Luis Saffie README
Table of Contents
- About me
- My role
- Traits I value most
- What I dislike
- Our average week
- Feedback protocol
- My recommendation to the first 90 days
I was made aware of this great idea of Manager READMEs. What is that? Don’t worry, I also thought the same thing, If you search the web for it, you’ll like find something like this:
A ReadMe is a user manual written by managers on their management style, philosophies, expectations, communication preferences, and more. Think of it like a “how to guide” for getting to know and working for your boss.
But adding to the above, I found this process useful as it allows for:
- Introspection the way you work individually and with others
- Single source of truth → Less confusion
- A way to level the playing field → Everyone has access to the same information
- History tracking via git 🤖 → You can understand how your thought process evolves over time
Truth be told, I felt a bit weird about writing this as it may sound like “listen to me” type of reading, but it really is not. Its sole purpose is to serve you and me to do great work together. Also, I’m super open to feedback and encourage such.
Hi, I’m Luis :)
I spent the first 1/2 of my life in Chile and the second in Toronto. I went to University in Chile and in Toronto for Computer Engineering and Information Technology respectively (more here if you’re interested)
As far as my professional journey, I spent the first half working as a systems administrator. I enjoyed working with Linux servers, fibre optic cables, routers, etc. I even got certified in SCNA! Why? Well, I worked in a hospital setting for a few years and all their systems were Solaris ☀️
After a few years in systems, I got into software. I worked in a variety of applications in different languages. I paired that with building technology teams and working in business/leadership roles.
Let’s talk about more exciting things: I am not that good at sports but I enjoy playing soccer, cycling and skateboarding (a bit too old for the later though) I like to spend time with friends and family. I consider myself an extrovert for the most part. I always enjoy a good chat/hang out.
I like to breakdown my role in two categories. Although both categories are hight interrelated, I find it helps me.
My role in the Company at large
Align my team’s goals and output with the overall company goal while using best technologies and practices. Along with this, always be in the look out for leverage opportunities. That is, create efficiencies and spaces for innovation and growth.
My role in the TEAM
The first part is to ensure we’re doing relevant work (see point above)
The second part can be said with three words: Work for you.
My job as a manager is to make sure I do everything possible to support you in your journey. Some examples of this can be:
- Act as a rubber duck 🦆
- Remove blockers
- Provide you with environment that allows you to do your best work while enjoying it
- Provide you with clear direction
- Be there for you when you need me
- Give you opportunities to develop your career in the direction you want ⬆️
Traits I value most
Thoughtfulness: When you take the time to think about a certain topic before giving an opinion
Data/Numbers: When you know your facts
Honesty: If you know or don’t know something, just say it. The first step to knowledge is accepting illiteracy
Directness: If you need to tell me something, just say it. Be sure you do it in a way that leaves no space for misinterpretation. I’ll do the same
Preparedness: If you need my opinion on something, I expect you to come prepared with facts, documents, etc. Interpersonal
For all the points above, you can also expect the same from me. And if I don’t do it, please call me out.
What I dislike
- The opposite of the points above
Our average week
You’ll have a clear view of what’s needed to be done and by when. You’ll work with your team and I to get it done.
We’ll have lots of time to discuss various topics via Slack, 1:1s, passing by conversations, standups, etc. I like to use Slack the most. I like to aim for 80% Slack, 20% other type of communication (see Communication)
You’ll generally find me by my desk, likely with headphones on, working through my tickets. Although, I respect the headphones rule. You’ll probably always find me with headphones on - I got used to it. Feel free to Slack me or stop by if we need to have a chat.
Expect me to ask lots of questions when I don’t know something but I will do my part to be as ready as possible. I hope you do the same.
I believe that communication is about 80% of the work. If you and I are able to communicate well, we’ve set ourselves up with the best chances for success.
Traits of good communication (my definition)
- Active listening
Other than that, I am a fan of communication via writing. Once goals are clear. I like to use writing as way to remain in touch, and make quick decisions. I find that this form of communication enhances the overall experience. Writing is generally more efficient as it forces the parties to think more about what’s to be communicated. Aside from this, you can use other types of communication aids - emojis, photos, links, etc. 😀
Once you do anything a number of times, you’ll realize that there are usually patterns for many things. For those in software, think Design Patterns
I tend to codify everything I can and I’m always adding/removing items from my think process. Here are the ones that I find I refer to often
One of the things I learned early in my career was that regardless of feedback being positive or negative, always be clear in your communication so that there’s no confusion. You can expect that from me, I will always strive to be clear and straightforward. I am a big believer in Radical Candor -** I care personally and challenge directly**
We will have many opportunities to provide each other feedback. My style is to give feedback as soon as possible. I find that it works best.
From a day to day at work point of view, I expect you to:
- Take ownership of your work
- Always strive to do your best
- Empower your peers
- Ask questions when things aren’t clear
- Communicate often
- Do what you said you would do and if you can’t for some reason, communicate appropriately.
I like useful meetings but I do not like too many meetings.
Because meetings can easily become a big time sucker, I follow certain guidelines:
- Show up on time and leave on time. Be respectful of everyone’s time.
- No status update meetings
- Book room in advanced if needed
- Send agenda well in advanced of meeting
- keep them as short as possible - to the point
- Start in the middle: I don’t know where I read this but it refers to bypassing all the initial chatter and jumping straight in the heart of the conversation
- No devices: Since meeting time is so valuable, we should treat it as such. Unless you’re taking notes, no devices please.
- Have a goal. Every meeting should have a goal, be sure to use your time wisely to achieve such goal.
- Send action items right after meeting
- End on time
- If a meeting must be recurrent, be sure they have an end date (12 months max)
1:1s is a safe space for us to discuss anything you want. Come prepared. I will most likely have my notes ready if there’s something I would like to bring up. I also think of 1:1s as a space for us to build a solid bond. I will strive for that.
- You set the agenda - spoiler alert: It’s not status update
- Biweekly + whenever you think it’s needed
- use https://www.small-improvements.com or something else but come prepared
My recommendation to the first 90 days
I like to break this down in thirds
Set biweekly 1:1s with me Learn as much as possible by listening, taking notes, asking questions Learn the motivation of the job and what’s already there Understand the interrelation of different components of your job Resist the temptation to oversimplify and solve yet Build relations with people inside and outside your team
This will help you build a foundation for your next days
Take everything you learned in your first 30 days and start to apply it Begin to draw insights, make decisions and solve problems Continue to build relations and trust Get some quick wins out of the way
Execute on more quick wins and have a plan of execution for the larger picture. Apply creative thinking and to everything you’ve learned and are trying to solve
Aside from books, I read articles I find on the web. Here’s my Pocket list with favourites and recommended sections.
Many of the Books above
Feedback is encouraged and welcomed because just like most people, I’m far from perfect and always learning. Let me know your thoughts :)