Blog of Rob Galanakis (@techartistsorg)

career

On choosing software by “what is best for the business”

When people are discussing what language/framework/library to use for something, the general criteria people talk about is “what best solves the business problem.” This criteria is used to justify rewriting backend services in Go, rather than sticking with Python. Or not. It’s used explain why you wrote a new...

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Could employees choose their own manager?

Someone once brought up to me a plan about enabling employees to choose their own manager. The idea has stuck with me for a while, and being in my current position of authority I’ve pondered it more actively. I’ll use this post to collect my thoughts, and maybe present...

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More effective interviews

David Smith over at baleful.net makes some interesting points about the length of most interviews: So mathematically, you will most likely get the highest confidence interval with: 1) Resume screen, 2) Phone interview, 3) In-person interviews 1-3. From the above, this should represent about 50% of the total causes,...

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First, do no harm

From a wonderful post by Matt Williams about the type of business he is looking for: A Business Manifesto We are uncovering better ways of running a business and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value: – People and interactions over profits and prestige...

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If you hear “perception is reality” you’re probably being screwed

I was once told in a performance review that “perception is reality.” I was infuriated, and the words stuck in my mind as the most toxic thing a manager could say to an employee. I have avoided writing about it, but the “This American Life” episode about Carmen Segarra’s...

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Keeping talented employees

I saw a tweet the other day about the eight things that keep talented employees: Talented employees stay when they're: 1 paid well 2 mentored 3 challenged 4 inspired 5 empowered 6 appreciated 7 on a mission 8 having fun — Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) August 17, 2014 I’m normally not a fan of reducing human behavior to...

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Escaping the Windows prison

My friend Brad Clark over at Rigging Dojo is organizing a course on Maya’s C++ API (I am assuming it is Maya but could be another program). He had a question about student access to Visual Studio, to which I responded: @riggingdojo I cannot imagine doing a worse disservice...

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The low status of software engineers

A couple weeks ago I read an article by Michael Church titled “How the Other Half Works: an Adventure in the Low Status of Software Engineers“. It is the story of Bill, who had two very different experiences interviewing for two different positions at two different companies: one as...

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A manager’s primary job is to build trust

While interviewing for my new position at Cozy, I was repeatedly asked what the job of an Engineering Manager is.* By the end of the day, I had decided (for myself, anyway) that the most important job of an Engineering Manager** is building trust. Senior engineers must trust you....

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Portland, here we come!

Tomorrow, my family leaves on a four day trip to begin a new life in Portland, OR, as the Engineering Manager at real-estate startup www.cozy.co. I am incredibly excited to join the company for all sorts of reasons (the role, product, team, founders, location, pretty much everything). It’ll also...

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