Summary of 2021

It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily work and miss out on the bigger picture. To help with that, I try to take a moment at least once or twice a year to reflect on what I actually achieved. It helps me ground myself, feel better and in general is a pretty nice self-conficence boost. This year I asked a few colleauges to proof-read and as a bonus got more things to my list.

This is my brag, self-reflection and reference for the future – to show that I can move mountains.

Highlights of 2021:

  • Hired 23 engineers, 3 engineering managers and assisted in a lot of other hiring processes. This while keeping or increasing diversity and seniority. With great overall scores from candidates.
  • Onboarded 3 EMs and one VP as well as a bunch of engineers.
  • Drove overview and adjustment of salary bands and was responsible for salary setting in engineering.
  • Worked on improving role descriptions for engineers, engineering leadership, tech lead etc.
  • Worked on a career framework, starting with analysing the existing situation, investigating industry standards, creating a draft, and finally implementing it in the organisation.
  • Proactively (and reactively) working with problems stemming from growing pains related to hyper-growth and moving from startup into scaleup. This includes things like keeping (evolving) culture, maturing teams and proving “just enough” structure.
  • Set up a young talent program from scratch. From analysing different available approaches, making the business case for it, doing all marketing and recruitment to sitting back and seeing all of them do amazing. All are still with us.
  • Worked on employer branding and tech reputation in various ways, including setting up sponsorships and a collaboration with a ”girls who code” organisation as well as writing/coaching others to write blog posts and different social media work.
  • Identified problems with, and implemented a solution for, inefficient staffing allocation (who goes where, why and when). This allowed us to move from PMs and teams feeling excluded from the process and randomly handed resources – to more of a pull-method where teams are giving input and requests and people and teams are matched on context, ways of working, needs/wants, personalities and skills.
  • Identified a need for structure around planning, monitoring and following up on hiring plan vs budget.  Drafted and implemented, held people accountable and made sure we kept the pace.
  • Helped promote, sponsor and grow 2 people into tech leads – they are amazing!
  • Managed a wide range of engineers, across crafts and spanning from interns to line managers.
  • Coached reports and teams with technical as well as interpersonal challenges, thus helping them collaborate better and improve on delivery as well as feeling better. Among them I am extra proud of identifying someone badly misplaced and in risk of leaving and helping two reports solve a conflict that badly affected team collaboration. Most unexpected was a small comment I made from an observation that ended up being acted upon in a really amazing way which noticeably improved relationships and output in that team. 
  • Organised a department offsite and a hackathon.
  • Made a bunch of rough decisions. Some I accept that I had to make, but wish I had done them differently. A lot that I take pride in dealing with in a way that I can stand behind 100%.
  • Wrote and published a book.
  • Did numerous talks and workshops as well as participated in podcasts and panel discussions.
  • Worked as board member of two industry boards, one in testing and one in development.

I hope I read this next time I feel I am not enough.