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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


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

@xtremelabs


@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Background

  • Waterloo Comp Sci/ElecEng

  • U of T MBA – Financial Engineering

  • Trilogy

  • Celestica

  • Microsoft

  • Achievers (!)

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Agenda

  • Freedom vs. Frameworks

  • How to work

  • Career advice

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Disclaimer

Source: The Black Swan

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Freedom vs. Frameworks

  • But first, a story…..

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


  • ROWE

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Multitasking is a fail

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Parkinson’s Law rules

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Agile

  • Daily standups (company, platform, team)

  • Pivotal tracker

  • DL

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Ship every week

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Map

  • Mastery

    • pairing

  • Autonomy

    • No micro managing

  • Purpose

    • Working on stuff being used by millions of people

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Physical Space

  • In-office vs. WFH

    • Breakfast hacks

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

  • Great machines + fast internet

  • Location

@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. 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. Frameworks

  • Approvals

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

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


How to work

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


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

  • Wed social

  • 3:3 lunches

  • Friday social

  • Team events

    • Batman!

  • Interns

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Pairing (2:1 Ratio)

  • Agile everything

  • Pairing all the time

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


  • “Being busy is a form of laziness”

@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


  • Democracy vs. dooacracy or decisions over deliberation

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


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

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Career Imprinting

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

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Deep over broad

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Strengths over Weaknesses

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Smart over dumb

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Low-information diet

  • Stop reading temporal information (HBR still relevant)

  • Reading hierarchy

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Air traffic control

  • I know less than you do

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Does it work?

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Span of control

  • Average is 8

  • 150 engineers

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


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

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

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

  • “Uh… wow?” – Brad Feld

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Thank you and we’re hiring 

Ask me anything:

@fnthwar / [email protected]

@fnthawar

@xtremelabs


Work at Achievers

achievers.com/careers

[email protected]

@achieverstech


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