Young Reacts #118 – The hidden cost of responsiveness

An unusual thing happened to me this week.

A startup CEO reached out to me about a job opportunity, which isn’t unusual. I turned down the offer like I usually do. Then, he responded with “we will still be hiring in 10 years” and forwarded his investor letter and the most recent all-hands recording. I could see the company’s strategies, challenges, and even updated financials. I’ve never seen this level of transparency to an outsider and am deeply impressed. I still don’t think the opportunity is right for me, but I am now rooting for them.

Totally Unrelated Photo from Unsplash by Stephen Phillips –

Software Engineering ⚙️

There are no “best practices.”

For most important questions at work and in life, the answer is “it depends.” Because our personalities and circumstances are different, a single answer will not work for all of us. How Stack Overflow optimized for speed and forwent the “best practices” like unit testing is one example. Link

People ❤️

The hidden cost of responsiveness

A common compliment I give to my colleagues is that they are responsive to my questions or feedback. I enjoy their prompt responses and try to return the favor; I always have Slack in the foreground and keep an eye out for DMs and mentions. The result is that I don’t get to do anything meaningful during normal business hours (interestingly, many colleagues said the same). This HBR article made me see that painful truth. Link

Uniform compensation across a company

A company decided to pay everyone the same amount of cash salary across different seniorities, locations, and even roles. “That can’t work” was my first reaction. But as I gnawed on the idea, I realized that all compensation structure precludes some of the candidates. If transparency from this uniform structure is important to its employees, why not? I wonder if they are as transparent with the employee performance. Link

Right to Be Anonymous? Not at Some Company Meetings

I’ve been against asking questions anonymously and believed that I should take responsibility for my words. But after reading this article, I remember several occasions where I chose not to ask a question because I did not feel safe to do so. The ideal would be for the leadership to create a safe enough environment and for the employees would choose to ask questions under their names.

It’s Not Just You. A Lot Of Us Are Hitting A Pandemic Wall Right Now.

It’s now been more than a year I’ve been working from home. The working from home part hasn’t been too difficult for me. But I am tired of being constantly in crisis mode. I feel burnt out.

Staff Design

There is not just a staff engineer, but also a staff designer. The project interviews industry veterans about how they got where they are.

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