Episode 20 wraps up our second season of the Scaling Tech Podcast! Every 10 episodes, Arin and David will do a recap episode of lessons learned from our guests. In this special episode of the Scaling Tech Podcast, we review some of our favorite clips from episodes 11-19. In this episode, we share favorite clips with our guests covering topics such as remote agile teams, hiring, team culture & leadership, nearshoring, DevOps, changing teams, and engineering management.
If you are new to the Scaling Tech Podcast, this episode will provide a quick way for you to get a sense of our recent guests from Season Two, and you can also refer back to our previous recap of Season One linked to below. You can use the links below to find the show notes and links for each of these episodes for the guests and topics you want to explore next!
We’ll be back in Q3 of 2023 with more episodes and fantastic guests on the Scaling Tech Podcast!
Watch the video:
Show notes with links to jump ahead are below
Show Notes from Episode 20 – Lessons Learned and Season Two Recap
Timestamp links will open that part of the show in YouTube in a new window
- 00:00 Introduction David and Arin talk about the milestone of reaching 20 episodes of the Scaling Tech Podcast, and how much they have enjoyed recording these episodes and meeting so many excellent authors and experts in engineering management.
- 03:22 Episode 11 – Tricia Rhodes on Recruiting and Employee Experience The clip shared from Tricia Rhodes is about SingleStone Consulting’s recruiting philosophy of Attitude, Aptitude, and Skills. Arin and David talk about how this is an example of strong recruiting techniques to address the talent scarcity problem in software development. Recruiting experienced engineers is important, but companies also need to consider ways to recruit those with a lot of potential, and how to train and mentor them in the specific skills needed.
- 09:07 Episode 12 – Johanna Rothman On Going From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams The clips shared from Johanna’s episode talks about the importance of letting teams design their own working agreements. Leaders need to empower their teams to work well remotely, and in the episode with Johanna we talked about different patterns for remote teams like the Nebula and Cluster patterns, and how you should structure teams. David talks about how remote work and agile go well together because agile allows for the different contexts that a team may work in.
- 15:24 Episode 13 – Gustavo Razzetti On Remote Not Distant Gustavo talked about team culture in a remote work environment in his episode, and in the shared quote he discusses how important it is to have a culture that allows for learning and curiousity instead of finger pointing. David talks about how he felt that Gustavo’s definition of culture was very important, and Arin and David talk about their takeaway from this episode how important it is to consciously design your culture instead of just letting ith happen.
- 21:28 Episode 14 – Bob Payne On Has Agile Lost the Plot? Bob Payne and Arin worked together many years ago when Arin was early in his coaching career, and with David they all discuss their early experiences as Agile coaches. Bob talks about how agile consultants have too often drifted away from the experimentation inherent in agile methods and become too dogmatic. Arin talks about how when he leads a grad school seminar on agile management, he starts with an exercise to help teams understand the importance of working in small batch sizes and releasing frequently – if you do those, then you are agile. Agile methods should be guideposts and a set of tools, and we should not be dogmatic.
- 29:55 Episode 15 – Kirk Laughlin on Nearshoring We play a clip from Kirk’s episode where David and Kirk talk about their experiences with price in nearshoring and the technology talent scarcity problem. David expands on that thought in his episode summary, talking about how the impact of the pandemic and the growth of AI technology is levelling the playing field for software developers globally.
- 40:32 Episode 16 – Keith Townsend on Modernizing Legacy Infrastructure Keith Townsend talks about his work as a CTO Advisor in this episode, and in this clip he shares his views on the impact of AI on DevOps skills. Keith worries that if we become too dependent on tools like ChatGPT, then how do we develop the detailed skills necessary in DevOps? Arin and David talk about how AI is likely to impact DevOps tooling such as production monitoring or code review tools, and they agree that this is an area we can expect to see a lot of competition in the future.
- 49:14 Episode 17 – Chris Dyer on Remote Leadership Chris joined us in Episode 17 to discuss how to lead teams remotely, and in this clip he talks about the importance of trusting your teams, because people don’t respond well if they feel micromanaged. “What you focus on, grows.” Focus on trust if you want trust to grow. Arin also mentioned how in the full episode Chris talks about mentoring your highest and lowest performers (but intentionally not mentoring the middle performers), and how he uses personality assessments in hiring. David also liked how Chris talked about the research on employee motivation and Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose (from Daniel Pink’s book “Drive”).
- 54:04 Episode 18 – Heidi Helfand on Dynamic Reteaming Change is a constant in all teams, and Heidi spoke with us about how to make that reality into a competitive advantage in your teams. In the quote shared, Heidi talks about the risks of trying to spread knowledge in an organization by breaking up a team of high performers. Arin and David found her book very interesting because of how it deals with a topic that many consultants prefer to avoid, which is the best way to restructure a team when it’s size changes.
- 1:00:27 Episode 19 – Will Larson on Systems of Engineering Management In the final episode of the season, Arin and David spoke with Will Larson about a range of topics from Staff Engineers to how to learn to a good Engineering Leader. In the clip played from that episode, Will talks about the role of being a Staff Engineer, and how he wanted to convey in his book that being a Staff Engineer is not just about working on cool problems and avoiding people – in fact, most technical problems are really people problems and so a Staff Engineer has to help the organization problem solve the human and technical aspects of an issue.
- 1:07:20 Conclusion Arin and David wrap up this episode and Season Two by talking about how AI may impact our field and even making a podcast. Thanks to all of our listeners, and if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the Scaling Tech podcast on Apple, Spotify and YouTube to keep up to date with our upcoming interviews!
Links from Episode 20 – Lessons Learned and Season Two Recap
- Episode 11 Tricia Rhodes on Recruiting and Employee Experience
- Episode 12 Johanna Rothman On Going From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams
- Episode 13 Gustavo Razzetti On Remote Not Distant
- Episode 14 Bob Payne On Has Agile Lost the Plot?
- Episode 15 Kirk Laughlin on Nearshoring
- Episode 16 Keith Townsend on Modernizing Legacy Infrastructure
- Episode 17 Chris Dyer on Remote Leadership
- Episode 18 Heidi Helfand on Dynamic Reteaming
- Episode 19 Will Larson on Systems of Engineering Management