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Achievers Farhan Thawar, VP Engineering January 23rd, 2013 @ fnthawar @ xtremelabs PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Achievers Farhan Thawar, VP Engineering January 23rd, 2013 @ fnthawar @ xtremelabs. 300 -> 436 Members. meetup.com/ achieverstech achievers.com/tech. The world ’ s top brands partner with us to prototype and develop outstanding mobile, tablet and smart TV experiences. @ fnthawar

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Achievers Farhan Thawar, VP Engineering January 23rd, 2013 @ fnthawar @ xtremelabs

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Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

  • Achievers

  • Farhan Thawar, VP Engineering

  • January 23rd, 2013

  • @fnthawar @xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

300 -> 436 Members

meetup.com/achieverstech

achievers.com/tech


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

The world’s top brands partner with us to prototype and develop outstanding mobile, tablet and smart TV experiences

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Background

Background

  • Waterloo Comp Sci/ElecEng

  • U of T MBA – Financial Engineering

  • Trilogy

  • Celestica

  • Microsoft

  • Achievers (!)

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Agenda

Agenda

  • Freedom vs. Frameworks

  • How to work

  • Career advice

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Disclaimer

Disclaimer

Source: The Black Swan

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Freedom vs frameworks

Freedom vs. Frameworks

  • But first, a story…..

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

  • ROWE

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

Multitasking is a fail

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

Parkinson’s Law rules

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Agile

Agile

  • Daily standups (company, platform, team)

  • Pivotal tracker

  • DL

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Ship every week

Ship every week

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

Map

  • Mastery

    • pairing

  • Autonomy

    • No micro managing

  • Purpose

    • Working on stuff being used by millions of people

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Physical space

Physical Space

  • In-office vs. WFH

    • Breakfast hacks

  • Sit close together vs. offices (Joel and 37Signals)

  • Great machines + fast internet

  • Location

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

Higher-order Choices

Lower-order Choices

4a) Means as: Formulation vs. Implementation

  • Formulate decisions

  • Brain

  • Head up hierarchy

  • Sell to get “buy-in”

  • Create control procedures

Leaders

Rank & File

  • Implement decisions

  • Arms and legs

  • Work in hierarchy

  • Get “bought-in”

  • Get controlled

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Freedom vs frameworks1

Freedom vs. Frameworks

  • Flat hierarchy

    • Well not that flat now…..but, few approvals

  • Responsibility not accountability

    • “Accountability is what’s left once responsibility has been subtracted” – PasiSahlberg

    • “Tight controls cause blowups” – NasimTaleb

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Freedom vs frameworks2

Freedom vs. Frameworks

  • Approvals

    • “You should feel the dangers and stressors” – NasimTaleb

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


How to work

How to work

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


At a high level

At a high level

  • “Managers create work for each other” – Tim Burns

  • No Policies (rework)

  • 1:1’s

  • Faster to talk to someone than email/phone/IM

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Socials

Socials

  • Wed social

  • 3:3 lunches

  • Friday social

  • Team events

    • Batman!

  • Interns

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Pairing 2 1 ratio

Pairing (2:1 Ratio)

  • Agile everything

  • Pairing all the time

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

  • “Being busy is a form of laziness”

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

1.Consider options and make decision, informing other party subsequently

2.Provide options to other party along with own recommendation on choice

3.Generate options for other party and ask other party to make choice

4.Describe a problem to other party and ask for specific help in structuring it

5.Ask other party to solve problem, but make it clear you will watch and learn for next time

6.Drop problem on other party’s desk and signal helplessness

Responsibility Ladder

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

  • Democracy vs. dooacracy or decisions over deliberation

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


How to work1

How to Work

  • Remove processes

    • “Let process be implemented by those who practice it” – Yishan Wong, first Facebook Eng Manager

  • The great decider!

  • Fight fires/sales calls/unblock engineers (or anyone else)

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Career advice

Career Advice

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Career imprinting

Career Imprinting

  • “Where you work early in your career shapes the kind of leader you become later on” - HBR

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

Deep over broad

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

Strengths over Weaknesses

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

Smart over dumb

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

Low-information diet

  • Stop reading temporal information (HBR still relevant)

  • Reading hierarchy

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Air traffic control

Air traffic control

  • I know less than you do

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Does it work

Does it work?

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Span of control

Span of control

  • Average is 8

  • 150 engineers

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Stats

Stats

  • Can hire 60+ coops from Waterloo in first round (get more resumes than FB, MSFT, Twitter, Apple, Square, Yelp, Foursquare)

  • Low attrition

  • Always outrun other teams

  • Less hero syndrome

  • More female engineers (17%)

  • Happy people

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Quotes

Quotes

  • “You guys are doing something amazing” – Fred Wilson

  • “I’ve never seen this before in the valley” – YogenDalal

  • “Uh… wow?” – Brad Feld

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

Thank you and we’re hiring 

Ask me anything:

@fnthwar / [email protected]

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Achievers farhan thawar vp engineering january 23rd 2013 fnthawar xtremelabs

Work at Achievers

achievers.com/careers

[email protected]

@achieverstech


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