Showing posts from 2020

Talk like TED

I have always admired the power and effectiveness of TED talks.  This book was a quick read and helped to reinforce the best practices that the most successful TED presenters employ. My notes and key excerpts are below.   Unleash the master within Dig deep to identify your unique and meaningful connection to your presentation topic. “Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson Master the art of storytelling You need data, facts, and analysis to challenge people, but you also need narrative to get people comfortable enough to care about the community that you are advocating for. Your audience needs to be willing to go with you on a journey.” Aristotle believed that persuasion occurs when three components are represented: ethos, logos, and pathos. Ethos is credibility. We tend to agree with people whom we respect for their achievements, title, experience, etc. Logos is the means of persuasion through logic, data, and statistics. Pathos is the act of

Notes and takeaways from Software Engineering at Google

    I really enjoyed and learned a lot from this book.  I noted that, as is the case with many O'Reilly books about best practices at Google, different people will find various chapters more/less interesting and pertinent to them. Below are the excerpts that I found most pertinent.   Leadership Contrary to some people’s instincts, leaders who admit mistakes are more respected, not less.
 If you perform a root-cause analysis on almost any social conflict, you can ultimately trace it back to a lack of humility, respect, and/or trust.
 Your organization needs a culture of learning, which requires creating psychological safety that permits people to admit to a lack of knowledge.
 If you try to achieve an impossible goal, there’s a good chance you’ll fail, but if you fail to try to achieve the impossible, you’ll most likely accomplish far more than you would have accomplished had you merely attempted something you knew you could complete.
 “Sometimes you get to be the tooth fairy, other

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Much of it was a review for me; however, it contained many great pointers and spawned several ideas. Here are some of my notes and key excerpts: My summary of Radical Candor is that it is primarily about having a balanced approach to giving feedback. Feedback should be compassionate (because you genuinely care about the person) while also challenging the person directly and respectfully.       When giving  feedback , it is common knowledge that it is crucial to describe the situation, behavior, and feedback. It is not as well known that the same aspects are essential when giving  praise . If you're not dying to hire someone, don't make an offer. It is important to remember that during 1:1's, the agenda should be (primarily) your direct report's agenda, not yours. Listen with the intent to understand, not to reply. Rick Hanson: "The brain is like Velcro fo

A readme...for me.

Selected excerpts from   I’m a veteran of three successful startups and have experience in multiple areas including healthcare, finance, and security. I subscribe to servant-leadership Learning is very important to me. I read approximately one book a week and take one Udemy class a month. I subscribe to the philosophy of “saying what you are going to do and doing what you say”. I am an advocate of remote-work due to it being highly effective (on many levels) for both the company and for the individual. At work, nothing makes me happier than when: A user benefits from a change developed by my team A prospect becomes a customer because of a feature developed by my team A team member learns something new and expands their horizons A process or procedure or technology is improved that benefits the overall company, team members, or the technology industry as a whole I use this 1-1 format I do skip-level meetings with t

How to become indistractable in order to focus on what is truly important!

Image I quite enjoyed “Indistractable” by Nir Eyal.  It was an insightful analysis on determining and spending time on what is important, theories around how to do so, and practical tips on how to accomplish your goals. Favorite quote Most people don’t want to acknowledge the uncomfortable truth that distraction is always an unhealthy escape from reality. How we deal with uncomfortable internal triggers determines whether we pursue healthful acts of traction or self-defeating distractions.   Quick summary It is essential not only to focus on the right things but also to determine triggers and take actions to stop doing the wrong things.  Often doing the wrong things is driven by the need to lower discomfort rather than intentionally choosing them.  It can also significantly help to label yourself as having and being able to have a high amount of self-control (avoiding the self-fulfilling prophecy).  Our time is often unguarded.  Protect it from u

What happened when an engineer attended all of the CEO's meetings for two weeks?

Find out what happens when an engineer attends all of the CEO's meetings for two weeks at the largest fully remote and transparent company in the world . CEO shadow program impressions and takeaways What I did during the program Why someone should apply to be in the program What I learned about Gitlab values in action and effective communication Blog Video

How Non-Conformists Move the World

I recently finished “ Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World ” by Adam Grant and found it to be quite inspiring. Here are the themes for my biggest takeaways: Don’t accept defaults.  Take the initiative to seek out options that could be better. Strive to achieve security in your life so that you can be free to be original in other areas. Generate many ideas, get feedback on them (especially from peers), and don’t let your personal confirmation bias be a pitfall when evaluating them. When evaluating the ideas of others, before doing so, generate your own ideas immediately before-hand. And my favorite quote (about Seinfeld): “Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld had never written a sitcom, and my department had never developed one,” Ludwin recalls. “We were a good match, because we didn’t know what rules we weren’t supposed to break.”

When learning new things do you have a fixed mindset or growth mindset?

Here is my summary and favorite excerpts from Mindset:The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck . What are the two interpretations of ability?     A fixed ability that needs to be proven     A changeable ability that can be developed through learning How is your mindset impacted by how you perceive your identity? Failure has been transformed from an action (I failed) to an identity (I am a failure). This is especially true in a fixed mindset. When you’re given a positive label, you’re afraid of losing it, and when you’re hit with a negative label, you’re afraid of deserving it. John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach, says you aren’t a failure until you start to blame. What he means is that you can still be in the process of learning from your mistakes until you deny them. How does mindset impact leadership? Fixed-mindset leaders, like fixed-mindset people in general, live in a world where some people are superior and some are inferior. They must repeatedly affirm that they are

Wisdom at Work

I recently finished  Wisdom at Work by Chip Conley.  I highly recommend it for those who want to understand age bias in the workplace. One of my favorite passages is: If there’s one quality I believe defines wisdom in the workplace more than any other, it is the capacity for holistic or systems thinking that allows one to get the “gist” of something by synthesizing a wide variety of information quickly. Part of this is aided by the skill of pattern recognition that helps you come to hunches faster that account for the bigger picture. And this is where age gives us the indisputable upper hand: the longer you’ve been on this planet, the more patterns you’ve seen and can recognize. Some great quotes:  The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.  - William Gibson First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they fight you. And then you win. - Gandhi Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your a

Top six security trends in GitLab-hosted projects

The GitLab security trends blog I have been working on for a couple of months has finally been published! Top six security trends in GitLab-hosted projects In our first security trends report, we discovered six vulnerabilities that occurred in 5% or more of GitLab-hosted projects over the past six months. This is our first security trends report, which we intend to release with the latest trends twice a year. ...

Hiring best practices for engineering managers

I added a number of ideas to GitLab's hiring best practices:  Hiring best practices for engineering managers. GitLab engineering recruiting video, featuring yours truly.

GitLab is now a member of the OWASP Foundation

Author: Wayne Haber Cross-posted from: GitLab Blog GitLab is thrilled to announce our membership in the OWASP Foundation . OWASP is a non-profit that works to improve the security of software through open-source projects, worldwide local chapters, tens of thousands of members, and educational/training conferences. We leverage OWASP to help provide security features integrated into the development lifecycle via the Secure stage and defending your apps and infrastructure from security intrusions via the Defend stage . We also leverage OWASP on our security team who are responsible for the security posture of the company, products, and client-facing services. ...

My favorite excerpts from the Unicorn Project

My favorite excerpts from The Unicorn Project: A Novel about Developers, Digital Disruption, and Thriving in the Age of Data Maxine loves coding and she’s awesome at it. But she knows that there’s something even more important than code: the systems that enable developers to be productive, so that they can write high-quality code quickly and safely, freeing themselves from all the things that prevent them from solving important business problems. Ward Cunningham : ‘Technical debt is what you feel the next time you want to make a change.’ Edward Deming: ‘A bad system will beat a good person every time.’ The Five Ideals: The First Ideal—Locality and Simplicity The Second Ideal—Focus, Flow, and Joy The Third Ideal—Improvement of Daily Work The Fourth Ideal—Psychological Safety The Fifth Ideal — Customer Focus