An Elegant Puzzle, Part 1 with Will Larson

Will Larson is the author of my new favorite engineering management book, An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management. Will has been an engineering leader and software engineer at technology companies of many shapes and sizes including Digg, Uber, and Stripe. He currently leads foundation engineering at Stripe, where he is responsible for the infrastructure and platform organization. If you haven’t heard of Stripe, they’re a huge player in the online payment space, building the economic infrastructure for the internet. They’ve raised over $700M to date and show no signs of slowing their growth any time soon.

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Tim Hickle
Why You Might Miss Great Software Engineering Candidates This 4th of July

For many software engineers this year, Independence Day will bring them closer to liberating them from their current employer. In fact, 43.9% of the work simulations submitted last July through Woven happened during the 4th of July week and weekend. An additional 29.3% occurred in the week immediately following. This means that, while most hiring managers were barbecuing and enjoying fireworks, talented engineers were actively applying for roles on their team.

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Tim Hickle
5 Ways the Best Engineering Leaders Get More Qualified Engineering Candidates to Onsite Interviews

Hiring talented software engineers is hard, and it’s getting harder. Our data shows that it takes an average of 86 candidates and 15 onsite interviews to get one accepted offer for a mid-level software engineering role. 

That’s incredibly tough, but the best engineering managers in the country are getting smarter about their hiring process so they can save time, hire faster, and win the talent war in their market.

Every hiring market in the United States is different, but there’s one commonality we’ve seen from San Francisco to Des Moines. The outliers in the market are able to perform multiple orders of magnitude better than the average firm. 

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Tim Hickle
Being Thoughtful About The Algorithms In Our Lives, With Jake Miller

Jake Miller is the CTO and Co-Founder of MetaCX, an Indianapolis-based startup that raised a $14 Million dollar initial round to revolutionize the Customer Success industry. Before starting MetaCX, he was an engineering leader at ExactTarget and Salesforce.

In this episode, we talk about why we should never say no to PTO, how algorithms make diversity worse, and how he focuses on building a balanced team instead of a senior team.

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Tim Hickle
Is It Time to Hire Remote Engineers for My Startup?

Every startup, given enough time, will at some point face this question… When should I consider hiring remote employees? There are tons of benefits to hiring remote, including increased candidate volume. With remote hires, however, comes a learning curve and some key things to consider. So I sat down with some engineers who have made this decision, and they presented me with two options. Read about them in this post…

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Tim Hickle
Getting Diversity and Inclusion Right, With Jason Wong

Jason Wong is an engineering leadership consultant who focuses on Diversity and Inclusion. His past lives include engineering roles with Yahoo! Sports, Etsy, and Blink Health.

In this episode, we talk about the difference between diversity and inclusion, and why that difference is important. We also touch on some of Jason’s favorite management and hiring practices.

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Tim Hickle
Why Remote Teams Don’t Always Work, With Kyle Gunderson

Kyle Gunderson is the President and CTO at Revel Health, a Minneapolis-based software company that uses advanced analytics and AI to create health action programs that improve the health of people on an individual-basis. He’s a tech veteran, with over 20 years of leadership experience and multiple high-growth teams under his belt.

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Tim Hickle
Avoiding the All-Senior Trap, Part 2 With Charity Majors

This week, we’re diving into part two of our conversation with Charity Majors. Charity is the CTO at Honeycomb, a company that builds observability for distributed systems. Charity’s team is on a mission to make monitoring less cumbersome so that being on-call can suck less.

In this episode, we talk about how to hire the right seniority mix for your team and ensure you see everyone at their best, both when they’re interviewing for a job and once they’ve started.

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Tim Hickle
Hiring for Strengths (Not Weaknesses) with Charity Majors - Part 1

Charity Majors is the CTO at Honeycomb, a startup that builds observability for distributed systems. Charity’s team is on a mission to make monitoring less cumbersome so that being on-call can suck less.

In this episode, we talk about when pain and discomfort is okay in your professional life (and when it’s not). We also talk about hiring practices and why more people should quit their job.

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Tim Hickle
How Speed Shaped Lambda School, With Bob Lauer

Lambda School has been in the news a ton for the way they’re revolutionizing the financial model of education. Today, we get to talk with one of the architects of this revolution. Bob is the VP of Engineering at Lambda School. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Lambda School is a coding academy that aims to help anyone, from any background, get a high-paying job in software development. 

In this episode, we talk about the importance of speed at an early-stage startup, why deliberate communication is essential for remote teams, and how we can be more productive by removing distractions. 

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Tim Hickle
Hiring and Mentoring Coding Bootcamp Grads, With John Harden

John Harden is the Principal Software Engineer at Kerauno. Kerauno is a workflow and communication software company that just raised a $25M Series A. When he’s not leading a high-growth development team, he’s mentoring for two coding academies, Eleven Fifty and Kenzie Academy.

In this episode, we talk about his experience both hiring and mentoring coding bootcamp alumni, finding mentorship early in your career, and the importance of “tech jams” when scoping a project.

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Tim Hickle
Doing Better Work, With Max Yoder

Max Yoder is the founder and CEO of Lessonly, a team learning and training software company that raised a $8M Series B in late 2017. Max’s team is dedicated to helping people “Do Better Work,” which is where he got the title of his new book, Do Better Work: Finding Clarity, Camaraderie, and Progress in Work and Life.

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Tim Hickle
Communicating Feedback to Your Team, With Miles Sterrett

Miles is a Partner at Fretless, a custom software development shop that helps software companies level-up their software chops. Miles’ team specializes in coming into high-growth teams and acting as an interim software leader. He has worked with startup and scale-ups to help them overcome technical debt and build the engineering team that can help them hit their future product goals.

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Tim Hickle
Improving the Developer Hiring Experience, with Headlight's Wayne Gerard

Today’s a really exciting day for us. Our startup just acquired a New York City-based tech hiring platform called Headlight.

We're sitting down with Wayne Gerard to talk about this transition. We wanted to know what they’ve learned while uncovering some of the best software engineers in New York City. Over the past two years, they’ve uncovered hidden gems and made the hiring process better for both developers and hiring managers. What’s more, they did it in one of the nation’s most competitive job markets. We could all learn something from their story.

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Tim Hickle
Using Rubrics For More Objective Hiring, With Christine Spang

Today on Scaling Software Teams, we’re joined by Christine Spang, Co-Founder and CTO at Nylas - an API built to integrate clients’ email, calendar, and contact applications in one seamless interface. We talked to Christine about her self-care philosophy - as well as her thoughts on the current state of diversity in tech, and why hiring rubrics need to confront many of the biases present in the humans who construct them.

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Tim Hickle
Empowering Our Teams With The Right Tools, With Amjad Masad

Amjad is the founder and CEO of Repl.it. Repl.it is a Y Combinator-backed online development environment that helps developers learn, build, collaborate, and host all in one place. They’re on a mission to make programming more accessible.

In this episode, Amjad shared why he believes that discovery great people is the key to great teams. He contrasts that with talent identification, which is about credentials and resumes.

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Tim Hickle
Explaining the “why” behind your features, with Mitch Stewart

Mitch Stewart is the co-founder of Guru, a software company based out of Pennsylvania that is working with companies like Shopify, Square, and Spotify to unify their team’s collective knowledge and empower them with information when they need it most.

In this episode, we talk about some of the management practices that have made Mitch successful at Guru. We dive into his transition from developer to manager, and the lessons he learned about building and motivating teams along the way.

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Tim Hickle