Philipp Hauer's Blog

Java Ecosystem, Kotlin, Engineering Management, Sociology of Software Development

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Better Performance Reviews for Developers with a Skill Matrix

Posted on Feb 16, 2022

Better Performance Reviews for Developers with a Skill Matrix

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.

Leveling Up in the Management Skill Tree

Posted on Jun 14, 2021

Leveling Up in the Management Skill Tree

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!

Team Manager's Toolkit for 1-on-1s

Posted on Dec 7, 2020

Team Manager's Toolkit for 1-on-1s

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.

Improving Feedback Flows in Organizations with 'Complete Peer Feedback'

Posted on Feb 5, 2020

Improving Feedback Flows in Organizations with 'Complete Peer Feedback'

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.

Effective Staff Appraisals with Employee Journey Maps

Posted on Nov 19, 2019

Effective Staff Appraisals with Employee Journey Maps

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.

Code Review Guidelines for Humans

Posted on Jul 31, 2018

Code Review Guidelines for Humans

Code reviews are powerful means to improve the code quality, establish best practices and to spread knowledge. However, code reviews can come to nothing or harm interpersonal relations when they are done wrong. Hence, it’s important to pay attention to the human aspects of code reviews. Code reviews require a certain mindset and phrasing techniques to be successful. This post provides both the author and the reviewer with a compass for navigating through a constructive, effective and respectful code review.