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Hitting the right level of abstraction

Have you ever walked away after someone explained something to you, and you had a big question mark over your head? Maybe the explanation was chaotic, disorganized, and was mixing multiple levels of abstraction. We will examine this phenomenon in more detail

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Reaching mass consensus: Creating a new seating chart

Since I work at a rapidly growing company, I am used to switching desks quite regularly. It seems that wherever we move, we outgrow the office space faster than the dust can settle on our screens. In my three years with trivago, my team (and most others) moved seats six or seven times. Actually, the most recent period of not moving was unusually long, with us staying in the same space for 10 full months.

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Enhancing Strengths

A while back, I saw the great talk by former twitter Director of Engineering David Loftesness, The Engineer-to-Manager Transition, and one thing that stuck with me was his advice to “enhance strengths rather than fixing weaknesses”. A little more research shows that David is not the only one recommending this strategy. Several leadership consultants give similar advice on the topic, and state that employees who know about their strengths, and can use them regularly on their jobs, are more motivated and more productive.

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Spreading People Management Skills

People skills are useful for everyone

Eric Elliott has a point when he says “The best way to be a 10x developer is to help 5 other developers be 2x developers”. The same thought can, to some degree, be transferred to people management: “The best way to be an effective people manager is to help others develop and use some people management skills.”

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