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A Pragmatic Approach to Roadmapping

leadership management techniques

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Creating a roadmap can be a challenging task. I can't really say I am an expert on the matter, but have done it a couple of times. The most recent one, I put together a workshop that got fairly positive feedback and so I'm sharing it for the benefit of anyone interested.

One Remote, All Remote

management

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This post was originally intended as a compilation of suggestions to promote a “one remote, all remote” approach to meetings. That is, instead of using room equipment that can make the experience less than ideal for remote attendees, if one person joins remotely, everyone does.

During COVID-19 lockdown, I've confirmed with my team that all of these apply to a full remote setup as well.

Also, as we start going back to “normality”, some people will return to the office from day one, while others will stay home for a bit longer. As a result, hybrid team configurations, like the one this post was originally intended to address, will be very common for a while. Now more than ever, these tips might be relevant to you too.

Continuous Performance Assessment

management

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Have you ever struggled evaluating the performance of your direct reports? Or have you been surprised in your performance evaluation meeting with your manager? In this post I'll explain a different approach and will give you some tips and guidelines to implement it yourself.

Twilio Hackathon - COVID-19 Peak Detector

hackathon software

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I'm taking part in the Twilio x DEV.to Hackathon and this is my project. I'll show here how I built it and how it works. Keep reading if you want to know more.

The COVID-19 Retrospective

tools techniques retrospectives

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In an attempt to lighten the mood a bit during this difficult time, I put together a new retrospective technique inspired by the latest developments on COVID-19 and what we know about how to fight it. Keep reading if you want to know more.

A Saint Patrick's Day Inspired Retrospective

tools techniques retrospectives

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Saint Patrick's Day is around the corner. The 17th of March is celebrated in green and gold all around the world. I thought it might be fun to design a retrospective based on this festivity.

Mastering Pair Programming in 5 Minutes

techniques

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This post is heavily based on https://martinfowler.com/articles/on-pair-programming.html (38 min read). That is, however, a very long (yet very good) article. For those of us that can't or don't want to afford spending that long, I collated its main points and added a few twists of my own. I hope it's useful.

Deploying a Static Website with S3, Route 53 and CloudFront

software tools

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Today I'll show you how to deploy your static website to S3, and how you can configure a custom domain with Route 53 and enable HTTPS (why wouldn't you) with CloudFront. Keep reading to find out more!

Creating a Hugo Theme From Scratch

software tools

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In this post I will show you how to build a minimalist theme for Hugo.

Managing High Performers

management

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Following up from the last article about managing low performers, this time I will talk about the other side of the coin, high performers. But first, we need to understand what they are.

Managing Low Performers

management

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It's annual performance review time, and even though for most people this is a smooth and straightforward process, from time to time managers need to deal with some not so pleasant situations. Managing low performers is all but straightforward, so keep reading for some tips on how to deal with it and start the year off on the right foot.

A Pragmatic Approach to System Design

software design

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Designing a new system is not an easy task. In this post I will introduce a pragmatic approach to system design that will help you tackle any system in a repeatable and consistent way.

Developing Your Critical Thinking

leadership

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Every day we need to make decisions as leaders. But this is often not easy. How can we improve our chances to make good decisions? There are many techniques for this, one of which is critical thinking. This technique is particularly effective, and it allows us to deconstruct the situation removing undesired bias and revealing hidden issues.

When you use critical thinking, rather than making a decision just because it feels right, you will scrutinise every available option and apply scepticism. Using the tools described below you will eliminate everything but the most useful and reliable information.

Improving Your Conversational Skills

management leadership

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At work, great communicators have an advantage. They know how to have great conversations. Personality helps, but this is a skill that anyone can learn. Here I explore a few tips to improve your conversational skills.

Providing Purpose

management leadership

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A job pays the bills. But if that is all it means to you, it will be hard to feel inspired. It is not unreasonable to expect a job to excite you and provide you with a higher sense of purpose.

Purpose is feeling that your time is being well spent and your work is adding value to something that matters. For some people it is easier to feel purpose, and also some vocations are simply more likely to help you feel purpose e.g. teachers and healthcare professionals are frequently included in this category.

But most people are not wired to feel purpose that easily and most jobs are not clearly fulfilling in that sense. You, as a manager, have to effectively lead those people. What can you do?

Avoiding Burnout at Work

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Even people that work in great high-performing teams can sometimes experience excessive stress and burnout. Burnout is about mental and physical exhaustion, caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.

As you look at your team, check whether you have seen any of these signs.

Building Self-Awareness as a Manager

leadership

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For most people, it is hard to objectively self-evaluate their work and behaviours. Great leaders learn to build strong self-awareness. There are two main sources of information that can help you with this.

My 7 Management Principles

management

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As a manager I like to follow what I call “my 7 management principles” when I work with my team. Sometimes we find ourselves overwhelmed and under pressure. Having a set of clear principles that are easy to remember can help us, managers, get back on track quickly. Mine are based on my own experience and have helped me in the past in numerous occasions.

The 7 principles are the following.