Although it can be easy to know if you’ve messed up badly as a manager, it’s not always as easy to know if you’re doing a good job. In particular, the power dynamics at play can make it hard for people on your team to feel confident letting you know what’s working well and what’s working not so well. In this article, I’m going to talk about an approach I started using in the last few years that seems to strike the best balance of getting the input managers need while still promoting a healthy culture of direct feedback.
Almost every company accumulates tech debt as time goes on. Tight deadlines, changing requirements, scaling issues, poor or short-sighted system designs, knowledge silos, inconsistent coding practices, turnover of key staff — these things all happen and can contribute to tech debt. So what can be done about it once it’s there?
An absolutely crucial part of the experience of being an engineer at SoundCloud is learning and growing as a person. Pretty much everyone we hire mentions this aspect as one of their main motivations for joining the company. And while retaining highly talented and motivated people and helping them develop is naturally valuable for SoundCloud as a company, it’s also profoundly beneficial for the employees themselves.