Start with the First Principles, Build the Right Fundamentals

Introduction

The role of an Engineering Manager(EM) is a complex one. The deep understanding of the product, the various systems involved, the historical technology choices, the market sentiment, the metrics, the customer stories, the tech debt, proofs-of-concept, the migrations, strategic stakeholder and partner relations— all these and more are imperative to the role’s success. Throw in people to this mix and you’ve got yourself one of the hardest balances to manage.

In this article, I want to talk about how to approach management — the things you should focus on as you start your management journey — if the goal is…

Why alignment is such a crucial element in building high performing teams

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Serving as an Engineering Manager for a team of 12 people, means I need to deeply understand who they are at an individual level and help them bring their best to the team’s mission. No matter how prolific their intelligence levels are, if they cannot apply themselves in the context of the team, then I think I have failed as a leader responsible for the team’s goals. I want to talk a little bit about the criticality of aligning the individual to the collective in High Performing Engineering Teams.

Let’s simply start by defining what’s good and what’s not.

Design…

Tune Your Responses to Tune Your Success in This Human Life

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Introduction

Carefully choosing our response to any given situation can be the single most important thing to finetune for happiness and success — right here in this very life. The choice is powerful because every situation presents itself as an opportunity to optimize how and who you want to be. Not only will this make you an advanced human being, but also bring you many tangible advantages. …

Don’t make it a pain to be around, pay attention to the small things

#5 Take a shower and smell clean.

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The pandemic’s here and it’s requiring us all to get creative and think on our feet. I don’t think most of were used to this much of WFH, this much of spouse time, this much of home time. It’s a new way of working and it requires the best of all of us to empathize with each other and make it a pleasant experience for one another.

I have been making notes about things I did and did not do well as a housemate. I want to share the thought processes behind them in a hope that you show more…

THE EXTRA MILE THAT SEPARATES THE BORING FROM THE INTERESTING

Some People Appeal to Us as More Sensitive, Sensible, and Intellectual. Why?

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Ever sat across someone who ranted for nine full minutes on how they are lazy to make a fresh cup of morning coffee every day, so they make some kind of stupid-sugary-instant-coffee-silky-mixture that can last them for one whole week and store it in the fridge. And then they realize they never told you how they beat this sugar, water, and instant coffee! So, they go off another long record of the most basic, boring, and uninteresting train of details. Oh, and then, they have to tell you how they just take this stale mixture they are so proud of…

Learn the Superskill Called Delegation to Fan the Growth Flame

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Introduction

How can I avoid feeling too guilty when delegating my tasks?

Am I palming off my duties?

As a self-described control freak, how can I work on “letting go” when I know/suspect the person taking up the task either won’t do a satisfactory job or I know I would do it better?

Can I practice Servant Leadership while delegating?

The list goes on and on. When people reach out to me for mentorship, the number one most asked query is around delegation.

I get the popularity of these questions — I went through some of the similar confusion myself. …

2 HOURS OF HOME-CLEANING EVERY MONTH CAN EARN YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE. ARE YOU READY FOR IT?

Today, It’s Easy to Find a Home Cleaning Service. But What’s the Cost of Delegating This Job?

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You Realize Nothing Is Permanent

This house was cleaned yesterday, sorry you missed it.

There is a saying in Sanskrit —

Sarvam anityam, sarvam shunyam, Sarvam anatman.”

(All is transitory, all is void, all is without ego.)

All is transitory. This quote plays in the background as I scrub the bathtub, toilet bowls, and sinks. As I scrape off the stubborn dirt off the surfaces and as the sparkling white emerges, I know it will not remain clean. Using it implies dirt.

As one goes “forward” in time, the second law of thermodynamics says, the entropy of an isolated system can increase, but not decrease.

BE CURIOUS AND THE WORLD WILL OPEN TO YOU. BUT WHAT CAUSES ONE TO BECOME CURIOUS IN THE FIRST PLACE?

3 Practical Tips to Cultivate Curiosity

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Beauty inspires curiosity

The world is beautiful and when I started noticing, I mean truly noticing, I become curious.

How were these mountains formed?

Why do leaves turn red in the Fall?

Why do birds migrate in the winter?

Fellow person’s passion inspires curiosity

When I hear someone talk passionately about something they made a part of their life, I become curious.

Differing opinions inspire curiosity

When I am among esteemed friends, whose opinions I find valuable, and there seems a difference in opinion, I become curious.

Keeping an open mind, seeking, inspires curiosity

There came a stage in my…

HOW TO GET TO THE FINISH LINE AND FIND HAPPINESS IN SUCCESS.

Interest →Efforts →Excellence →Rhythm →Success. Do Not Give Up On The Way.

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Introduction

When I did some soul searching on what are some of the qualities that make the most successful people, I came up with this list.

Curiosity. High levels of volition. Clarity. Passion. Eye on the goal. Hard work. Pushing their limits. Striving for excellence. Keeping an open mind. Hungry to learn. Fight the various biases. Patience. Perseverance. Ambition.

I then wondered if there was a particular structure to these “words” humans could benefit from. Placed by themselves, each of these words looks simple — obvious human qualities. But…

Show the self some tough love.

How I Learned the Difference Between Indolence and Wellbeing and Stopped Being Lazy. Laziness Is Not Happiness.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Introduction

It all started when I observed self sympathy on the rise. With small wins, the basic needs taken care of, and time on my hand, it was dauntingly easy to choose rest to action.

“I deserve to watch an extra hour of TV today, I have had such a hard day at work”

“I just want to sleep today, I am so hungover. A good nap will rejuvenate me”

“I don’t want to spend the weekend cleaning my home, I could do so…

Mallika Rao

Logic. Math. Computer Science. Scale. Hike. Entropy. Mountains. Photography. Thinking. Writing. Conversations. Coffee. Travel. Work. Improve.

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