Level-up Engineering

Level-up Engineering, hosted by Coding Sans.

Basic Member

Latest Episodes

Beyond the Bias: The Truth About Remote Work vs. Returning to the Office

Beyond the Bias: The Truth About Remote Work vs. Returning to the Office

Liam Martin, Co-Founder of Time Doctor, debunks myths around remote work and shares valuable tips on managing remote engineering teams so they remain well-aligned in an asynchronous environment.

Sign up to the Level-up Engineering newsletter!

In this interview we're covering:

  • Finding unbiased information
  • Social implications
  • State of remote working
  • Asynchronous team management
  • Remote work is here to stay

Excerpt from the interview:

"If you try to force employees back to the office, you'll likely end up with a team of B players, as the top talent will have the freedom to choose how they want to work. Right now, it's a seller's market, especially for engineers.

For managers uncomfortable with leading a remote engineering team, I don't have any comforting solutions. The reality is, if you insist on running your engineering team from the office, it's likely to fail. It's a tough truth, but there's no way around it."

Core Engineering Principles for Customer-Centric Design

Core Engineering Principles for Customer-Centric Design

Ian Tien, CEO and Co-Founder of Mattermost, talks about these core principles and their impact on his company. He highlights the importance of customer obsession, self-awareness, transparency and earning trust, just to name a few.

Sign up to the Level-up Engineering newsletter!

In this interview we're covering:

  • Customer-centric approach and its impact
  • Engineering principles
  • Following the engineering principles in day-to-day processes
  • Stories of the engineering principles in real life 
  • The role of managers
  • Finding the right engineering principles for Mattermost
  • Are engineering principles set in stone?

Excerpt from the interview:

“Great companies are always changing and improving. We never reach a point where we say, "That's it, we've learned everything we need to know." Our values and principles are always evolving as we learn more and as our needs change. For example, we used to have a principle called high standards. It was important when we were struggling with quality issues early on. But as we improved our quality and introduced other principles like earned trust, having high standards started to cause confusion.

High standards were sometimes in conflict with our other values. For instance, it clashed with customer obsession when we needed to release features quickly. It also conflicted with high impact when we focused too much on polishing things instead of delivering important changes. So, we decided to remove high standards from our principles. We realized that its role could be filled by other values and that it was causing more confusion than clarity.

This shows that our values aren't set in stone. We're always willing to reassess and make changes when needed. Our goal is to create a culture that meets the needs of our team and our customers both now and in the future.”

We’ve Adopted Modern Practices, Why isn’t Product Development Great yet? - Challenges in Product Development

We’ve Adopted Modern Practices, Why isn’t Product Development Great yet? - Challenges in Product Development

Gil Broza, Value Delivery & Agile Leadership Expert, gives actionable advice for leaders who want truly great product development. He emphasizes the importance of putting people first, creating a culture of continuous improvement and a lot more.

Sign up to the Level-up Engineering newsletter!

In this interview we're covering:

  • Why isn’t product development great yet?
  • Improving your software delivery system step by step
  • Putting people first in practice
  • The right mindset for better product delivery
  • Value delivery system - Next steps
  • Fitness for purpose
  • Revising your value delivery system
  • Real-life examples of the strategies

Excerpt from the interview:

"Success in software development requires continuous improvement, yet many companies seem to plateau after adopting certain methodologies. Few actively strive to enhance their practices throughout the development lifecycle. New methodologies like Scrum, Kanban, and DevOps emerge, but their adoption is often partial and not fully effective. Implementing changes can create unintended consequences, leading to stalled progress. (...)

Oftentimes, there's no unified approach to developing successful products, which is concerning for the industry's future success."

Behind the scenes of a successful mentoring program - Mentoring tips for tech leaders

Behind the scenes of a successful mentoring program - Mentoring tips for tech leaders

Magda Miu, Senior Engineering Manager at Adobe, discusses the importance of mentoring and shares her experiences as both a mentor and mentee. She highlights the benefits of mentoring, explains how she created a program at Adobe, and offers tips for others looking to organize something similar in their organization.

Sign up to the Level-up Engineering newsletter!

In this interview we're covering:

  • Magda’s personal experience with mentoring
  • How to seek mentors
  • Magda’s mentoring program at Adobe
  • Key takeaways from the program

Excerpt from the interview:

"Many people view mentoring as a one-way street, and understanding that it’s actually a two-way street only comes after you’ve been on both sides: being a mentee and a mentor later on. As a mentee, you may think your mentors won’t gain anything from helping you, but the reality is different. Being a mentor improves your communication skills, so that you can resonate with all sorts of people. You also gain knowledge, because your mentee will share stories and challenges from their industry. If there’s an age gap between the mentor and mentee, it’s also a chance to get new perspectives from a different age group. Last but not least, the feeling of helping others and giving back is just extremely rewarding. It’s an amazing feeling to see your mentee improve in their career."

Leave Toxic Work Environments in 2023: Spotting and Fixing Unhealthy Work Cultures

Leave Toxic Work Environments in 2023: Spotting and Fixing Unhealthy Work Cultures

Dave Yeager, Director of Data Infrastructure at Recurve, shares aspects of healthy organizations, lists some signs of unhealthy ones and gives you actionable tips that you can implement today to make your company a better place to work at.

Sign up to the Level-up Engineering newsletter!

In this interview we're covering:

  • Creating healthy work environments in bigger vs. smaller organizations
  • Some aspects of a healthy culture
  • Spotting an unhealthy culture
  • The impact of managers
  • Advice for managers

Excerpt from the interview:

“One thing I find very interesting about continuous integration is that it only works if the tests are successful. However, there are endless stories about engineers not understanding why the release failed on the test, so they change the test itself. 

It’s a good example of a broken company culture - instead of being vulnerable and admitting there’s an unsolved problem that the team needs to address, we just twist the tests around to meet a deadline. This way, nobody’s going to learn anything. Pull requests should be an opportunity for engineers to walk each other through the task, discuss solutions and overcome potential hurdles.”

Implementing Agile in Big Corporations - Proven Tips from Salesforce

Implementing Agile in Big Corporations - Proven Tips from Salesforce

Mayakrishnan Chakkarapani, Senior Director of Software Engineering at Salesforce, shares interesting insights on how his organization uses Agile to meet business goals and empower developers while doing so.

Sign up to the Level-up Engineering newsletter!

In this interview we're covering:

  • Agile in Salesforce
  • Some benefits of implementing Agile 
  • What to keep in mind when implementing Agile
  • How to empower developers when following Agile
  • Setting up and managing virtual teams

Excerpt from the interview:

"View your organization as a doctor and your customers as patients; getting your customers’ desired business outcomes means you treated a patient. If one of your patients needs surgery, you need to focus on ensuring they recover as quickly as possible. Agile is nothing but an operational procedure ensuring you’re doing the operation methodically and iteratively.  It means you’re running a diagnosis first, then you come up with various techniques, and finally, you perform the operation the best way possible.  

But just because you have a thorough pre-surgery process, it doesn’t mean you can neglect postoperative care. You still have to monitor the patient, and if something seems off, you have to do the process all over again. 

A lot of times, I’ve seen people taking Agile for granted, thinking it’ll solve everything on its own without thinking about the culture or empowering their teams. It leads them to just force people to do more, causing lots of engineers to burn out eventually. What happens with these dysfunctional organizations is that the operation may succeed because they followed Agile, but the patient still died."

Open Source Stories: How OSS Developers and Communities Shape the Future of Software Engineering

Open Source Stories: How OSS Developers and Communities Shape the Future of Software Engineering

Robert Hodges, CEO of Altinity, discusses various important aspects of open source software development. He talks about the decisions every company should make before embarking on an open source journey, the unresolved issues within the community, some interesting predictions about the future of OSS, and a lot more. 

Sign up to the Level-up Engineering newsletter!

In this interview we're covering:

  • Robert’s open source journey
  • Early vs. current principles
  • The benefits of open source
  • Current trends in the open source community
  • Open source concerns & advice
  • Main challenges in the future of open source

Excerpt from the interview:

"Releasing your software openly and letting people do anything they want to do with it definitely scares some people. Maybe it’s less of an issue for developers who are just writing a piece of code - as an individual, if someone finds my work useful, I’m pretty happy about it. However, when businesses make their software open source, they might worry about others using it to build a competing product.

The problem is, open source software is typically licensed in a way that you can do anything you want with it. You can build a new business out of it, competing against the people who wrote the code in the first place. This can cause real tension, and it’s not fully resolved at this point within the community. 

To grasp this issue from a philosophical standpoint, Cicero claims that there’s never a conflict between your own interests and doing the right thing. If you shape the problem the correct way, you can do the right thing, and that can also serve you at the same time."

How to be a Great  Leader and Manager: Strategies to Improve your Team - and their Results

How to be a Great Leader and Manager: Strategies to Improve your Team - and their Results

Peter Anderton, Founder of Internal Alignment, shares actionable tips to become a better leader by creating alignment, fighting your own ego, improving your listening skills and appreciating the differences within your team.

Sign up to the Level-up Engineering newsletter!

In this interview we're covering:

  • Strategies for leaders
  • Creating true diversity comes down to truly appreciating differences  
  • Presenting constructive criticism
  • More tips for leaders
  • Common mistakes

Excerpt from the interview:

"A lot of people talk about leadership as if there’s a magic tool that’ll make everything fall into place. Here’s a secret: it doesn’t exist. In fact, looking for another tool or another technique to solve all of our management problems just creates even more confusion for teams. 

We need to stop looking for the secret tool and realize that leadership is about mindset. It isn’t a hat you put on when you come into work; it’s the way you think. Until leaders fully grasp this rule, attentive listening might remain a challenge. Leaders will probably think they’re great listeners, but their teams would say otherwise."

From IC to CEO: Software Engineer Career Development

From IC to CEO: Software Engineer Career Development

Level-up your software engineer career development through other professionals’ stories: meet Max Rudman, CEO of Prodly, who went from IC to CEO over the years and has even founded a startup of his own. He shares interesting details about his career development and gives valuable advice to people interested in a similar path.

Sign up to the Level-up Engineering newsletter!

In this interview we're covering:

  • Max’s career development
  • Skills for software engineering career development
  • Choosing between different opportunities 
  • Is being CEO for everyone?
  • Advice for aspiring managers
  • Advice for aspiring founders
  • Challenges of CEOs
  • Legacy aims

Excerpt from the interview:

"Both in entrepreneurship and product management, you have to say no to a lot more things than you say yes to. How to decide between a yes and a no boils down to what you’re focusing on: what kind of customers you’re serving or what problems you’re trying to solve. Based on this, you can differentiate between opportunities and see what would make your solution stand out in the market. At the beginning of the founding journey, your resources are usually very limited, so you’ll have to be very picky about what you say yes to."

Bio of Level-up Engineering

Level-up Engineering, hosted by Coding Sans, is a podcast that provides actionable management secrets from successful engineering leaders, including VP of Engineering, the Director of Engineering, and CTOs. The podcast aims to help engineering managers enhance their management skills and elevate their software development teams to new heights.

By interviewing experienced engineering leaders, the podcast explores the major challenges faced in engineering management and showcases how these leaders have overcome them. Listeners can learn best practices in management and leadership, gaining insights into understanding people and organizations as much as understanding code.

The podcast covers a range of topics, including hiring and retaining developers, motivating teams, scaling development teams, and mentoring developers. By delving into these fundamentals, Level-up Engineering equips engineering managers with valuable strategies and knowledge to drive success in their roles.

Similar Podcasts

Wealth Talk Podcast, hosted by Richard Addo-Kessie.

Freelancer to CEO - Simplify, Streamline & Scale Your Freelancing Business, hosted by Aubree Malick.

FoundMyFitness, hosted by Dr. Rhonda Patrick.

Commercial Real Estate Investing From A-Z is a weekly podcast hosted by Steffany Boldrini.

House Party podcast, hosted by Rachel Stults and Natalie Way.

Podcasts

United States

Entrepreneurial Endeavors, hosted by Matthew Nusom and Seamus Galvin.

Podcasts

United States

"The CMO Podcast" is a unique podcast hosted by Jim Stengel.

Podcasts

United Kingdom

The Voice of Insurance, hosted by Mark Geoghegan.

The Yoga Teacher Resource Podcast, hosted by Mado Hesselink.

back-to-top