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Tech Lead Journal

Tech Lead Journal

By Henry Suryawirawan
Great technical leadership requires more than just great coding skills. It requires a variety of other skills that are not well-defined, and they are not something that we can fully learn in any school or book. Hear from experienced technical leaders sharing their journey and philosophy for building great technical teams and achieving technical excellence. Find out what makes them great and how to apply those lessons to your work and team.
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#65 - Developing Your Leadership Agility Fitness in a VUCA World - Nick Horney

Tech Lead Journal

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#100 - Modern Software Engineering - Dave Farley
🎙️ CELEBRATE the 100th EPISODE by submitting your story/message at techleadjournal.dev/celebrate-100 🎉 “Engineering discipline is the most effective, efficient way of doing high-quality work. If our software development practices do not allow us to build better software faster, we should really change them because they are not engineering." Dave Farley is the co-author of the Jolt award-winning book “Continuous Delivery” and runs the popular “Continuous Delivery” YouTube channel on software engineering topics. In this episode, we discussed Dave’s latest book, “Modern Software Engineering”. Dave started by explaining his view on modern software engineering and why it emphasizes on practices for building better software faster. Dave described the foundations of the software engineering discipline and explained the core competencies we need to succeed by becoming experts at both learning and managing complexity. Dave also explained the importance of understanding technology fundamentals, improving software readability, and handling software complexity by managing concurrency and coupling. Towards the end, Dave shared some other tools in the modern software engineering toolkit that include Continuous Delivery. Listen out for: Career Journey - [00:08:01] Modern Software Engineering - [00:12:19] Better Software Faster - [00:14:58] Software Engineering - [00:17:22] Expert at Learning - [00:20:37] Why Agile Not Enough - [00:26:34] Expert at Managing Complexity - [00:31:49] Importance of Fundamentals & Readability - [00:36:01] Concurrency & Coupling - [00:43:57] Other Modern Software Engineering Tools - [00:51:29] 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:57:42] _____ Dave Farley’s Bio Dave Farley, founder and consultant for Continuous Delivery Ltd., has been a programmer, software engineer, and systems architect since the early days of modern computing. With Jez Humble, Farley coauthored the best-seller Continuous Delivery. As Head of Software Development for the LMAX, he built one of the world’s fastest financial exchanges. One of the earliest adopters of agile techniques employing iterative development, continuous integration, and high levels of automated testing, he also coauthored the Reactive Manifesto. Follow Dave: Twitter – @DaveFarley77 LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/dave-farley-a67927 Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/c/ContinuousDelivery Website – https://countinuous-delivery.co.uk Courses – https://courses.cd.training Our Sponsors DevTernity 2022 (devternity.com) is the top international software development conference with an emphasis on coding, architecture, and tech leadership skills. The lineup is truly stellar and features many legends of software development like Robert "Uncle Bob" Martin, Kent Beck, Scott Hanselman, Venkat Subramaniam, Kevlin Henney, and many others! The conference takes place online, and we have the 10% discount code for you: AWSM_TLJ. Skills Matter is the global community and events platform for software professionals. You get on-demand access to their latest content, thought leadership insights as well as the exciting schedule of tech events running across all time zones. Head on over to skillsmatter.com to become part of the tech community that matters most to you - it’s free to join and easy to keep up with the latest tech trends. Like this episode? Subscribe on your favorite podcast app and submit your feedback. Follow @techleadjournal on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Pledge your support by becoming a patron. For more info about the episode (including quotes and transcript), visit techleadjournal.dev/episodes/100.
01:02:20
August 08, 2022
#99 - Better Software With Acceptance Test-Driven Development - Kenneth Pugh
🎙️ CELEBRATE the 100th EPISODE by submitting your story/message at techleadjournal.dev/celebrate-100 🎉 “Acceptance test is any test that a system must pass in order to be accepted. If you can’t ship a system without passing a test, then it is an acceptance test." Kenneth Pugh is an acclaimed author and thought leader in acceptance-test driven development (ATDD) and behavior-driven development (BDD). His works include the 2006 Jolt award winner “Prefactoring” followed by “Lean-Agile Acceptance Test-Driven Development”. In this episode, Ken explained in-depth the concept of acceptance tests and ATDD. He first described what an acceptance test is, why it is beneficial to deliver better software, and why we should invest our effort to automate it. Ken also touched on a few other important concepts, such as the testing triad, test pyramid, user acceptance test, and table-driven specifications. Towards the end, Ken shared some advice on how we can start implementing ATDD. Listen out for: Career Journey - [00:06:16] Acceptance Test - [00:09:30] Acceptance Test Benefits - [00:13:39] When to Write Acceptance Test - [00:16:18] The Triad - [00:20:55] Is Doing ATDD Expensive? - [00:26:31] Acceptance Test & Test Pyramid - [00:28:56] UAT & Reporting - [00:33:22] Automating Acceptance Test - [00:36:21] Table-Driven vs Text Format - [00:39:09] ATDD - [00:42:46] 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:44:49] _____ Kenneth Pugh’s Bio Ken Pugh helps companies develop software effectively by applying lean-agile principles and practices. He concentrates on delivering business value quickly by removing waste and delays in value streams; building in quality with Acceptance Test-Driven Development / Behaviour Driven Development; creating a collaborative environment; and evaluating return-on-investment. He has written several software development books including the 2006 Jolt Award winner Prefactoring: Extreme Abstraction, Extreme Separation, Extreme Readability and his latest: Lean-Agile Acceptance Test-Driven Development: Better Software Through Collaboration. He is the co-creator of the SAFe® Agile Software Engineering course. Follow Ken: LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenpugh/ Twitter – @kpugh Website – https://kenpugh.com/ ATDD/BDD – https://atdd-bdd.com Our Sponsors DevTernity 2022 (devternity.com) is the top international software development conference with an emphasis on coding, architecture, and tech leadership skills. The lineup is truly stellar and features many legends of software development like Robert "Uncle Bob" Martin, Kent Beck, Scott Hanselman, Venkat Subramaniam, Kevlin Henney, and many others! The conference takes place online, and we have the 10% discount code for you: AWSM_TLJ. Skills Matter is the global community and events platform for software professionals. You get on-demand access to their latest content, thought leadership insights as well as the exciting schedule of tech events running across all time zones. Head on over to skillsmatter.com to become part of the tech community that matters most to you - it’s free to join and easy to keep up with the latest tech trends. Like this episode? Subscribe on your favorite podcast app and submit your feedback. Follow @techleadjournal on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Pledge your support by becoming a patron. For more info about the episode (including quotes and transcript), visit techleadjournal.dev/episodes/99.
50:18
August 01, 2022
#98 - Professional Agile Leadership With Empiricism, Catalytic Leadership, and Self-Management for Agility - Kurt Bittner
“Empiricism is at the heart of agility. The fundamental foundation of agility starts with some assertion about value. Every sprint or iteration is really an experiment about value." Kurt Bittner is the author and editor of many books on agile product development, including co-authoring the recent “Professional Agile Leader” book. In this episode, we started our conversation discussing the common misconception of Agile in the modern day and Kurt emphasized that empiricism should be at the heart of agility, especially for solving complex problems. Kurt then explained the importance of aligning company’s direction and goals using outcomes instead of using activities or outputs. In the latter half of the episode, we discussed the concept of a self-managing team, what characteristics and attributes it has, and the important role of catalytic leadership in such teams. Kurt also explained how to measure the self-management spectrum of a team by measuring decision latency and shared some advice on how to reduce decision-making dependencies in organizations. Listen out for: Career Journey - [00:06:08] Empiricism in Agility - [00:09:35] Going in the Right Direction - [00:16:17] Agile for Complex Problems - [00:22:18] Self-Managing Team - [00:26:26] Leadership vs Management - [00:32:40] Decision Latency and Dependencies - [00:35:18] 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:47:50] _____ Kurt Bittner’s Bio Kurt Bittner has been delivering working products in short, feedback-driven cycles for nearly 40 years, and has helped many organizations do the same. He is the author or editor of many books on agile product development, including Mastering Professional Scrum, The Zombie Scrum Survival Guide, The Nexus Framework for Scaling Scrum, The Professional Scrum Team, and Professional Agile Leadership, as well as The Guide to Evidence-Based Management, and The Nexus Guide. Follow Kurt: LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/kurt-bittner-882b203/ Twitter – @ksbittner Blog – https://www.scrum.org/resources/blog?uid=330 The Professional Agile Leader Website – https://theprofessionalagileleader.com Our Sponsors DevTernity 2022 (devternity.com) is the top international software development conference with an emphasis on coding, architecture, and tech leadership skills. The lineup is truly stellar and features many legends of software development like Robert "Uncle Bob" Martin, Kent Beck, Scott Hanselman, Venkat Subramaniam, Kevlin Henney, and many others! The conference takes place online, and we have the 10% discount code for you: AWSM_TLJ. Skills Matter is the global community and events platform for software professionals. It is an easier way for technologists to grow their careers by connecting you and your peers with the best-in-class tech industry experts and communities. You get on-demand access to their latest content, thought leadership insights as well as the exciting schedule of tech events running across all time zones. Head on over to skillsmatter.com to become part of the tech community that matters most to you - it’s free to join and easy to keep up with the latest tech trends. Like this episode? Subscribe on your favorite podcast app and submit your feedback. Follow @techleadjournal on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Pledge your support by becoming a patron. For more info about the episode (including quotes and transcript), visit techleadjournal.dev/episodes/98.
50:52
July 25, 2022
#97 - Personal Kanban & Collaboration Equation - Jim Benson
“A highly functional team defines the right environment and has what they need to be the best professionals they can be. And that always includes agency and psychological safety." Jim Benson is the co-author of “Personal Kanban” and is currently working on his upcoming book “The Collaboration Equation”. In this episode, we started by discussing Personal Kanban, how it differs from a to-do list, and its two main rules, i.e. visualizing our work and limiting our work-in-progress. Jim also shared practical tips on managing our personal backlog, doing prioritization, and limiting our work in progress. In the latter half of our conversation, we discussed Jim’s new book, “The Collaboration Equation”, starting with the discussion about the common collaboration challenges and why professionalism and psychological safety are prerequisites to building high-performing teams. Jim also explained the concept of collaborative leadership and gave practical tips on how we can measure effective collaboration. Listen out for: Career Journey - [00:06:42] Current State of Productivity - [00:08:17] Obeya - [00:10:12] Rules of Personal Kanban - [00:12:44] Kanban vs Todo List - [00:14:46] Managing Backlog - [00:17:07] Limiting Work in Progress - [00:24:26] Collaboration Equation - [00:27:36] Professionalism - [00:31:06] Psychological Safety - [00:33:21] Collaborative Leadership - [00:36:39] Collaborative Process - [00:41:04] Measuring Collaboration - [00:46:09] 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:51:09] _____ Jim Benson’s Bio Jim Benson is the CEO of Modus Cooperandi, and co-founder of Modus Institute. A pioneer in applying Lean and Kanban methodologies to knowledge work, Jim is the creator of Personal Kanban and Lean Coffee, and co-author of Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life, winner of the prestigious Shingo Research and Publication Award. His other books include Why Plans Fail, Why Limit WIP, and Beyond Agile. His upcoming book The Collaboration Equation will be out in Summer 2022. Follow Jim: Twitter – @ourfounder LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimbenson Modus Cooperandi – https://moduscooperandi.com/ Modus Institute – https://modusinstitute.com/ Our Sponsors DevTernity 2022 (devternity.com) is the top international software development conference with an emphasis on coding, architecture, and tech leadership skills. The lineup is truly stellar and features many legends of software development like Robert "Uncle Bob" Martin, Kent Beck, Scott Hanselman, Venkat Subramaniam, Kevlin Henney, and many others! The conference takes place online, and we have the 10% discount code for you: AWSM_TLJ. Skills Matter is the global community and events platform for software professionals. It is an easier way for technologists to grow their careers by connecting you and your peers with the best-in-class tech industry experts and communities. You get on-demand access to their latest content, thought leadership insights as well as the exciting schedule of tech events running across all time zones. Head on over to skillsmatter.com to become part of the tech community that matters most to you - it’s free to join and easy to keep up with the latest tech trends. Like this episode? Subscribe on your favorite podcast app and submit your feedback. Follow @techleadjournal on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Pledge your support by becoming a patron. For more info about the episode (including quotes and transcript), visit techleadjournal.dev/episodes/97.
56:36
July 18, 2022
#96 - Practical Guide to Implementing SRE and SLOs - Alex Hidalgo
“Reliability is the most important thing. Your users define your reliability, so make sure you’re measuring the right thing. And 100% is out of the question, so pick the right target." Alex Hidalgo is the Principal Reliability Advocate at Nobl9 and author of “Implementing Service Level Objectives”. In this episode, we discussed the practical guide on how to implement SRE and SLOs. Alex started by explaining the basic concept of service reliability and service truths. He then explained the concept of reliability stack, that includes the famous SRE concepts: SLI, SLO, and error budgets. Alex then shared his insights on how we can define a service reliability target, why a higher reliability target is expensive, and the risk of a service of being too reliable. Towards the end, Alex shared his tips on how we can build an SRE culture and how we can use the error budget as a communication tool within the organization. Listen out for: Career Journey - [00:07:19] Understanding SRE & SLO - [00:14:17] Service & Reliability - [00:17:30] Service Truths - [00:21:06] Reliability Stack - [00:23:45] Defining Reliability Target - [00:27:11] Higher Reliability is Expensive - [00:29:27] SLI - [00:34:26] Measuring Correctness - [00:37:30] Critical User Journey - [00:41:49] Being Too Reliable - [00:47:18] Communicating with Error Budget - [00:51:02] Building SRE Culture - [00:54:13] 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:57:57] _____ Alex Hidalgo’s Bio Alex Hidalgo is the Principal Reliability Advocate at Nobl9 and author of “Implementing Service Level Objectives”. During his career he has developed a deep love for sustainable operations, proper observability, and using SLO data to drive discussions and make decisions. Alex’s previous jobs have included IT support, network security, restaurant work, t-shirt design, and hosting game shows at bars. When not sharing his passion for technology with others, you can find him scuba diving or watching college basketball. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner Jen and a rescue dog named Taco. Alex has a BA in philosophy from Virginia Commonwealth University. Follow Alex: Twitter – @ahidalgosre Nobl9 – https://www.nobl9.com/ Website – https://www.alex-hidalgo.com/ Our Sponsors DevTernity 2022 (devternity.com) is the top international software development conference with an emphasis on coding, architecture, and tech leadership skills. The lineup is truly stellar and features many legends of software development like Robert "Uncle Bob" Martin, Kent Beck, Scott Hanselman, Venkat Subramaniam, Kevlin Henney, and many others! The conference takes place online, and we have the 10% discount code for you: AWSM_TLJ. Skills Matter is the global community and events platform for software professionals. It is an easier way for technologists to grow their careers by connecting you and your peers with the best-in-class tech industry experts and communities. You get on-demand access to their latest content, thought leadership insights as well as the exciting schedule of tech events running across all time zones. Head on over to skillsmatter.com to become part of the tech community that matters most to you - it’s free to join and easy to keep up with the latest tech trends. Like this episode? Subscribe on your favorite podcast app and submit your feedback. Follow @techleadjournal on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Pledge your support by becoming a patron. For more info about the episode (including quotes and transcript), visit techleadjournal.dev/episodes/96.
01:01:50
July 11, 2022