Whilst I have a few thoughts I’m still processing after the whirlwind of fantastic insights I got from CodeCraftConf, I wanted to capture some of the highlights from some of the answers to my questions on Growing a Team.
Many thanks to everyone who came to the session. Lots of thoughts coming out of the conference.
When is it time to grow your team?
- You never grow a team, you create a new one.
- There’s always too much work, you should grow when you have capacity, so you don’t put new starts off
How do you deal with resistance from existing team members?
- Communicate clearly and address concerns (e.g, time to mentor)
- Involve team early
- Do you have a choice who joins?
Is it more important to find a culture fit or build a diverse team?
- Do candidates know what they’re signing up for?
- Introvert vs extrovert (see also hiring practice)
- Interviews should be structured to filter out arseholes – do they have empathy (or have they been taught to suppress it)
- Every new hire should bring the level up
- Don’t just hire for technical skill
- Diversify your interview pool
What is your biggest worry with your current team size, or with growing your current team?
- Are you doing Health Checks? Survey staff regularly
- Make sure the bigger team, outside your daily work, understand the culture – it only feeds from top down
- Fear of churn
- Loss of culture
- Try to understand
- Make the culture explicit
What practices do you use to ensure sustainable growth?
- Pair a lot, reflect (e.g. retro)
- face-to-face regularly, even if it’s video
- Values workshop – does everyone share them?
- Social convenor to ensure cohesion
- Slack channel dedicated to positive feedback on living the values
- Office/company changes should have their own backlog with an open grooming process so priorities are explicit
How long does it take to integrate someone new?
- Be careful about language
- Train everyone in personal skills
- Listen even when you disagree
- lack of ego
- Culture changes people
- What personalities do you want?