38 episodes

A podcast to help great coders become skilled leaders, and build happy, high-performing software teams.

Programming Leadership Marcus Blankenship

    • Careers

A podcast to help great coders become skilled leaders, and build happy, high-performing software teams.

    Leadership Strategies from Nature with Dr. Kathleen Allen

    Leadership Strategies from Nature with Dr. Kathleen Allen

    What can nature teach us about how to get the most from our organizations? In this episode, Marcus welcomes Dr. Kathleen Allen to discuss changing our perspectives of assigning roles within teams and organizations to what she calls leading a “living systems”. Dr. Allen is the president of her consulting firm, Allen and Associates, and has written many articles and contributed to a variety of books, including The Transforming Leader: New Approaches to Leadership for the Twenty-first Century and Innovation in Environmental Leadership: Critical Perspectives. Her most recent book, Leading from the Roots: Nature-Inspired Leadership Lessons for Today’s World, is available now.
    Show Notes
    An alternative to reorganization (1:45)
    “We are human beings living and working in an environment, and when you have a collection of human beings, then your organization probably isn't an object, either. It's just that we're thinking that it's an object.” Dr. Allen (2:50)
    The “living systems” perspective (4:45)
    "Living systems are interdependent. They're not separate. And our job descriptions are designed and written to keep us separate from each other." Dr. Allen (9:00)
    Strategy comes from patterns rather than details. (13:00)
    "So the old leadership question is, what do I need to control? And the new leadership question of a living system is, what do I need to unleash?” Dr. Allen (16:45)
    Work with you as opposed to working for you (19:30)
    Empowering employees with a common shared goal versus controlling employees through management tactics (28:00)
    "Influence, not authority." Marcus (33:00)
    "It's the illusion of control and power. And that's what we're selling is the illusion. But nature doesn't have a CEO." Dr. Allen (36:30)
    Growing change versus making change (41:00)
    Kathleen Allen 
    A Beautiful Constraint
    Humble Inquiry 

    • 48 min
    The Art of Leadership with Michael Lopp

    The Art of Leadership with Michael Lopp

    How can you build trust as a leader? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Michael Lopp discuss the small practices that make a good leader. Listen to learn about building trust, respect, and relationships in a leadership role. 
    Show Notes
    Leadership practices are small things done repetitively over time. @2:29   
    Leadership is a skill. @3:32 
    Empathy is a powerful skillset. @5:17
    The practice of one on ones is important in connecting to a team. @6:44
    Asking for feedback can build trust and relationships. @9:04
    Respond to feedback with a thank you and follow up comprehension questions. @11:35
    Feedback is a gift. @18:04
    It's not personal, it's professional. @21:37
    Leadership is an outfit that you choose to wear for others to see. @25:41
    Managers tell you where you are, leaders tell you where you're going. @31:55
    "There is no substitute for enthusiasm."- Ken Beck @34:20
    Your peers become your allies. @36:51
    The Art of Leadership: Small Things, Done Well (Pre-Order)

    • 43 min
    Collaboration and Notqmail with Amitai Schleier

    Collaboration and Notqmail with Amitai Schleier

    On this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Amitai Schleier, discuss a new project Amitai is working on regarding reviving an old, but useful, open-source program called qmail. Strategy and collaboration on this project as well as how to manage a project of this nature are discussed. 
    Show Notes
    The ‘old’ project is called notqmail. @1:10 
    Last stable release was in 1998 then it was abandoned. @2:45 
    Elders decided to make some changes in 2007 and called it notqmail. @3:49 
    Amitai decided to revive this old C code. @7:16 
    He wanted to join together the other people still running with qmail or netqmail and collaborate to make the best modern version possible. @10:24 
    The best advice was to take everyone's add-ons and then his own and let the users decide which to implement to avoid egos. @14:04 
    Collaboration depends on the properties of the code being worked on. @16:51 
    Amitai put together individual persuasive invitations to get people to join his team. @24:19 

    • 30 min
    Becoming a Better Manager Means Starting with Yourself with Johanna Rothman

    Becoming a Better Manager Means Starting with Yourself with Johanna Rothman

    To be a modern manager, you must manage yourself first. In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Johanna Rothman discuss how you must learn to manage yourself to be effective at managing other people. They will discuss some common mistakes managers make and some important values to instill in yourself that will make you a better manager, such as integrity, vulnerability, and congruence.  
    Show Notes
    If we don't manage ourselves, we don't have the capability of managing other people. @2:42
    Micromanagement comes from fear and that fear is out of incongruence. @3:07
    Blame cuts off options and relationships. @8:25
    Admitting you're afraid and need help and being vulnerable is a sign of strength not a weakness. @13:48
    Take small steps in building trust. @15:28
    Value-based integrity consists of these 5 values: honesty, fairness, consistency, taking responsibility, and treating people with respect. @18:43
    Self-awareness is difficult, but often is as simple as asking people. @25:14
    ROTI (Returned on Time Invested) method for a meeting @27:29

    A challenge for technical managers is actually knowing how to do the work very well. @30:14
    Take control of your schedule to deal with the time pressure. @36:21

    • 41 min
    Rise of the Resilient Manager with Lara Hogan

    Rise of the Resilient Manager with Lara Hogan

    Are you a resilient manager? Do you want to become one? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Lara Hogan discuss what it means to be a resilient manager. She will discuss some effective management skills and thought processes. She will also introduce us to the idea of the manager Voltron. 
    Show Notes
     New manager care packages @1:00​
    Becoming a manager is scary for different reasons for everybody. @5:10 
    Management skills are the same across the board. @9:15
    At every stage of management, you start over with the same new feelings, new fears, and lack of internal barometer of success. @12:06
    It's okay to get comfortable and confident in what you know, but remember you're going to encounter new things. @14:01
    Build out your manager crew of support, a manager Voltron. @15:19
    Your Voltron should include people inside your company and people outside your company. @20:13
    Manager dens- where you can experience coaching, mentoring, and a safe space, Vegas rules session. @23:57
    Mentoring is sharing advice and perspective; coaching is helping someone come to their own conclusions. @25:56
    Coaching is what helps people grow. @26:26
    What are you optimizing for? @30:24
    Resilient management has to do with making sure your bucket of energy is healthy. @35:01
    When thinking about being cut out for management, it's about given the context, responsibility, and people you work with, does this work for you? @36:52
    Showing is better than telling. @39:41
    Wherewithall's Instagram 

    • 42 min
    Compassionate Coding with April Wensel

    Compassionate Coding with April Wensel

    ​Are you compassionate? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, April Wensel discuss compassion in technology and how it affects people. April shares how to become more compassionate as individuals and how we can bring more compassion into our organizations. Dive in to learn about a more compassionate future.
    Show Notes
    Compassion is about reducing suffering. @1:09​
    Compassion is what's missing in technology. @1:22
    Emotional intelligence ties into compassion. @4:36
    We're all hardwired for cruelty and compassion- it's our choice which we choose as humans. @5:44
    Everyone has the potential to practice compassion in daily life. @6:25
    To practice compassion, you must have empathy. @7:48
    Curiosity and inquiry are risks worth taking to show compassion. @8:23
    The four pillars of being a compassionate coder are compassion with yourself, with your coding and non-coding coworkers, with users, and with society. @11:58
    Organizations contribute to keeping uncompassionate patterns in place (higher pay and special treatment for coders for example). @18:01
    Everybody has the capacity to develop compassion; it's about how we direct our energy, time, and effort. @21:29
    Pausing, or taking a beat, to think is often the beginning of compassion. @25:20
    You need to operate at human speeds rather than machine speeds to be compassionate. @26:53
    Environments and working culture need to change in order to allow more compassion. @27:28
    Burnout is an indicator that there's been a lack of compassion somewhere in the organization. @27:48
    Compassion  is important in all relationships, especially with power dynamics. @28:53
    Open up to build relationships and communicate to learn what others are thinking and actually going through, instead of making snap judgments. @32:48
    Sponsor: Gitprime.com
    Website: Compassionatecoding.com
    April’s Twitter: @AprilWensel 
    Compassionate Coding Twitter: @CompassionCode

    • 35 min

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