Young Reacts #74 – web-vitals, Elad Gil on this Recession

My director just started recruiting an engineering manager for my team. Luckily, my teammates and I will be on the panel for the interview. I call it lucky because it is rare to get a chance to pick their manager, who will determine a large portion of their experience at the company and future career trajectory.

But since it’s rare, I don’t have any prior experiences to rely on. I “picked” my managers by choosing to accept an offer based on the limited information from the interviews. After some mulling, I came up with three focus areas: performance management, IC growth, and autonomy (context, not control in Netflix jargon). I will see if these are in line with the rest of the team this week.


Software Engineering 🌐

web-vitals: Essential metrics for a healthy site – Google Chrome Developers

Google announced a small lib to track website performance, along with a useful Chrome extension. Since some tracked metrics are not standard (Largest Contentful Paint, for example), some wonder if this is Internet Explorer all over again. They may be right, but all my users are on Chrome 🤷🏻‍♂️

Facebook iOS SDK causing Crashlyics outage – Crashlytics

Over the last week, a bad Facebook iOS SDK crashed all popular apps (Tiktok, Spotify, Tinder, and A LOT more) integrated with Facebook. From the sideline, I find it amusing that a P0 incident by Facebook caused outages across the entire iOS ecosystem. No doubt, this incident sucked for Apple too. I wonder if we will see some changes from Apple.

DevTool Layers Panel – Supercharged – Google Chrome Developers

Have you wondered how to see how your divs are stacked? Layers panel is the answer!

People

Micromanager, Absentee Manager or Thought Partner — Which One Are You? – Kim Scott

A micromanager is a well-known failure mode of a manager. But the lesser-known end of the spectrum, an absentee manager is just as harmful. Read about how to tell if you are one or the other and how to find the balance.

How to Prep for Speaking at a Virtual Conference – Ivan Burazin

Tech workers are likely to stay home at least for the next six months, and more conferences are now virtual. Ivan Burazin gives several logistics tips on how to set up your environment.

Business 💸

Startup Offense and Defense in the Recession – Elad Gil

I didn’t think about how long the recession will last after the economy starts to reopen. The timeframe Elad Gil suggests, 2-3 years, looks like a reasonable estimate assuming we find an effective treatment or a vaccine in a year or so. A better way to plan is to assume 1-2 year recovery after the medical breakthrough. We are running a marathon.

Bye, Amazon – Tim Bray

Amid this crisis, Amazon is winning a larger share in the market and more power over its workforce. Tim Bray quit his job as a VP of AWS over “Amazon firing whistleblowers who were making noise about warehouse employees frightened of Covid-19.” There are contradicting accounts about how this went down, but I believe we will hear more stories like this on Amazon considering its size.

The ELIZA Effect – 99% Invisible

A short story on how people have interacted with bots with natural language interfaces starting from ELIZA in 1966 and how we interact with Siri or Google Duplex now. People’s expectations change over time. I now expect all chatting interfaces to be powered by bots. Similarly, the next generations will expect all voice interfaces to be powered by bots.

Young Reacts #73 – Gatsby’s Incremental Builds, Spotify Squad Myth, Basecamp’s Take-home Tests

Nuance matters in reality. Whether we are responding to COVID-19, organizing our teams, or setting up an interview process, simplistic and ideological solutions will lead to suboptimal results.


Software Engineering 🌐

From Static to Real-time: Introducing Incremental Builds in Gatsby Cloud – Gatsby

As I was reading A Static Future, I kept thinking, “this wouldn’t work for my app full of ever-changing data.” But soon after, I found out that the company Gatsby released an incremental build on its platform. The holy grail of CMS. I want to follow up in a couple of months and see if it works as expected.

What It’s Like To Work on League Of Legends? – Built In

Five interviews with technologists at Riot Games, the creator of League Of Legends. I enjoyed getting a glimpse of how different roles come together to build games, which I’ve never worked on myself.

People

Failed #SquadGoals – Jeremiah Lee

The former product manager at Spotify criticizes the famous Spotify Squad model for the lack of alignment and accountability. But I also heard from my coworker from Spotify said that they updated the model in early 2018, and that she missed working as a fully autonomous unit. Your mileage may vary.

Hiring programmers with a take-home test – David Heinemeier Hansson

Take-home test is a contentious topic where people take an ideological stance. But idealism has to meet pragmatism at work. As a hiring manager, you have to get enough signal through a process acceptable to both the team and the candidates. Maybe, if you are a famed company, you may be able to get away with a more stringent interview process. But a high-quality candidate may not appreciate the extra effort your process takes.

Terminology: it’s not black and white – British National Cyber Security Centre

I am pleasantly surprised by this announcement. I never expected a government agency (especially a cybersecurity agency) to eagerly update their policies to promote a more equal, accepting environment for all.

Business 💸

Impact of COVID-19 Crisis – Startup Genome Project

Since the beginning of the crisis 74% of startups have had to terminate full-time employees. 39% of all startups had to lay off 20% or more of their staff, and 26% had to let go 60% of employees or more.

The numbers speak for themselves.

The Burn Multiple – David Sacks

The Burn Multiple is defined as Net Burn (spent investment dollars) divided by Net New ARR (revenue growth) and can be used to show the efficiency of growth. Even if you are not a founder, the efficiency of your company will matter in this business climate, as shown above.