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Discussion on: You set up a new dev team. What are the first things you would do to make things go as smoothly as possible?

gwutama profile image
Galuh Utama

Here’s how I do it for my team. Every team member is free to give suggestions about tools, libraries, technologies, etc. If a team member wants to apply a tool/library for the whole team (e.g. CI/CD tool), then he/she must persuade other team members first. Then the team comes to me with the suggestion and justifications. I am the one that approve these tools/libraries before the team is allowed to use them. Ultimately I want to make sure that, among other things, 1) the licenses are fine 2) if it’s a paid product I have the budget for it 3) the tools/libraries are mature, stable and well supported and 4) if I need to replace the team member(s) I can find replacements easily.

If the team needs to decide on technologies but they can’t do it because occasionally they are such an opinionated bunch, then I will gladly make the decision for them based on my judgement.

Regarding evaluations, scrum has retrospective and review which in my experience are sufficient to evaluate the team’s performance. I don’t conduct yearly personal evaluation due to several reasons 1) it’s an outdated concept 2) a year is too long for an evaluation and 3) I evaluate my engineers when I need to address decrease in their performance and try to fix it ASAP before the performance decrease becomes a burden for the team.

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perigk profile image
Periklis Gkolias Author

I like your approach the tech things.

How do you defend any raises or appraisal results in general to HR or high technical management? Depends on the company, of course, smaller companies tend to be more flexible here and others favor formality.