Engineering Impact is a weekly newsletter that highlights trends in engineering leadership, productivity, culture, and scaling development teams.
This week features posts on:
- The Skip-Level 1-1
- Why Software Projects Take Longer Than You Think
- Tracking Your Progress to Improve Your Confidence
- How to Make Sense of Your Impact When You’re No Longer Coding
- Honing Focus and Managing Your Time
Jason Wong, Engineering Leadership Coach, unpacks how to get started with 1:1s and get value out of them as a Director. Among his advice he shares, “inevitably, you will hear someone’s struggles and will want to do something. One of the primary rules to abide by in skip level 1-1s is do not preempt your manager.”
Why Software Projects Take Longer Than You Think
Erik Bernhardsson, CTO at Better, uses a model to explain why “it’s hard to come up with an unbiased estimate of how long something will take, when fundamentally the work in itself is about solving something…the mean time to complete a task we know nothing about is actually infinite.”
Tracking Your Progress to Improve Your Confidence
“We usually see the effortless part of programming, and feel demotivated when it doesn’t feel the same when we do it.” Here’s an approach one developer uses to keep track of their progress and achievements over time.
How to Make Sense of Your Impact When You’re No Longer Doing the Work
“Am I even doing work? — The transition from engineer to tech lead or engineering manager can be a harsh shift,” says Jean Hsu, Engineering Leadership Coach at Co Leadership. “As an engineer, your contributions are much more measurable… As a manager or tech lead, the effects of your non-coding actions may not be visible until weeks, months, or even years down the line.”
On Honing Focus and Managing Your Time
Here’s a compilation of six strategies for regaining your time and focus from experts including Nir Eyal, Katia Verresen and Mathilde Collin. It’s peppered with actionable advice for organizing your own time but that can be applied to leading teams as well (e.g., “you win when you operate with focus, but you want to win when you sense progress”).