Lessons Learned: Giving Feedback as an Engineering Manager

Interesting observation about how to build a feedback loop directly into a process. I also like the idea of a Feedback Budget.

One Simple Trick I had stumbled into was that there was a way to get around feedback budgets. Turns out there’s this other, vaster budget to tap into: the budget of process automation. When feedback is automated, it arrives sooner, feels confidential, and lacks judgement. This makes it palatable; this is why the budget is vaster.

The technical analogy here is how we use linters. Nit: don’t forget to explicitly handle the return value” during code review feels mildly frustrating. Ugh. It’s just a style thing” and the code works”. I’ll make the change, but with slight resentment.

Yet, if that same unhandled return value” nudge arrives in the form of a linter, it’s a different story. I got the feedback before submitting the code for review; no human had to see my minor incompetence.

Good idea.

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