Performance & Compensation

Core challenges for an engineering organisation's performance and compensation processes

Performance & Compensation
22 minutes by Will Larson

This post covers the core challenges you’ll encounter when operating and evolving the performance and compensation processes for your engineering organization. With this background, you’ll be ready to resolve the first batch of challenges you’re likely to encounter, but remember that these are extremely deep topics, with much disagreement, and many best practices of a decade ago are considered bad practice today.

  • There are conflicting goals and no universally appreciated solutions.

  • Performance processes should focus on providing useful feedback and raising the floor of expected outcomes.

  • Calibrations and leveling rubrics are important for making consistent decisions on promotions.

Does product keep adding native integrations to the roadmap? Building & maintaining auth, constantly learning new vendor-specific APIs, and maintaining all of these integrations can cost months of dev. That's why 100+ SaaS engineering teams rely on Paragon's SDK & embedded iPaaS to offload 70% of the engineering on native integrations, so they can focus on their core product.

Push and Pull
3 minutes by Kellan Elliott-McCrea

A model Kellan returns to a lot when talking about engineering processes is Push and Pull. Often when we design a new process or system we struggle to get buy-in. That lack of buy-in can often be traced to having forgotten the Push, the Pull, or both.

How to prepare for difficult conversations
6 minutes by Stefano Baccianella

Stefano talks about a helpful training experience for handling tough conversations and emotional situations. They mention using a professional actor to act out challenging scenarios, which was very effective. They suggest that others should try this too, but they understand that not everyone has access to an actor. So, they propose a solution: a difficult conversations simulator powered by GPT.

The Worst Programmer I Know
3 minutes by Dan North

Dan advocates for measuring productivity in terms of tangible business impact and highlights the value of teamwork over individual metrics in a complex adaptive system.

Problems with engagement are often simply due to unstated assumptions. You expect someone to act a certain way, but they don't realize that, so they don't, and you're disappointed. But if the problem turns out to be core competency – that they're simply not good enough at what they've been hired to do – you can't feedback your way out of that in any reasonable amount of time.

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