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Have you ever been told to be more “innovative” with your code? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Rich Mironov, discuss the all too common disconnect between developers and those on the marketing side of organizations. According to Rich, this is the result of two very different work cultures existing in the same organization - one that’s collaborative and one that’s highly individualistic. The culture gap can be hard to cross. Thankfully, Rich has spent years coming up with solutions to bridge that gap. It’s not always easy, but Rich believes that it can be done through a better understanding of how the two cultures work along with constant education and communication.   Show Notes Differences in design principles between product and engineering management (1:35) Understanding the conflict between makers and marketers (6:22) How Rich helps marketers/sales develop a more useful frame for engineering (10:01) The “Innovation” Misconception (15:36) The culture gap between sales and development/product teams (21:46) Where does product management fit between sales and development? (26:31) Helping clients make effective organizational change (32:48)   Links: Guest’s Website:  Guest’s email: Programming Leadership:
In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Kim Crayton, discuss how organizations are shaped by core values, and why values are integral for establishing true diversity and inclusion. Kim dives into some very uncomfortable truths in this episode, pointing out how most organizations are not actually ready for inclusion and diversity, because they are operating with misaligned values that make it impossible for stakeholders to thrive. Kim also explains how businesses can leverage diversity to effectively compete in the information economy, and explains why companies should rethink how they approach risk management. Show Notes Why inclusion and diversity must be the bedrocks of an organization — and why they are essential for competing in the information economy. (2:16) The role that core values play in an organization, and how they are linked to  processes, procedures, and policies. (1:43) Understanding shareholder value versus stakeholder value in an organization. (7:06) The core values of the #causeascene community: Tech is not neutral, intention without strategy is chaos, lack of inclusion is a risk management issue, and prioritizing the most vulnerable. (9:48) How most companies lack the diversity to identify the potential for harm — and as a result, they don’t understand harm until it happens. (13:43) Thinking beyond finance when considering risk management (16:38) How income sharing agreements (ISAs) often target and harm — instead of prioritize — people in marginalized communities.(18:50) Defining privilege, underrepresentation, marginalization, variety, and inclusion.(26:56) Redefining capitalism in a way that doesn’t cause harm to people by default. (34:51)   Links: Main site: Twitter:  Coaching:    
How can we train teams to consistently produce quality code without negatively impacting productivity? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, M. David Green, discuss Agile Dojos and how they can make teams more effective. Dojos provide a six-week training ground where teams focus on recognizing and replicating value by pairing, mobbing, and swarming. Coaches like Green help them to hone their skills and go through rituals more effectively. The results will be more engaged team members, scrum masters, and a way of working that converts skeptics and naysayers into Agile evangelists.
Engineers love to experiment, but is experimenting with your career a good idea? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus talks with salary negotiation expert Josh Doody about how this counterintuitive decision can benefit you over the long term. According to Doody, the key is to stop thinking in binary terms of “good” and “bad” outcomes and optimize for learning, instead. Doing so gives us a broader spectrum of results that we can use to decide how to proceed. This will allow us to better calculate risk while also avoiding Old Timer’s Disease and falling victim to loss aversion.   Show Notes “Decision science” (3:55) Thinking of outcomes as a spectrum rather than “good” or “bad” (5:13) Optimize for learning, not outcomes (7:31) How career experimentation has helped Josh (11:17) Understanding the long game (16:23) How to avoid Short-Timer’s Disease (18:53) Using expected value to calculate risk (23:41) Loss aversion can impede our ability to accurately calculate risk (27:59) “Good” and “bad” are subjective terms when it comes to experimentation (32:39)   Links Josh Doody on Twitter Antifragile, Nassim Taleb Should Belichick have gone for it on 4th and 2? by Josh Doody Marcus’s interview with Josh on Software Engineering Radio
How do organizations actually work with Agile? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Allen Holub, discuss what organizations get wrong about Agile. Allen has been an Agile transformation consultant for nearly 40 years and has seen the best and worst it has to offer. Luckily, he says the worst can be avoided. The challenge lies in company culture and architecture. The Agile way of working can be a shock to an organization’s system. However, those willing to suffer a few growing pains can reap tremendous rewards further down the line!   Show Notes Why Agile is failing (3:55) Teams are not Agile, organizations are (7:12) When Agile works (15:14) The inspect and adapt loop (26:21) Obstacles preventing organizations from being Agile (30:27) Why people can’t imagine work working differently (37:16) Advice for people realizing that they’re not actually Agile (39:46) Allen’s consulting strategy (43:13)   Links: Toyota Kata, Mike Rother Follow Allen Holub on Twitter Email Allen at Schedule a video chat with Allen at Agile and Lean Software Development Group on LinkedIn O’Reilly Infrastructure & Ops Conference:
How do we leverage remote work in our businesses and on our teams? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus talks with Rachel Farrer, CEO and founder of Distributing Consulting, about the challenges facing remote workers and their managers. Despite being around for decades, there are still many managers pushing back against remote work. According to Farrer, this is due to myths surrounding it as well as managers not utilizing it effectively. She wants people to know that remote work, when properly understood and executed, can create more productive teams, departments, and companies.    Show Notes Understanding why isolation is such a challenge for remote workers (2:31) How managers can spot when isolation is affecting one of their remote workers  (6:13) The disconnect between on-site managers and remote workers (10:00) Advice for managers wanting to add remote workers to a colocated team (14:34) Helpful mindset shifts for managers averse to remote workers (18:03) The challenges facing remote teams that do knowledge work  (22:00) Turnover and termination on remote teams (25:09)   Links: Links: Distribute Consulting:  Twitter:  LinkedIn:  Remote Work Association:  This podcast:  O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference:   
Is your team running so smoothly that it hums? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Ron Lichty, discuss what makes high-performance teams versus what makes low-performance teams. Most teams already know which category they fall into, but the solution to a low-performing team isn’t always clear. Drawing on 20 years of Agile experience, Ron narrows down the three root causes of low-performing teams as well as solutions that managers can implement to improve them.    Show Notes Learning what makes software development teams hum (1:40) What prevents a team from humming (3:31) Building effective stand-ups (10:32) Do < Accomplish (15:43) The high value of predictability (19:28) Implement the “fist-to-five” to your stand-up (23:50) How to observe psychological safety (29:28) Misunderstanding so-called “introverts” (31:31) Planning is every team member’s job (36:58) Providing value for stakeholders is an infinite game, not a finite one (38:44)   Links: Finite and Infinite Games, James P. Carse Managing the Unmanageable, 2nd Edition, Ron Lichty
Episode 40 What does it look like to be your own leader in times of professional transition? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus talks with Han Yuan, friend and former Senior Vice President of Engineering at Upwork, about transitioning into entrepreneurship from a traditional job and vice versa. How do you know it’s time to make a transition? Where do you find the support you need? How can you prepare team members for their own transitions? It’s a scary proposition for anyone. Fortunately, Yuan says it can be managed effectively with a combination of objective benchmarks, meaningful relationships, and authenticity.   Show Notes   The dangers of becoming an entrepreneur (2:41) When it’s time to leave your “good" job (4:00) How professional managers can help employees think this way through career development (6:30) Helping team members transition out of the organization (8:37) Avoid win-lose situations by mentoring people, not professional roles (9:56) Dealing with uncertainty during transition (15:05) Connecting activities to outcomes (19:39) Be authentic when “parachuting” into a new work culture (23:17) How entrepreneurs can maintain structure and build peer groups outside of traditional work structures (28:37)   Links: Han Yuan on Linkedin Articles by Han Yuan:Be authentic Why you should make your management principles transparent Being a team, or being a family? Why I strive to make the groups I lead be both
What if we could create a trade culture that allowed for change rather than relying on mechanical thinking? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, GeePaw Hill, discuss how the doubling rate in the software industry has resulted in a complete lack of trade discipline. Drawing on his 40 years in the software industry, GeePaw’s solution is to develop a thick culture in which certain standards are established across the industry. They also discuss why the industrial model of work is so unsatisfying, the real reason why good workers leave organizations, and the importance of luck.   Show Notes The doubling rate of makers has resulted in a total lack of culture in the software industry (2:12) Defining Thick Culture, Thin Culture, and the Frame (4:01) Using the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) as a model for the kind of frame the trade needs (5:40) How the doubling rate resulted in a lack of leaders that can develop an industry discipline (6:34) Why good workers leave organization (18:05) Developing a common language of change in the trade (24:24) The real-life challenges leaders face when implementing change in their organizations (31:40) Why managers and HR are wrong about why employees leave (41:10)   Links: The Field Guide to Human Error by Sidney Dekker Turn the Ship Around: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders by L. David Marquet GeePawHill.Org Twitter Alice’s Approach to Change by GeePaw Hill
How do we improve in the area of product management? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest Ellen Gottesdiener, President of EBG Consulting, discuss ways companies can better oversee the development and lifecycle of a product in its entirety. Marcus and Ellen also discuss her Agile Product Planning method, best practices in the area of product management, and effective decision making methods with product management within your organization.   Show Notes A working definition of product management (1:15) The product lifecycle (1:45) Answering the question, “What’s my product?” (8:30) “Outside-in” thinking over “inside-out” (11:30) Ways to address product production backlogs (15:33) Managing the work vs. the product (19:19) Engaging a product engineering team (21:58) The role of story in product development (28:35) Product development without a structured value system (33:47) The decision making process in product development (40:49) Links: EBG Consulting Discover to Deliver
What can nature teach us about how to get the most from our organizations? In this episode, Marcus welcomes Dr. Kathleen Allen to discuss changing our perspectives of assigning roles within teams and organizations to what she calls leading a “living systems”. Dr. Allen is the president of her consulting firm, Allen and Associates, and has written many articles and contributed to a variety of books, including The Transforming Leader: New Approaches to Leadership for the Twenty-first Century and Innovation in Environmental Leadership: Critical Perspectives. Her most recent book, Leading from the Roots: Nature-Inspired Leadership Lessons for Today’s World, is available now.   Show Notes An alternative to reorganization (1:45) “We are human beings living and working in an environment, and when you have a collection of human beings, then your organization probably isn't an object, either. It's just that we're thinking that it's an object.” Dr. Allen (2:50) The “living systems” perspective (4:45) "Living systems are interdependent. They're not separate. And our job descriptions are designed and written to keep us separate from each other." Dr. Allen (9:00) Strategy comes from patterns rather than details. (13:00) "So the old leadership question is, what do I need to control? And the new leadership question of a living system is, what do I need to unleash?” Dr. Allen (16:45) Work with you as opposed to working for you (19:30) Empowering employees with a common shared goal versus controlling employees through management tactics (28:00) "Influence, not authority." Marcus (33:00) "It's the illusion of control and power. And that's what we're selling is the illusion. But nature doesn't have a CEO." Dr. Allen (36:30) Growing change versus making change (41:00) Links: Kathleen Allen  Linkedin Twitter A Beautiful Constraint Humble Inquiry 
How can you build trust as a leader? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Michael Lopp discuss the small practices that make a good leader. Listen to learn about building trust, respect, and relationships in a leadership role.    Show Notes Leadership practices are small things done repetitively over time. @2:29    Leadership is a skill. @3:32  Empathy is a powerful skillset. @5:17 The practice of one on ones is important in connecting to a team. @6:44 Asking for feedback can build trust and relationships. @9:04 Respond to feedback with a thank you and follow up comprehension questions. @11:35 Feedback is a gift. @18:04 It's not personal, it's professional. @21:37 Leadership is an outfit that you choose to wear for others to see. @25:41 Managers tell you where you are, leaders tell you where you're going. @31:55 "There is no substitute for enthusiasm."- Ken Beck @34:20 Your peers become your allies. @36:51   Links: The Art of Leadership: Small Things, Done Well (Pre-Order)
On this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Amitai Schleier, discuss a new project Amitai is working on regarding reviving an old, but useful, open-source program called qmail. Strategy and collaboration on this project as well as how to manage a project of this nature are discussed.    Show Notes The ‘old’ project is called notqmail. @1:10  Last stable release was in 1998 then it was abandoned. @2:45  Elders decided to make some changes in 2007 and called it notqmail. @3:49  Amitai decided to revive this old C code. @7:16  He wanted to join together the other people still running with qmail or netqmail and collaborate to make the best modern version possible. @10:24  The best advice was to take everyone's add-ons and then his own and let the users decide which to implement to avoid egos. @14:04  Collaboration depends on the properties of the code being worked on. @16:51  Amitai put together individual persuasive invitations to get people to join his team. @24:19    Links:
To be a modern manager, you must manage yourself first. In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Johanna Rothman discuss how you must learn to manage yourself to be effective at managing other people. They will discuss some common mistakes managers make and some important values to instill in yourself that will make you a better manager, such as integrity, vulnerability, and congruence.     Show Notes If we don't manage ourselves, we don't have the capability of managing other people. @2:42 Micromanagement comes from fear and that fear is out of incongruence. @3:07 Blame cuts off options and relationships. @8:25 Admitting you're afraid and need help and being vulnerable is a sign of strength not a weakness. @13:48 Take small steps in building trust. @15:28 Value-based integrity consists of these 5 values: honesty, fairness, consistency, taking responsibility, and treating people with respect. @18:43 Self-awareness is difficult, but often is as simple as asking people. @25:14 ROTI (Returned on Time Invested) method for a meeting @27:29 A challenge for technical managers is actually knowing how to do the work very well. @30:14 Take control of your schedule to deal with the time pressure. @36:21   Links:
Are you a resilient manager? Do you want to become one? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Lara Hogan discuss what it means to be a resilient manager. She will discuss some effective management skills and thought processes. She will also introduce us to the idea of the manager Voltron.    Show Notes  New manager care packages @1:00​ Becoming a manager is scary for different reasons for everybody. @5:10  Management skills are the same across the board. @9:15 At every stage of management, you start over with the same new feelings, new fears, and lack of internal barometer of success. @12:06 It's okay to get comfortable and confident in what you know, but remember you're going to encounter new things. @14:01 Build out your manager crew of support, a manager Voltron. @15:19 Your Voltron should include people inside your company and people outside your company. @20:13 Manager dens- where you can experience coaching, mentoring, and a safe space, Vegas rules session. @23:57 Mentoring is sharing advice and perspective; coaching is helping someone come to their own conclusions. @25:56 Coaching is what helps people grow. @26:26 What are you optimizing for? @30:24 Resilient management has to do with making sure your bucket of energy is healthy. @35:01 When thinking about being cut out for management, it's about given the context, responsibility, and people you work with, does this work for you? @36:52 Showing is better than telling. @39:41   Links: @Lara_hogan  Wherewithall Wherewithall's Instagram 
​Are you compassionate? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, April Wensel discuss compassion in technology and how it affects people. April shares how to become more compassionate as individuals and how we can bring more compassion into our organizations. Dive in to learn about a more compassionate future.   Show Notes Compassion is about reducing suffering. @1:09​ Compassion is what's missing in technology. @1:22 Emotional intelligence ties into compassion. @4:36 We're all hardwired for cruelty and compassion- it's our choice which we choose as humans. @5:44 Everyone has the potential to practice compassion in daily life. @6:25 To practice compassion, you must have empathy. @7:48 Curiosity and inquiry are risks worth taking to show compassion. @8:23 The four pillars of being a compassionate coder are compassion with yourself, with your coding and non-coding coworkers, with users, and with society. @11:58 Organizations contribute to keeping uncompassionate patterns in place (higher pay and special treatment for coders for example). @18:01 Everybody has the capacity to develop compassion; it's about how we direct our energy, time, and effort. @21:29 Pausing, or taking a beat, to think is often the beginning of compassion. @25:20 You need to operate at human speeds rather than machine speeds to be compassionate. @26:53 Environments and working culture need to change in order to allow more compassion. @27:28 Burnout is an indicator that there's been a lack of compassion somewhere in the organization. @27:48 Compassion  is important in all relationships, especially with power dynamics. @28:53 Open up to build relationships and communicate to learn what others are thinking and actually going through, instead of making snap judgments. @32:48 Links: Sponsor: Website: April’s Twitter: @AprilWensel  Compassionate Coding Twitter: @CompassionCode
​In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Camille Fournier discuss some points from her book, The Manager's Path. They discuss the importance of time management and how to effectively manage employee turnover in a leadership role.    Show Notes A day in the life of a manager varies, but it is a lot of meetings. @3:58​ As a manager, you have to be on for all the hours you are in. @5:07 It's important to make time for your "thinking time." @7:14 The big problems are the intersection of technology and people. @10:24 You need a strategy to keep your team focused on the important things. @12:07 Learn how to balance a team's time between basic maintenance work and new things. @14:09 Different managers track time and work in different ways. @19:06 Look for disengagement as a sign that someone is fixing to leave. @20:37 When you notice a difference in a team member's engagement, address their concerns early. @22:41 "Money is rarely the first straw, but it's usually the last straw." @23:54 Employee retention and hiring retention is one of the most important things you have to do as a manager. @24:56 When someone leaves, there should be a conversation between upper management and that person's manager. @25:51 Internal mobility is a great way to keep employees at a company. @29:10   Links: Sponsor: Camille’s Twitter: @Skamille Camille’s blog: Podcast home:
My Mission

My Mission


Have you ever wondered why am I doing this? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus discusses his vision for the future and how we can work together to change it. Are you with me? Show Notes Consider your why and get on board with mine. @4:02​ I want to create a future that's more productive and more valuable. @5:09 This future will have lower turnover and higher productivity. @5:58 Small ideas have to start somewhere and they grow. @6:53 Bad management and leadership comes from somewhere above you with expectations that came into the company a long time ago. @7:43 I feel small with a big idea and I need your help. @8:12 Breaking old habits is hard, but it can start with us. @9:02 Why do I do this podcast? @9:21 Why do I write? @9:34 Why do I speak at conferences? @9:52 My book is coming out in March. @10:55  Links: 
Episode Description ​Is conflict always a bad thing? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Jennifer Jones-Patulli, discuss how people tend to think about conflict and how they handle it. Jennifer provides insight and tools to use as leaders to help handle conflict situations within an organization and among staff. Conflict may be uncomfortable, but it is not always bad.  Show Notes Fight, flight, or freeze reactions Cultures approach conflict differently Conflict is not a problem but can become a problem Time pressure plays into how people handle conflict People have different triggers that increase their heart rate and it’s important to know your triggers Scale and interdependent pairs Tactical vs. strategic Leaders should have an awareness of how to handle conflict Pattern spotting questions Tension provokes uncertainty which can then change dynamics of individuals or even teams  Links: Medium: Jennifer Jones-Patulli
​Turnover is a huge problem in our industry. There are many reasons people choose to leave their jobs and in this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus dissects the top reasons software professional decide to seek other employment and ways to prevent future turnover from occurring.   Show Notes Technology and software have the highest turnover rate of all industries Managers can affect turnover Reasons why people leave Lack of opportunity for advancement Unsatisfied with leadership of senior management Unsatisfied with work environment and culture Want more challenging work Want to make more money Unsatisfied with the rewards and recognition for contributions Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture by Kim S. Cameron and Robert E. Quinn Resources and Links: LinkedIn Survey
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