I recently read a great article by Gergely Orosz called “What Silicon Valley “Gets” about Software Engineers that Traditional Companies Do Not”, and in it he makes a few points that really resonated with me as an engineering leader:

  • Treat engineers as “Curious problem solvers, not mindless resources”
  • Engineers need “Exposure to the business and to business metrics”
  • “SV-like companies think of engineers as value generators, and creative problem solvers. Traditional companies think of them as factory workers.”

When I think back on the very best teams I’ve managed over the years — the ones where we got the most…


Most web application developers reach for the tried and tested approach of fetching data from their API right when they need it, and they don’t give an offline-first approach the consideration it deserves. Perhaps that’s because working offline is generally thought of as a specific feature and that it’s not necessarily applicable or appropriate for a wide variety of applications. However, there’s a lot to be gained from going offline-first, even if your app isn’t the “typical” offline application. Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll feel like you’re better equipped to answer if working offline-first is right for your app.

First things first — what do we mean by “offline-first”?


Building an awesome editor for your React-based web application is by no means easy. But with SlateJS things get much easier. Even with the help of Slate, building a full-featured editor is way more work than we can cover in one blog post, so this post will give you the big picture and subsequent posts will dive into the dirty details.

Note: this post is based on a recent talk at the JavaScript NYC meetup. You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLjx67aNEMI

SlateJS

We’re building Kitemaker, a new, fast, and highly collaborative alternative to issue trackers like Jira, Trello, and Clubhouse…


Let’s face it — sometimes CSS can be a pig. You need to learn the magic incantations, carefully follow the phases of the moon, and pray that everything will be ok if you just try every possible permutation of the flexbox properties.

But that’s not what this post is about. This post isn’t about the pain that can come from getting CSS do your bidding, this post is about the pain that comes from trying to scale CSS in a large project. …


At Kitemaker, we’re firm believers in the fact that the single best way to get your team to perform better is to get them to collaborate more closely. Teams that start together and work collaboratively across functions (engineers, product managers, designers, analysts, etc.) work more efficiently and produce better products.

As a manager, one of the most important things you can do is to work as a facilitator for creative debate within your team. By ensuring that ideas are properly debated, you make sure that all points of view are heard, and you give your team confidence in the decisions…


I’ve been managing teams of engineers for a number of years and during that time, I’ve spent a lot of time helping my team members with their personal development. Inevitably, these discussions also very often cause me to perform a lot of self-reflection. One thing that I find very frequently both in the teams I’ve managed and in myself is a particular form of procrastination — failure to just get started. Once I’m able to get rolling on something, I can spend hours burning through code and completely forget all distractions. …

Kevin Simons

CTO @Kitemaker (https://kitemaker.co)

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