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Growing Engineers With Paid Investment Time

Growing Engineers With Paid Investment Time

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Since the pace of tech moves faster than ever, constant learning is a necessity for today’s software engineers. New libraries, new frameworks, new APIs, new patterns. If you’re not keeping up, you’re getting left behind.

Yet, the typical 40-hour workweek for an engineer is spent shipping features and learning on the fly. There’s often no dedicated time for immersive learning and research.

In this talk, Mike will discuss the benefits of having dedicated investment time for engineers on a weekly basis, including case studies and examples of how that weekly investment time turns into direct long-term business benefits.

Presented at Craft Conference 2022.

Since the pace of tech moves faster than ever, constant learning is a necessity for today’s software engineers. New libraries, new frameworks, new APIs, new patterns. If you’re not keeping up, you’re getting left behind.

Yet, the typical 40-hour workweek for an engineer is spent shipping features and learning on the fly. There’s often no dedicated time for immersive learning and research.

In this talk, Mike will discuss the benefits of having dedicated investment time for engineers on a weekly basis, including case studies and examples of how that weekly investment time turns into direct long-term business benefits.

Presented at Craft Conference 2022.

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Growing Engineers With Paid Investment Time

  1. 1. Growing Engineers 🌱 WITH PAID INVESTMENT TIME MIKE CAVALIERE / ECHOBIND
  2. 2. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE Mike Cavaliere SeniorEngineeringStrategist
  3. 3. Engineers must constantly learn. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE
  4. 4. 20 YEARS OF FRONT-END DEVELOPMENT Flux Redux Redux-toolkit Redux-Thunk Redux-saga Redux-observable ContextAPI Recoil XState UI Libraries Chakra-UI TailwindCSS State Management Full-Stack Frameworks Next.js Redwood.js Blitz.js Remix.js Fetching APIs SWR ApolloClient React-Query jQueryPlugins jQueryUI HTML Templating Mustache.js Handlebars.js Underscore.js->Lodash UI Toolkits HTML5Boilerplate Foundation TwitterBootstrap MVC Frameworks Backbone.js AngularJS Build Tools Grunt Gulp RequireJS Webpack JavaScript Prototype.js Scriptaculous MooTools Dojo YUI
  5. 5. 20 YEARS OF FRONT-END DEVELOPMENT Flux Redux Redux-toolkit Redux-Thunk Redux-saga Redux-observable ContextAPI Recoil XState UI Libraries Chakra-UI TailwindCSS State Management Full-Stack Frameworks Next.js Redwood.js Blitz.js Remix.js Fetching APIs SWR ApolloClient React-Query jQueryPlugins jQueryUI HTML Templating Mustache.js Handlebars.js Underscore.js->Lodash UI Toolkits HTML5Boilerplate Foundation TwitterBootstrap MVC Frameworks Backbone.js AngularJS Build Tools Grunt Gulp RequireJS Webpack JavaScript Prototype.js Scriptaculous MooTools Dojo YUI
  6. 6. Engineers must learn. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE ...a lot; ...constantly; ...for eternity.
  7. 7. When to learn it all? Where's the time in your week?
  8. 8. Extra-averagedeveloperworkweek(hypothetical) (Whoreallyhasa40-hourworkweek?) Legend Work Life Learning
  9. 9. Startupdevworkweek(hypothetical) 55hours+partying Legend Work Life Learning Partying
  10. 10. Agingdevw/kidsworkweek(actualschedule!) 40hourswork Legend Work Life Misc KIDS
  11. 11. Investment time Ithelps! 💡
  12. 12. 🎉Investmenttime!🎉
  13. 13. aka growth time aka learning time aka 20% (or 10% time, etc) "Investment time" (noun) "Paidtimegiventoemployeesonaweeklybasisforself-directed learningandgrowth."
  14. 14. ...is paid time. Investment time... It'spartoftheirsalary,anddoneoncompanytimeasapartoftheir typicalworkweek,without adding additional hours.* *Nights and weekends do not count (that's personal time). **If they have to work 40 hours THEN get investment time, that's also personal time.
  15. 15. ...happens regularly. Investment time... It'sarecurringsetofhoursthathappensconsistently*everyweek. *If you let them have investment time sporadically, it doesn't count. **If you have them work on urgent things and sacrifice investment time, it doesn't count.
  16. 16. ...is mostly self-directed. Investment time... Investmenttimeprojectsalignwiththeengineer'slearningand growthgoals.
  17. 17. Let's see some examples! Thingsengineersdoininvestmenttime
  18. 18. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE
  19. 19. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE
  20. 20. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE
  21. 21. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE
  22. 22. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE
  23. 23. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE
  24. 24. Business Benefits Managers,listenup.
  25. 25. RECRUITING Paidlearningtimeisanextremelyappealing benefittothosewhoknowhowimportant learningisinthisfield. Fewcompaniesdoit,soitmakesthosethatdo standout. GOOD ENGINEERS/DESIGNERS/ETC ARE HARD TO FIND. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE
  26. 26. RETENTION Itmakesexistingemployeeswanttostickaround,sincethey're constantlygrowing. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE
  27. 27. HIGHER VELOCITY AND QUALITY Moreknowledge&skillmeans: - Moreefficientwork - Betterqualityofwork - Reusablecode/assetstosolvecommonproblems - Improvedprocesses MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE
  28. 28. INDIRECT BENEFITS Contentgeneration->SEOandvisibility Toolcreation->streamlinedprocesses Knowledgesharing->lessrepeatwork Codecentralization->lessrepeatwork MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE
  29. 29. HOME RUN POTENTIAL Whenpeopleareallowedtoexperiment,bigideascomeabout. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE
  30. 30. Why aren't companies doing it? ...ifinvestmenttimeissogreat?
  31. 31. 1.INVESTMENT WHAT? Lotsofcompanieshaven'theardofit,orknowverylittleabout it.Orfeelthatit'sthestuffoflegend.Soit'snotgivenasecond thought. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE Whydon'tmostcompanies offerinvestmenttime?
  32. 32. 2.TIME IS MONEY Timenotspentshippingfeaturesseemslikepotentialforloss. Itseemsantitheticaltoyourcorebusinessonthesurface. Formanagers:timeawayfromfeaturedevmeanslower velocity,andpressurefrombosses. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE Whydon'tmostcompanies offerinvestmenttime?
  33. 33. There'saninitialdownpayment(insalary/velocity). Gainsmay(ormaynot)beobviousimmediately Thevaluecompoundsmoreandmoreovertime. There'shomerunpotential. Timeandmoneyaren't1:1. Wecallit"investment"because MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE 2.TIME IS MONEY INVESTMENT TIME IS MORE MONEY
  34. 34. 3.GREAT,BUT HOW? Forthosethatthinkit'sagreatidea,it'shardtowraptheir headsaroundthenumbersandthelogistics. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE Whydon'tmostcompanies offerinvestmenttime?
  35. 35. How to try investment time Doingitright,withminimalrisk.
  36. 36. 1.Start Small. Limititto5orsoteammembers. 8hours/week(4ifyoumust). Protectthetimevaliantly. Doitforonequarter. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE 🌱 🌱 🌱 🌱 Predictions: -Thetimewillshowdividendsin<1quarter -ROIwillbegreaterthancost
  37. 37. 2.GUIDE THE DIRECTION Askengineerswhatthey'dliketolearnorcreate. Findtheoverlapwithbusinessneedsanddecidetogether.That wayeveryonebenefits. MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE
  38. 38. 3.Monitor & share results. -Didtheyenjoyit? -Whatdidtheylearn/create? -Presenttoteam(shortLNL,blogpost,docs,etc) -Whatvaluecamefromit? -Iterate MIKE CAVALIERE / @MCAVALIERE
  39. 39. MIKE CAVALIERE RECAP: ...makesemployeesandcompaniesHAPPIER ...haslargebenefitsofallkinds ...issomethingyourcompanyCANDO ...isvaluableforanyrole(eng,design,product,etc)_ Investment time: Tryitsmall&iterate Pickgoalseveryonebenefitsfrom Measureresults Hiring managers TODO: Tellyourmanagers/execsaboutit Helpthemplantotryit Spreadtheword Engineers TODO:
  40. 40. Thanks for watching! Questions? MIKE CAVALIERE mikecavaliere @mcavaliere echobind.com mikecavaliere.com

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