Newsletter #115 : Data & Teams

March 22, 2022
Hey everyone, we’re back again with some tech leadership insight and inspiration. I have returned from my holidays to a wonderfully sunny Madrid and I am raring to go. I love every day of my holidays (and we have an article this week that looks into the absolute necessity of us all taking one) but, I also love getting back to the “desk” with the renewed energy and vigour that switching off for a while can bring. On that bouncy note … I hope you enjoy this weeks articles and indeed the rest of August. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones

Andrew Weaver
[email protected]

GUEST BLOG Hiring A Full Development Team In <3 Days
Guest article this week from Samer Bechara our friend in Beirut  who writes about; 
How To Hire A Full Development Team In Less Than 3 Days. “If you have a new business project, then you are probably eager to get your team ready and start implementing it. What if we told you that you could hire a full development team including a project manager, a designer, 3 developers, 1 software tester from scratch in less than 3 days?”
 Read the full article here on Samer’s blog via his website at
NEWS & VIEWS  Articles That Recently Caught Our Eye The Data Dream of CTOs and CDOs  
Killing Excel at the age of APIs?We have all undoubtedly faced this situation in a board review meeting: one department refers to the level of a specific KPI, while another department has a different figure for the same KPI.Any of the next scenarios can then occur:
— How the hell can we have such different numbers? 
— Where are you getting your data from?
— Let’s ask our data specialist to join the meeting.Many Chief Technology Officers, Chief Data Officers, or even Chief Operational Officers want to amend or delete some legacy systems and change ineffective data-managing behaviours, both of which indirectly multiply data sources. But legacy slows down the data-centric strategy they had in mind.Read more via The Data Dream of CTOs and CDOs 
How We Design Our APIs at Slack Interesting articles from two members of the team at Slack …“Designing intuitive, consistent, and easy to use APIs is hard. In this post, we covered API design principles and the design process that we follow at Slack. Some key takeaways are when you’re building an API: spend time thinking about your API design up front, be intentional with your design choices, and collect feedback from multiple stakeholders….”Read Full Article: How We Design Our APIs at Slack   
Effective Listening & Aphorisms
 Active and effective listening is crucial to good leadership but, how many of us are genuinely good at it?It’s an issue that often comes up in our coaching sessions so although this is an article from 10 years ago, we thought it an interesting one to re-surface.“Genuine listening includes not practicing what you are going to say or planning your response or rebuttal.  Think about it – how often do you actually listen or rather just wait for the other person to finish speaking?  Do you leak out signals that you are not listening in your body language? ….”For more read here: Effective Listening & Aphorisms
The Data-Driven Case For Vacation
So I had moments on my holiday where I thought I should be working, where my brain wasn’t disconnected, where I was glancing occasionally at emails.I’m wired that way and my family tolerate me (just about) whilst we’re away.But actually going on holiday has not always been top of my agenda and I know many leaders suffer from the same, particularly when working within early stage companies where there’s a fear of missing anything.This article looks at a report conducted to more clearly understand the relationship between well-being and taking time off from work. The hypothesis has been that without recovery periods, the ability to continue performing at high levels diminishes significantly. This is in direct conflict with the common misconception that the longer you persevere at work, the more successful you will become.The authors previous HBR articles outlined their research into what kind of vacations create a positive effect, debunking the idea that people who don’t take their vacation time get ahead.But a research study released by the U.S. Travel Association and Project: Time Off, presents a high-definition picture of how overwork affects the success rates and well-being.In the study, 5,641 adult Americans who work more than 35 hours a week and receive paid time off from their employers were asked a series of questions designed to understand their perception of time off and the impacts on various business or health measures.Oxford Economics then used the results, combined with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey, to estimate levels of historical vacation activity. (A 24-month moving average was used to eliminate short-term fluctuations in the data.) The finding was that Americans used to take almost three weeks of vacation a year (20.3 days) in 2000, but they took only 16.2 days of vacation in 2015. Read the full article: The Data-Driven Case For Vacation 

BOOK OF THE WEEK  The Five Dysfunctions of a Team : A Leadership Fable 

This week we are focusing on how to eliminate negative thinking.In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A  Leadership Fable the author looks at the complex world of teams.Kathryn Petersen, Decision Tech’s CEO, faces the ultimate leadership crisis:
Uniting a team in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company.
Will she succeed?
Will she be fired?
Will the company fail?“This is a wonderful read, short, to the point, and in a very new style of writing. The author uses a fictional story as an anchor to land his points. The author captures the human essence of teamwork and connects the dots from trust to profit. Highly recommended”                                  
 VIDEO OF THE WEEK  How Art, Technology and Design Inform Creative Leaders
CTO ACADEMY EBOOK 90 Things You Need To Know … About How To Become a CTO If you haven’t already grabbed a copy of our updated eBook then what are you waiting for?A useful read for incumbent and aspiring CTO alike. Available here: 90 Things You Need To Know, If You Want To Become The CTO

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