Making the most of your manager, a talk by Katrina Clokie

One thing about being a manager yourself is that you can tend to forget that you have a manager, and that you need to practice the advice you might give to your own reports. This talk by Katrina Clokie is an excellent reminder of the value of maintaining a good working relationship with yours.

I was lucky enough to work and talk with Katrina for a couple of years and I’m so much the better for it. Katrina has a gift for framing things slightly differently than you’d expect, generally towards more effective outcomes and Making the most of your manager is a great example: it’s not about managing up, it’s about what you can do to make sure you have an effective advocate in the workplace.

Monday Links 19

Vicky Boykis on What should you use ChatGPT for?

What is clear to me is that we are in a new paradigm for the way we navigate content, whether through this model or other ones that are released soon. Upon prompting, the new universe gives us results, but those results are more directional vibes than concrete answers. It is up to us to figure out how to direct them in ways that we want for the best results and navigate the noise.

The print versions of Julia Evans’s Pocket Guide To Debugging look great. Buy some for folks you know who are learning to code, getting started in their careers, or, y’know, just need the help.

Double Fine PsychOdyssey

A new playlist appeared on Double Fine’s YouTube channel recently: all 30+ episodes documenting seven years of work to make Psychonauts 2. The documentary is called PsychOdyssey

I’m only a couple of episodes in, and it already has all the vibes of Double Fine Adventure, a documentay I watch every 18 months or so.

Here’s the blurb:

2 Player Productions and Double Fine Productions present Double Fine PsychOdyssey, an unprecedented documentary experience seven years in the making.

Ten years after the release of their flagship video game Psychonauts, Double Fine Productions returns to its most celebrated franchise with Psychonauts 2. Now facing the pressure to produce a worthy sequel, the studio must confront overly ambitious designs, poor morale, technical challenges and financial woes, all during a turbulent span of time for the world.

Double Fine PsychOdyssey is the direct continuation of the acclaimed series Double Fine Adventure, and offers even deeper insight into the passion, humor, and heartbreak of video game development.

Here’s the first episode, recapping the making and reception of the original Psychonauts

Cracking the cadence of your software engineering 1:1s

As is the tradition for New Zealand based managers are coming back from a summer break I’m looking at all of my practices and thinking about where I might be able to do better this year. This year I’ve landed on more effective 1:1s. I’m a fan of for topics like this and there are a wealth of resources about 1:1s there.

One video that I found particularly useful was a pancel discussion titled: Cracking the cadence of your software engineering 1:1s

The discussion is much more than just the scheduling (and every participant did something slightly different anyway)

  • do your 1:1s weekly
  • don’t skip, reschedule
  • have a shared notes page to help ensure you’re both aligned on the takeaways and action items
  • have a scorecard for yourself to assess the value and usefulness of your 1:1s
  • some, maybe many people don’t want to do 1:1s, you need to show the value - do that by paying attention and following up outside 1:1s
  • consider a non-regular schedule, especially if you have people you talk to who take more energy than others