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Marco Rogers @polotek
, 20 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Please stop spreading this nonsense. Listen y’all. Don’t work for managers who don’t want you to know what the hell is going on around you.
You can spend 8 hours a day building the wrong thing. Or you can go to a meeting, find out what the right thing is, then go build that.
It’s no wonder we are experiencing a management crisis. It’s hard to find thoughtful, empathetic people to do this job. And a big part of the reason is shitty advice like this that makes engineers sound like children and managers sound like glorified babysitters.
I would rather bring this same energy to talking about why there is so much “bullshit” flying around these companies that supposedly no one can get any work done.

The sad part is Jason Fried usually does good work there. But even he still doesn’t understand management.
Modern workplaces are very difficult. The sheer amount of information to consume and decisions to make can be overwhelming. Talking about “shielding” people is not the answer. The challenge is getting collaboration to emerge from the chaos. A good manager does that.
I’m just saying. Being a shit umbrella sounds like a terrible job. I don’t know why anyone would want that job.
I’m hiring Engineering managers to work with me at @Lever btw. If you wanna put down your shit umbrella and have a different conversation, my DMs are open.
I have a really long answer to this. The short version is what if the stuff was... less stupid? In my experience almost everybody is trying to do their job. The reason it often doesn’t feel like it is people aren’t organized to collaborate effectively.

In the modern tech company, very little happens with solitary effort. And it’s hard for a person in any one role to figure out what the right thing is. Almost all productivity is best done cross-functionally. So helping humans collaborate becomes a critical business activity.
What’s happening right now is people are in my mentions saying how I’m “misinterpreting” Jason Fried. He has tons of followers, has written several books, and has credibility as a successful tech leader. Him being easily misinterpreted is a huge fucking problem.
If you feel confident in taking bad advice and rearranging it into nuanced recommendations, that’s great. But that probably means you’re not really the target audience. You’re not looking for advice, you’re looking for validation of what you already think.
I don’t need Jason Fried to tell me how to be a good manager. There are tons of people out there who are confused and overwhelmed and looking for guidance. And one of their faves just told them to have engineers bang at keyboards for 8 hours a day.
The other thing that’s happening is the managers in my mentions also try to convince me that they *need* to be a shit umbrella. And then proceed to describe their incredibly dysfunctional organizations. I mean we all have problems. But maybe focus on fixing the dysfunction?
I get frustrate with people letting whatever “inartful” nonsense fall out of their mouth, and then pretending it doesn’t matter because they expect others to fill in all the nuance that isn’t actually there.
I’m not just being a jerk. Go to Jason Fried’s profile. His cover photo is his latest book where he wants you to pay him money to tell you what your work environment should be like. I feel justified in expecting more out of his tweets.
I've been getting this a lot today. The suggestion is that Jason Fried, who has never run a megacorp, is giving hard hitting and useful advice on what middle managers at megacorps should be doing. This is kinda what I mean by lack of nuance.
Chase is thoughtful about it. And I'm not judging him or others for trying to interpret nuggets if wisdom where they can find them. But context always matters. Coordinating 10s of thousands of people is different from coordinating 50 people. Why can't we just say that?
Why is the goal always to twist our own experience until it seems to apply to as wide as range of people as possible? Oh I know why. Saying "tell me about your situation" isn't nearly as inspiring as "I have the answer for every situation".
I have been at many kinds of companies. From 6 people to 100,000. From small teams to huge teams. From top down management to almost no management. We are greatly underestimating the spectrum of difference we are dealing with.
A lot of people never try to find out what I mean by "nuance". Here's a good example of doing it well.

Managers have a job like every other role. They can do that job well or poorly based on how they understand what is needed.
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