weeknotes 15

feedback culture


I made my way through some of the backlog of games I had. A Short Hike was really lovely, if a bit surprizingly abrupt in its ending. I also finally played Inside, which was a masterclass in teaching mechanics through gameplay and environmental hints. I’ve started playing Ashen, a souls-like with more of a narrative and without the difficulty cliff. I’ve also started playing Borderlands again to scratch some of the FPS itch.


I cleaned out my inbox (~600 to 9). Beyond a bunch of spam, calendar invitations that people insist on replying to instead of declining (and bypassing filters), I also rediscovered some unsolicited feedback for one of the people I manage, which gave me some good feels.

reading lists

I struggle with mounting piles of things that look like interesting reading that I need to get out of my field of attention, but not forever. If I bookmark things, I never remember to look at the bookmarks. If I use an RSS reader, I forget it exists. If I use email, they either clutter up my inbox or vanish into a label.

I think what I want is something that automatically pops open a browser tab with a random thing from my reading list every day, and asks me if I’m done with it, otherwise it stays in the list (in case I don’t actually read it). To make this actually useful, I think it probably needs to pull from a browser bookmarks folder and an email label / folder, or the friction of adding something to the list will mean I won’t use it…

reading time

I have utterly failed to keep up reading time… We have a dxw book club next week, and I haven’t started (again). I guess that’s my weekend planned?

leaddev together

The tech leadership team have signed up to LeadDev Together. The first session was this week on supporting and managing people. Specifically, coaching, sponsorship, and feedback.

I found it really useful. It highlighted some of the things I think I’m good at doing (sponsorship), as well as some of the things I know I’m not so good at (shutting up and coaching instead of jumping to advising). It also highlighted and prompted a conversation for how and why we should encourage a strong culture of continuous feedback at dxw.

I’m going to start asking people that I manage about the feedback they’ve given and received in the week in our 1:1s, and if they’d like any help giving better feedback. Hopefully this will both encourage them to give feedback (and others by osmosis), but also help them get better at it.

hiring questions

We’ve been doing a lot of recruiting at dxw recently, and it’s made me think about what makes a good interview question and what makes a good review guide for it. It essentially boils down to starting with the skills or activities of the job, asking questions about the approach, not historical events, and having an objective scoring metric that describes the scoring levels by describing qualities of answers rather than specifying things that need to be mentioned. I’ll probably write a blog post about it at some point.