A crash course on what to expect if I'm your tech lead
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Permalink
Failed to load latest commit information.
LICENSE.md Initial commit Mar 9, 2018
README.md Pull some of this out into an onboarding doc Jul 10, 2018
maximus.jpg Re-add image Jul 10, 2018

README.md

Hi, I'm Molly

I'm looking forward to getting to know you! This document is not intended to replace or override the relationship and mutual understanding we will build as we work together. Its intention is to give you an idea of how I think and how I work.

My role as a tech lead

TL;DR: I am here to make sure our team is successful, happy, and working on the things that are most important to help our customers, improve our product, and improve our business. More granularly:

  1. I am here to make sure you are both successful and happy: I want you to improve your technical skills, grow your career, enjoy your work, and believe in both our team's and our company's mission.
  2. I am here to make sure our team is successful and pointed in the right direction. You might hear Dharmesh talking about aligning vectors: I am here to make sure our team is all aligned and pushing in the same direction.
  3. I am here to make sure our team is getting what we need from other teams, and that other teams are getting what they need from us; I'm also here to help make sure we are working on the right things, which is not necessarily everything we're asked to do.
  4. I write some code too!

These are in approximate order of importance. If you are not successful and happy, our team is not successful (or happy). If our team is struggling, writing code will most likely not be my top priority.

Additionally: My job is not to tell you exactly what to do and how to do it. It is also not to be the "official decision maker" for our team. When I asked some other people for feedback on this README, one asked about this point, and then said something I thought was poignant: "I am accountable for the decisions the team make, even if I’m not the one making them most of the time."

I might have thoughts on your code, and I expect you to have thoughts on mine. In the end, you own your code and if you have a good reason for doing something, you should do it; "use good judgment" is a key part of the HubSpot culture, and it applies to code as much as everything else.

Feedback

If you have feedback for me, please give it. It could be something you liked and would like to see more of, something you thought I could do better, something you thought I totally screwed up, or something that doesn't fit in any of these categories. Even if you think it might not be the case, I do want to hear it. And if you think I don't want to hear it, I'd love to hear why you feel that way.

If you can give me this feedback in-person, I'd prefer that. If you're only comfortable kicking off a discussion with an email or a Slack message, I would rather you do that than not bring it up at all.

If you're not comfortable giving me this feedback yourself, I'd love for you to give it to someone above me in the management chain so they can anonymously relay it to me and I can work on it.

Similarly, if you have feedback for a team member, I encourage you to give it to them directly; if you're not comfortable doing so, please feel free to relay it to me to pass along.

If you want to give direct feedback but aren't sure how or aren't comfortable doing so, let me know and we can talk through it.

Schedule

I am usually in the office between 11am and 6pm. I am often in the office earlier or later, but with some exceptions these tend to be the hours you can count on finding me. I do usually work from home once or twice a week (more on that later) and I often will head home around 5:30 or 6 and continue working from home after I get dinner going.

I prefer to do one-on-ones in person if possible, so if you need to work from home on a day we're scheduled for a one-on-one and rescheduling is an option, please let me know so I can reschedule it, or reschedule it yourself during an open slot in my calendar.

One-on-ones

I will put thirty minutes on your calendar each week for a one-on-one. If you need more time, let me know and I will adjust. I will probably schedule our first one-on-one for an hour just to be sure we have time to go over the team mission and other introductory things; don't feel the need to prepare for it.

One-on-ones are your time. I will probably have some things to discuss with you, but this is first and foremost your opportunity to let me know how you're doing, what you need, what you wish could be different, how you feel about our team and your teammates, what your career goals are... etc. These are for the conversations you might not necessarily have with me when we're sitting at our desks amongst coworkers. If you'd like to give me a brief status update on things you're working on or that you're stuck on, that is fine with me, but those are generally better-suited to a quick chat while I'm at my desk, an @ on a Github issue, a Slack message, or a separate meeting.

I encourage you to write down some things throughout the week that you want to chat about if you think that will help; it can be hard to think of or bring up things in the moment. If you have things you want to talk about but struggle with bringing them up, feel free to send me a vague agenda ahead of time. If you don't know what to talk about, say so. We can use that as a topic.

These are some interesting articles I've read about one-on-ones, though I don't necessarily agree with all of the points: 1, 2. If you have thoughts on either, that might make a good topic to include in a one-on-one.

Performance

I will give you feedback on how you're doing in our one-on-ones. If I'm worried about your performance, I will let you know. If you worry that I'm worried about your performance, please let me know.

If you need something

Some weeks, my schedule can be pretty full. Other weeks it's not so bad. If you need to chat, you have a few options.

  1. Snag me at my desk. An important thing to know about me: if I have headphones on, it does not mean I am "in the zone" or expect not to be interrupted (I'm probably just enjoying some music). Feel free to grab my attention (preferably by waving in my periphery or tapping my desk—I get a little startled sometimes if someone unexpectedly taps me 😐) If I'm about to have to run off for a meeting or somesuch, I'll let you know and figure out a better time to chat.
  2. Slack me or email me. Even if you want an in-person meeting, just message me to let me know you want to talk and I'll make time. If you would rather talk about something over email or message, that's fine too.
  3. Throw something on my calendar. If I am scheduled for an interview or something else I can't reschedule and you invite me to a meeting, I may chat with you and reschedule. If you see that I've blocked off the day as a "meeting-free day", that does not apply to you—it's more to discourage folks from scheduling non-urgent meetings that day that could be scheduled otherwise. If you need to talk, schedule over this as much as you need.

If I'm working from home, you can expect me to be as available as I would be if I was in the office. Although it may feel weird to schedule a brief Zoom meeting when you'd normally just swing by my desk for five minutes, please do so without hesitation if you think chatting face-to-face or screen-sharing will be more useful than textual communication.

My interests

Here are some things I love. If you ever want to strike up casual conversation and don't know what to talk about, these are good bets 😃

  • Animals. I volunteer in cat rescue and often foster cats and kittens. You'll inevitably hear about Max (Maximus if you're fancy), a former foster cat of mine who is now my permanent cat. I love dogs as well, and I try to meet and get to know as many office dogs as I can. If you see a dog in the office, I'm always excited to hear who's visiting or to go on a walk to go pet an office dog.

Max

  • Cooking and baking. I love trying new recipes and new cooking techniques. I always want to hear about new recipes you've tried or want to try, or just chat about cooking and baking in general.

  • Tabletop games. I'm a big fan of Dungeons and Dragons, and I love D&D streams and podcasts like The Adventure Zone and Critical Role. I also played Shadowrun waaay back in the day, but that was a disaster.

  • Fiber arts. I love to knit, and usually have two or three projects going at a time. I've also dabbled in cross-stitching, though I haven't picked it up recently.

  • (A subset of) video games. I love playing video games but can't play first-person or over-the-shoulder games because they make me motion sick. Still, I love to play games like Stardew Valley, Cook! Serve! Delicious! (1 and 2), Rimworld, Don't Starve, Oxygen Not Included, and others.

Diversity, and also my schedule

Diversity and inclusion are extremely important to me. I would not necessarily mention this in my README, except that it ties in a bit with my schedule: I choose to work from home at least once a week (or occasionally for half-days) because it helps me manage my anxiety disorder, which I prefer to be open about. This will not affect our working relationship–I will be available on Slack, email, Github, or video calls regardless of whether I am in the office or not.

Caveat

Take this document with a grain of salt: I wrote it! I have never experienced having me as a manager. If I'm your TL and something here seems off, open a pull request or issue, or (probably more comfortably) bring it up to me in one-on-one or over Slack.