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Shrink The Timebox

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The worst time to find out a project is not going to ship on time is at the very last minute when it’s supposed to. At that point, there’s very little you can do to save the project. This may sound obvious, but to avoid getting yourself in that corner takes skill and discipline. You […]

When Your Rockstar Loses the Tune

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At a growing startup we once worked at, there was guy who’d been amazing, been with the company since the earliest days, but who had somehow “lost the tune”. We’ll call him Rocky. Rocky had done a bit of everything, from programming to sales to customer support to graphic design. He’d been one of the […]

Purpose Driven Leadership

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So last week I spoke on a podcast on technology leadership with the good folks at Teal Software about technology leadership, and kept finding myself iterating the idea of “falling back to purpose”. I have come to believe that the most important job of any leader, especially a CEO, is to embody and project the […]

Tell “Trouble” From “Different”

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How can you tell the difference between someone whose unique way of doing things is actually trouble for your team, or is just a new and different (but effective) approach? As your team grows, you’ll naturally start handing off responsibilities to other people. In most cases, you just explain how you want the thing done, […]

Don’t Miss Our Next Event

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Are you an up and coming technical leader? On Saturday, June 24th, Wealthsimple is sponsoring a hands-on technical leadership workshop led by Upspark for those who identify as women and want to take their careers in engineering to the next level. If you are already a tech team lead or manager OR if you’re an engineer […]

Tech Team Check-Up

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At Upspark our goal is to help Toronto startups do better. We help their technology teams grow and scale, avoiding the many common pitfalls that lie in their path. Many of those pitfalls are born in the communication between the senior leadership and the development team. Translating mission statements and business objectives into development tasks […]

Stop Looking for a CTO

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Many technology companies find it challenging to attract senior technical leadership. If you’re a small startup with limited resources, you cannot afford a senior executive. In fact, there’s a very good chance you don’t even need one on full-time basis. As an alternative to a full-time CTO, many companies today hire ‘fractional’ CTOs, on interim […]