Young Reacts #167

I have found myself quite a bit more stressed since I became a manager. That’s because I have far more time-sensitive tasks, such as interviews, performance reviews, quarterly planning, and so on, and I don’t own the deadlines as company processes set them. Worse yet, only I can do some of these tasks (most people management tasks).

On the contrary, if you are a trusted engineer on a well-run team, you can generally set your timeline and rarely come under time pressure. Also, your team should have enough context to cover for you if you cannot get to them in time.

I started thinking about how much I am willing to sacrifice my well-being to do the job I like.


Software Engineering ⚙️

How not to learn GraphQL

As I only worked with Apollo’s flavor of GraphQL (Apollo Client and Apollo Federation), I am not well-versed in other GraphQL tools. This article taught me that other tools, like Urql and Stitching, are worth looking at.

People ❤️

Engineering Org Structures— The QRF Team Model

I’ve seen many teams where they took weeks to respond to customer requests, which take a few min because of how they prioritize. The author astutely observes that “the team is operating at a tempo that is slower than the environment demands.” So the team should create a separate workstream with a faster tempo by dedicating some of the team’s time, nominating someone on the team, or creating a whole new team.

The perils of a writing culture — the Amazon hammer to decision making.

I started reading Working Backwards, a book on Amazon’s work culture. I admit it’s easy to get hooked by its rituals as Amazon’s business success is undeniable. But as the author of this article says, we need to use the right tool for the right job, and a 6-page memo may not be it.

That Wild Ask A Manager Story

The article has an extreme case of a well-meaning process gone wrong. When you run a retrospective, it’s tempting to create a new process to capture “what we should have done better.” Unfortunately, even well-meaning processes have overhead costs and should be considered the last resort, not the first reaction.

Business 💰

The App Store has a ‘Too Big To Fail’ problem

The critical insight in the article is that “the App Store is the Games Store” as mobile games generate the bulk of the App Store’s revenue. While Apple is willing to bend over backward to keep the larger apps, it won’t budge over the games.

Can a $310M startup avoid due diligence?

I am not sure if this article is accurate about Merits.com. Only the top executives at the company will know. But this is another reminder that startups are full of gotchas.

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