The best frontline engineer managers in the world are the ones that are never more than 2–3 years removed from hands-on work, full time down in the trenches. The best individual contributors are the ones who have done time in management. And the best technical leaders in the world are often the ones who do both. Back and forth. Like a pendulum.
What is the uniting factor of all preps?
It’s a desire to look… like you’re at ease.
I think that’s it more than anything. It’s not to look rich. It’s not to look educated. It’s not to look smart. It’s not to look studied. That should be the opposite of it. It’s to look… like your life is easy. You can sort of just slide from one thing to the next, from class to class, from desk to date, to whatever opportunity presents itself, and you’ll be OK somehow.
The answer to dissatisfaction or busyness isn’t to slow down. It’s not to practice mindfulness or notice the small things. Those are just more items on our shoulds and supposed-to-do lists.
To reverse busyness as a habit and dissatisfaction as a result, we must employ a limiter. A limiter is a device or setting that allows inputs up to a certain level but disallows inputs above that level.
Your career, like your life, moves forward whether you think about it or not. If you don’t think about it, then you’re putting faith in the winds. Maybe you’ll end up somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Maybe not. Why take that chance when you can captain your own sails?
“No” is no to one thing. “Yes” is no to a lot of things.
With small teams, the output, whether it’s an app, web site or any other product, represents the people behind it and the tremendous amount of effort they expended to make it. And it’s common for those people to willingly put their name on it, taking accountability for what’s great and what needs to be improved.
Gall’s Law states that ‘all complex systems that work evolved from simpler systems that worked’ and that ‘a complex system designed from scratch never works’. Next time you tackle a complex project: try to defer decisions, learn along the way and trust in iteration.
Organizations that aren’t fixated on creating great user experiences are usually saddled with poor user experiences. A great user experience only comes about through constant diligence and attention. If the organization isn’t paying attention, it’s unlikely they stumbled on one by chance.
Copenhagen has calculated that for each kilometer cycled by a resident, society reaps a benefit of $0.64, whereas each kilometer driven costs us $0.71 in impacts on health, safety and the environment.
Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.