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A Jump Start Into Software Engineering Recruiting

So, you stumbled into recruiting? How did that happen? Just yesterday, you were a software developer happily rampaging around in your code base, and today you learn that you get to pick who will join the team in the future? Scary? Don’t worry, somebody obviously trusts you to be up to the task, and, since you are reading this, you are also a conscientious person who wants to do the job right and honour the trust bestowed on you. […]

Verbalize Your Thoughts

This is my tenth post for this blog, so I thought some reflection would be all right. Originally, I started blogging to write about things I had been thinking about for some time. I wanted to provide value to the readers, because otherwise these readers would not come back after their first or second visit. Moreover, though, I was writing for myself - to better explore my thoughts, convictions, and beliefs. To sharpen my reasoning, and compare my standpoint to that of others. […]

Don't Sacrifice Your Maker Time

As a first-time manager, I wanted to be approachable to - well, basically everybody in general, but my direct reports in particular. I had the feeling that there was some management debt lingering around and most people were clearly under-managed and under-mentored, so the last thing I wanted to do is proceed as things had always been. With some coordinative tasks on my desk and considerable involvement in recruiting, I had not been coding for more than 50% of my time even before that. When I was promoted to a people management position, however, it became even less very quickly. Soon, I was fully in “management mode” and my only exposure to code was a code review here and there. […]

Book Review: Actionable Agile Metrics For Predictability

Because finding good ways to develop software in a rapidly growing company is a complex problem with many tradeoffs, I am always interested in best practices and real-world examples. This is how I stumbled upon the book Actionable Agile Metrics For Predictability by Daniel S. Vacanti. I was thoroughly surprised! […]

Should You Hire by Committee or Should You Not?

I have been involved in recruiting at trivago for two years now, and, during that time, I have read a lot of articles in order to improve and refine my skills in that area. Each article added a little bit of knowledge, some new thoughts, or some new set of questions to use in interviews. However, recently, I came across an article that made me think more and deeper than others, because it touched one of the core principles I thought a recruiting process should follow - and the author definitely has a point. […]

Recruiting Advice From First, Break All the Rules

I have finally read First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham, which teaches a lot about how each person has a unique set of talents you should leverage rather than work against. Additionally, it offers some interesting advice on how to reveal these talents in job interviews. […]

Good ad-hoc reports

In my previous post, I wrote about hitting the right level of abstraction, especially when giving spoken, ad-hoc reports. While getting the abstraction level right makes a report more understandable and digestible, it is not quite enough. Let’s look at the example from the previous article once more: […]

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 […]

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. […]

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. […]