Nathan a feger




Communicating a Pronoun Change

I had an interesting experience recently and as it was new to me, perhaps you too can benefit from this experience. The meeting… Myself, my direct report, a representative from human resources and an individual contributor reporting to said manager. Frankly, I was concerned that there was either an egregious performance issue or HR violation […]


Homework #2 – Focusing at the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ of the organization

Thinking about the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ of an organization This week we have two podcasts for your listening pleasure. There is a lot of interesting takeaways from this first a16z podcast. To me the systematic approach Chris Power takes to how he thinks about his company is a valuable framework as one moves out of […]


The self-taught programmers guide to moving up

I am a self taught developer. I had the benefit of a dad who gave me a computer and helped me write some programs. The TI-81 and TI-85 calculator were the laptops of my school days. I spent many days staring at the manual for that calculator as I learned to program a solution to […]


Moving to management part 1: Learning about yourself and your team

It is often the case in software engineering that individual contributors (ICs) are looking for guidance on sticking with a technical path or moving into management. This is probably less of a dramatic move than we make it out to be, however, the front line manager has a huge impact on the functioning and happiness […]


Principles of Metrics Driven Management

It is certainly in vogue to use metrics to drive management decisions.  This is especially true in a distributed workforce.  There can be no pretending my team is working as I stroll by their desks late into the night.  In fact, my personal preference is to be remote from my employees to ensure I do […]


Homework #1 – Management has Consequences

It’s not a lot to say one is a fan of podcasts, so with the homework series we can travel together though some of my favorite podcasts and perhaps from this we can leave a trail of something novel on the internet. The first assignment is to look into Reply All’s episode on Bon Appetite. […]


10 2-hour blocks per week

Individual Contributors in an organization need time to get work done. This feels axiomatic, yet it is often the case that any number of meetings can gather on an individual’s calendar such that there actually isn’t enough time to sit quietly and think the deep thoughts one needs to deliver business value. Today is not […]


Empowerment through process change

I spent quite a long time in my career hating processes and actively fighting against it. This is a fairly acceptable approach with a small team and as someone who likes talking and saying the same thing over and over again. This is me. I love to hear my own voice and I used this […]