Good performance reviews should be as fair and objective as possible, communicate expectations clearly, and point out concrete areas of improvement. For this, we use a skill matrix as a systematic assessment tool containing skills tailored to the role of a software developer. This post is a hands-on guide to applying a skill matrix in practice.
Management is not something you “just do intuitively” and it will work out by itself. Instead, management is a craft that you can - and should - learn. It’s about knowing the right tools and approaches and learning skills that help you to lead a productive, happy and motivated team. In this post, we visualize these skills as a “Skill Tree” like in a video game. Have a look. It will be fun and insightful!
Last week I hold my talk “How to Mess Up Code Reviews” at a virtual meetup of the JUG Saxony. In this post, you can find the slides (English) and the recording (German) of my talk.
Especially in bigger teams, establishing and maintaining a common standard for software development is important and challenging. At the same time, it’s crucial to involve the whole team in the creation of the standard to ensure its acceptance and high quality. In this post, I present our approach for this: The regular meeting “Tech Talk” and the team guide.
1-1s are the most important tool for every team manager. If done right, 1-1s can support the report to grow, to become and stay happy, motivated, and productive. However, you need a certain toolkit for 1-1s. This toolkit contains different 1-1 types, records, questions, personal notes, journey maps, and software that can be applied in practice.
During Corona time and short-time work, I appreciated the uninterrupted time to focus on my work at the home office. I felt productive and got things done. For the post-corona time, we can learn from this and establish practices that allow all coworkers to have longer stretches of uninterrupted time. This post is a collection of individual, organizational and cultural approaches to achieve this.
A popular approach is packaging by technical concerns. But this approach has some drawbacks. Instead, we can package by feature and create self-contained and independent packages. The result is a codebase that is easier to understand and less error-prone.
There are some principles in software development that I always try to keep in mind. They guide me when I’m in danger of heading in the wrong direction. That’s why I printed those principles and hung them on a wall in our office. In this post, I share this subjective set of quotes with you. There is also a PDF for download available.
Traditional hierarchy-based feedback flows are limited as they don’t consider the useful feedback of peers. To improve this, I suggest a “Complete Peer Feedback” session: All team members come together and share their appreciation and growth potential for their peers. In this post, I present our experiences with this approach, why we are enthusiastic about it and how you can adopt it.
Employee journey maps are a tool for preparing and structuring staff appraisals. They trigger reflection processes and reveal the employee’s motivation. Moreover, they can lead to interesting insights as they compare the different perceptions of the participants. And the best is: You only need two sheets of paper and a pencil.