Best of Dan Lines Collection
A look back at one of our most viral contributors in the Agile Zone. Dan Lines, COO of LinearB, pairs storytelling with tangible advice that always resonates.
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Anytime I see an article written by Dan Lines in my moderation queue, I know our audience is about to get some great content. His storytelling is consistent and engaging, and every article manages to leave readers with more tangible takeaways than the last.
To celebrate his keynote at the Agile + DevOps Virtual conference, we've collected the Best of the Best from Dan Lines. (It wasn't easy... each one is so good!)
The Best of Dan Lines
- "Yesterday I worked on feature X. Today I'm working on feature Y. No blockers." — Is that all you have to say?
Junior developers sometimes forget that they don't write code in a vacuum. From scalability to quality, and reliability—how can you get the most information from your junior devs while teaching them efficient and effective communication? Lines breaks down the Stand-Up.
- When dev leaders use velocity as a productivity metric, it has dangerous consequences. Learn why and see what progressive dev leaders are using instead.
Even though velocity is probably *the* most popular software develop metric, the concept isn't used correctly by so many execs, engineering leads, product leaders, and even developers. Don't throw it out, though. This article myth-busts and navigates you through common velocity-related issues, and rounds out with alternative metrics.
- We don't need a meeting to share status updates that could be a Slack message. I'm proposing a new framework for the daily stand-up.
So many of us love to hate stand-ups. And Dan Lines thinks that's because the Daily Stand-Up is broken. It became ubiquitous about 30 years ago. What did he propose to turn Stand-Up into something that works? This 90's themed article was so fun to read and inspired an active and interesting comment section.
- I was happy as a software engineer. Not a care in the world. Then I was hit by a freight train... I got promoted to dev team lead. Here are 8 things I wish I knew back then.
Career moves can be exciting but scary. Dan Lines described this career-defining moment as "a freight train" that hit him out of nowhere. How did he handle it? What did he learn? And what tips did he accumulate after such a big transition?
- When updating our CEO on product features, our Dev Lead takes an abnormal approach by showing real dev team data and project details.
Contrarian (adjective): opposing or rejecting popular opinions; going against current practice.
This video-article highlights one of Dan Lines' coworkers, Boaz Dremer. Boaz does things a little differently, and you can get a peek into a live product meeting to see how interesting and effective his communication style is.
- Dev methodology... a lot of people are fussy about it, but we're not. In fact, we made up our own. You should too. Here's why and how.
Dan Lines' most recent article on how we all are just 'faking it 'till we make it.' Check out his 4 guiding ideas on making up your own dev methodology. Software teams are so different that staying old school might not be right for everyone.
- Nadav's journey to VP of R&D for a hot security start-up began in an elite Israeli military intel unit. See his secrets for getting promoted and building elite dev teams.
Lines interviews a former coworker, Nadav, on his approach to building elite dev teams. Considering he came from 8200, the most "technical intelligence agency in the world," Nadav's perspective is a unique one to consider.
- If we view data about our business negatively — are we missing an opportunity to get better and improve our culture?
What are the Do's and Don't's for metrics that ensure success and the preservation of dev culture? The balance might not be as difficult as many believe it is.
- "Are we on track to deliver XYZ feature by the deadline?" For software dev leaders, this is the question we get most. But I wanted to have a different conversation.
Sometimes, we do things because it's what we've always done. What happens when we step off the beaten path? Lines questions this common question and provides insight into how to answer it the right way.
- "Too many meetings" is not a complaint. It's a cry for help. Forget no-meeting Friday. It doesn't work. We have some new ideas you can use to increase dev focus time.
Meetings upon meetings are draining. It's even more draining to figure out how to explain why the meetings suck. When you hear your devs say there have been "too many meetings," Lines thinks it's a symptom of a bigger issue than just boredom.
What are your favorite Dan Lines articles? Leave them in the comments.
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