Best Technical Assessments Have In Common?
The most common questions we get are about technical assessments. It's an area of concern for a lot of engineering leaders. Some believe their technical assessment is costing them great-fit candidates. Others believe they're not getting good enough information from their technical screening process.In this episode, we dive deep into actionable insights that we can use to build effective, information-dense technical assessments. We talk to engineering leaders across the country who have gotten great results from their technical assessments to learn what makes them different, and what pitfalls they've managed to avoid.
15 minutes | a year ago
How Can I Speed Up My Hiring Process Without Sacrificing End Results?
There's a tension in hiring, especially with software developers. If I hire too slow, candidates withdraw. If I hire too fast, I may hire the wrong person. In this episode, we talk to engineering leaders who have threaded that needle to figure out what makes their process work. We'll discover the simple process changes that had the biggest impact on reducing their time-to-hire. We'll also learn about the importance of information density, and how we can build information-dense technical screens that are better for both candidates and hiring managers.
34 minutes | a year ago
Hunting Hidden Gems - Tricks to Find Great-fit Developers That Other Hiring Managers Miss
Some hiring managers are elite at finding diamonds in the rough. In this episode, we're going to learn why. This week, we talked to hiring managers across the country to learn what they do differently in their hiring process to find great-fit engineers that other leaders miss. We'll also find actionable steps you can take today to find more hidden gems in your hiring pool, so you can spend less time and money on headhunters and more time building great software.
17 minutes | a year ago
Hiring Faster By Identifying Our Best-Performing Candidate Sources
On this week's episode, we're talking about hiring. More specifically, how do we find the candidate sources that are bringing us the best candidates?If our methodology is flawed here, it could bias our entire hiring process, leading to worse outcomes and more homogeneous teams. In this episode, we're learning the best practices from hiring managers across the country so we can find better candidates and hire faster.
21 minutes | a year ago
What Changes Our Engineering Team Should Expect After a Major Round of Funding
This week, we're talking about the scary side of a really exciting day...the day our startup raises a major round of funding. Unfortunately, more money can mean more problems. The act of raising Venture Capital looks less like receiving a cardboard check from Publisher's Clearing House and more like hiring a new boss. In this episode, we talk to engineering leaders across the United States who have gone through a big fundraise and learn from their experience. We'll discuss what processes broke, and what they wish they knew before the big check arrived.
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