uShip Engineering values a culture of continual learning. A degree may land you an entry level position, but in software development especially, education is an ongoing process in both formal and informal settings. As such, we implore our team members to continually stretch the bounds of their knowledge, and we love to dive into the things teammates find interesting enough to share. We’ve decided to publish a sample of what we’ve come across recently, as even though much of what we find isn’t new, it may be new to you.
Shaun Martin, Director of Software Development
What Google Taught Me About Scaling Engineering Teams by Edmond Lau
Even though our Product and Engineering orgs are currently in a slower, steady growth phase, there are always ways to improve communication, knowledge sharing and team/department structure at various stages.
For the New Team Lead: The First Six Things You Should Know
We’re entrenched in formalizing leadership training for all our Development Team Leads for the first time, previously relying (quite effectively) on a one-on-one mentorship approach. This post was shared by one of our Team Leads, and it highlights a lot of soft skills and challenges facing new leaders.
You Are Not Paid to Write Code
A thought- and discussion-provoking post from Brave New Geek, this post addresses the tunnel vision we often succumb to as developers, believing our problem space to be 100% unique. Developers are paid to solve problems with as few lines of code as possible, keeping solutions elegant yet simple. To do this, we need to take the time to research and leverage existing frameworks, libraries, open source projects and other solutions that get us 90% of the way there. Instead of “reinventing the wheel”, developers have a tendency to build our special snowflake sedan by reinventing the axles, glovebox, steering column and A/C.
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday (book)
The third book from Ryan Holiday, its title was inspired by an entry in Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” Problems are inevitable, so when you view each challenge as an opportunity to learn and a chance to practice one or more virtues, your entire perspective on your problems begins to change.
Bill Fienberg, Developer
The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal (book)
Laughing at myself because it’s taken me months to finish a book that is supposed to help you increase your willpower.
Brent Lewis, Developer
Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art by Steve McConnell (book)
Evan Machnic, DevOps Engineer
The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford (book)
This is a nice quick read about a fictional company that adopts DevOps practices to bring projects under control and save the business. Great read for anyone who works in technology, not just for DevOps.
The DevOps Handbook by Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois, and John Willis (book)
This is a companion book to The Phoenix Project. It builds on the principles in Phoenix and outlines how to put those principles into practice in the real world. If you’re looking to implement DevOps in your company or you want to really understand the Three Ways of DevOps, this is a great read.
What We’re Reading Volume 1