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Healing software engineering teams for a decade. People focused guy, trying to change the world one little step at a time. Automotive photographer after hours.

If you ever had a chance to work with me, you know how much I love my routines, and one of them is my lunchtime walk. I don’t think my hour break in the middle of the day should be wasted at my desk. It’s not healthy from a physical and mental perspective. So, If you ever see me at lunchtime in front of my screen, that means the weather is awful outside. Alternatively, something might be horribly wrong with me, and it is worth checking if I’m actually still alive. …


I’ve recently noticed a trend of “praise culture” in companies. Probably the first time it came to my attention was around two years ago, but that’s something you might have noticed even a bit earlier. Not sure where this is coming from, but it’s not healthy, at least not in the form I’ve seen it.

What is the unhealthy form? Regular company-wide meetings where I learn from other managers, whose contributions to the company success, which usually did not have that significant impact or importance, are being rewarded (only with words, of course). The so-called shoutouts. …


TL;DR

Every project needs well-defined expectations at every stage of the process, and it’s usually up to a few people to do it. The more mistakes you make in these early steps, the more likely you will change the scope during the project and make things worse later — delays, bugs, missed functionality. In most cases, the software engineering & testing teams will pay the price for these poorly defined expectations. That sucks!

  1. Define.
    It should be obvious what high-level expectations you are looking to achieve and why they’re needed. This step doesn’t define HOW, but mainly focuses on WHY and partially…

I worked as a backend for a long time and switched to the frontend later in my career. My skills let me take tasks on either side of the fence if I have to, but not with equal pleasure. Somebody told me, “like it or not, you are a full-stack dev”, and my disagreement with this statement prompted me to write a little more about this topic. I also noticed an increase in job positions for full-stack devs, followed by a couple of conversations with people around me, including a lengthy exchange on LinkedIn. It is an intriguing subject.

TL;DR

The…


TL;DR

I wrote down a few rules for myself, which I follow when working with my teams. The process of putting it on a paper helped me organise, prioritise, and clarify a couple of things, and I’m happy I did that. Not sure if you will find it helpful, but I felt it is worth sharing my experience.

— If you are reading this and are currently a part of my team, please use it as a guide and let’s talk about it next time we have a chance! …


Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

TL;DR

Hiring poor software engineers is an actual skill, but some companies are on a mission to take it to another level. Their process to find candidates is exceptional, and it’s worth digging into this topic a little bit more to learn from their mistakes. I encourage you to read the whole post, but if you are lazy, here is a short version…

These are the most common mistakes you can make that will help you find the perfect worst candidate.

  1. Reject all CVs that don’t look “pretty enough”.
  2. Use bots to filter out CVs with/without specific keywords.
  3. Only talk to…

There is one obvious way my mind tells me that I’m not in the best mental shape, and I should do something about this state — pain.

I always thought I’m a calm person in any circumstances or at least I fooled myself well enough not to recognise when I’m not. I hid my anger, stress and anxiety, and it always backfired. I didn’t understand that some of the health problems I had were caused by emotions, the internal factors rather than external.

A brain in a fight or flight state can’t heal or learn effectively.

These days I’m better…


TL;DR

People often think that being in a leadership position means a comfy seat, a big salary and giving orders. We also often feel that all this comes with a lack of real knowledge and not taking any responsibility. Basically, being an asshole… That’s how bad leadership looks like.

Strong leadership is the greatest single factor in a team’s performance.

Being a good leader might not come with an official position, but it comes with responsibility for everything within the team. It means leading down and helping others, but also leading up and supporting their boss. A leader’s role is to…


I’ve survived in leadership positions for almost a decade now. In large corporations, small companies and quite a lot of other setups outside my regular job. They all stretched my people-skills and put me in numerous uncomfortable and tricky situations. Sometimes I miss the good old times when I had simple tasks in front of me. Its success was in my hands (mostly), and I could live in the comfy introverted world. Then I remember why I moved away from being a sole contributor to help teams and lead leaders.

I’ve recently started asking myself — Am I a good…


Human lives became all about being efficient, and it is pushing us closer to the edge — the edge where we forget how to enjoy our life and feel guilty for having fun. From what I know, this all started around the industrial revolution when we began to attach a price to our work hour. We stopped being task-driven creatures.

I’ve learnt on my own skin how the fixation on my routines, productiveness and certain outcomes can have a negative impact not only on me but on people around. Obsession is not a virtue or a noble trait, and it…

Andrew Winnicki

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