Skip the Shortcuts

Over the past few years, I’ve had a lot of people thank me for open sourcing the Product Design Roles documentation that we developed at BuzzFeed. It’s always very nice to hear that the work we did has proven useful to folks (the repo has over 500 stars and nearly 100 forks on Github!), and it def …

Should I Become a Manager?

Since starting Practical Works , I’ve spoken with a lot of folks who are at a crossroads in their career and aren’t sure which way to go. Do they become a manager, or do they continue to pursue excellence in their craft? For a lot of people, this can be a very nebulous, stressful decision. In fact, the …

Two Questions

As I've written about in the past, I think managers should put a very high value on recruiting. Beyond just being active participants in the process, I think teams should really own their own recruiting efforts, from sourcing and outreach to the interviews themselves. Over the last three years of …

A Review Process

Whenever I talk about how we (and how I) think about reviews and feedback in the BuzzFeed Tech org, I'm struck by how many people outside our team and the company are surprised, with reactions ranging from "Oh that's interesting," to "OMG that seems so crazy." Since I arrived at BuzzFeed just over …

Holistic Management

When new managers start out, they tend to become hyper-focused on what's right in front of them: the designers they manage, the product team(s) they're responsible for helping, the way design is getting done in their product group, etc. That focus is not only necessary, it's great! New managers …

Designing Inward

A little over a year into my job at Etsy, we had made a lot of changes to the design team and how we operated. We'd hired a bunch of amazing product designers. We had weekly, round-robin design critiques with the entire team and had instituted separate, smaller design critiques for the designers in …

The Great Reanchoring

When I joined BuzzFeed just over a year ago, I spent the first few months of my time there setting the Product Design team up so it could scale well . I wrote a roles and responsibilities document, instituted Basecamp as the place for design work and discussion and overhauled our recruiting …

The Perfect Company

In the last year or so, every time I've given a talk on collaboration or building an organization, an audience member has approached me (either privately or through Q&A) with a question about their current frustrations with their job or org. The question usually sounds something like this: What …

Do the Right Thing

I was on a walk with a coworker at BuzzFeed the other day, talking about our teams and our jobs. At one point, while I was describing the changes we'd made to the design team in the past year or so, she stopped me and asked "How did you know you were making the right changes? How do you know that …

Stop Worrying and Love Your Imposter Syndrome

While I was at Web Directions last week, a few people brought up the topic of imposter syndrome and were asking for advice on how to overcome it. There's been a lot written about the challenge of feeling that you aren't good enough and like at any moment you'll be found out for the fraud you really …