#120 - 9 Jul 2022
Making Change Happen;
This article is in the context of leading a massive software rearchitecting effort - that’s the ‘complex software environment’ and ‘save software’ bits. But Beinbold describes very clearly what it takes to make change happen in any complex group.
Skip down to about 1/3 of the way through, to the “The seven skills” slide, and go through the rest. This is an extremely lucid overview of what it takes to make change in an organization. The bits about getting people on board - have new identities for participants, having onramps for people to get involved at all levels of commitment, have ways of allowing people to publicly identify with the change - are great.
This scale of engagement is important when trying to make change happen in a large organization, but even in smaller teams - even just your own small team - these are the steps to go through. With a small team a lot of these things can be done collaboratively, especially coming up with a clear vision.
Beinbold’s steps are:
Crafting a compelling vision
Start at the end - what are you celebrating?
Recast obstacles as outcomes, not absences (e.g. as positives, not negatives)
The vision must include an articulation of why the current state is not sustainable, an attractive plausible future, a new identity for participants, and a path connecting it together
Create onramps for people to get involved
Start organizing efforts
Evoke the reasons for change they already have
End with a call to action (and provide schwag!)
Work via experiments
Small experiments == less resistance
Short term wins
Celebrate the wins
Terraform the culture - new practices need deep roots
Large batches obscure your bottlenecks - Jonathan Hall
Here’s a good technical analogy for technical leaders - large batches are often something we do to hide latency. If we are working in large batches - lots of work in progress, for instance - it’s hard to see what the bottlenecks, the latency issues, are in a team’s work.
The easy way to find bottlenecks, targets for improvement, is just to reduce batch sizes so you can more clearly see where the bottlenecks are in a team’s processes.
Managing Your Own Career
Advice for Engineering Managers who Want to Climb the Ladder - Charity Majors
A good article by Majors on how being a director (in title or in role - a manager of managers) is very different than being a manager. It involves a lot of similar activities, but the function is very different - the broader scope means there’s much more emphasis on working with peers across the organization, stakeholders, and upper levels.
A JIT-ting tool for parallelizing shell scripts(!?) [PDF link]
Simple hypercard-inspired web programming for those new to coding with Anaconda’s PyScript.
Finally, we can do deep learning inference on our Commodore 64s, with Tensorflow Lite for Commodore 64.
You…. you don’t have a Commodore 64 lying around? Ah, you must have been a TRS-80 sort like me. That’s cool, we’ve got you covered. A C64 emulator for the Raspberry Pi.
And that’s it for another week. Let me know what you thought, or if you have anything you’d like to share about the newsletter or management. Just email me or reply to this newsletter if you get it in your inbox.
Have a great weekend, and good luck in the coming week with your team,
data managers the tools they need to be good managers without the stress, and to help their teams achieve great results and grow their careers.