TTT 28: Prose > Code 📝
How to Create State Diagrams In Github Markdown 🤓
மாலை வணக்கம் (maalai vaNakkam), Buenas Noches, and Good Evening from Mexico City.
I’ll be sharing 2 tweets I loved and a thought I had.
One Tweet 🐦
I waste so much of my life in draw.io
Many times a simple state machine like this would suffice. Usually it’s to level set on reality graphically in a meeting context. Unless I need to color code the diagram, I’ll be using this moving forward.
Another Tweet 🐦
Last week, I was “promoted” to report directly to the Chief Architect of our HealthTech division.
My level stayed the same (L7 - Individual Contributor), but my manager used to be an L8 - People Manager and now my manager is an L9 - Individual Contributor. They’re assembling a squad of the best technical Individual Contributors under the Chief Architect to steer the ship.
Many of my colleagues sent their congratulations. The scope of the problems I’m working on has widened officially. The strategies involve even more teams than before.
But my strategies keep dying on the vine.
When I joined this division in 2020, I had similar ambitions pitching a HIPAA compliant cloud platform for the entire division on the third day. At the time, I was an app dev in a pharmacy domain.
And I delivered that cloud platform in just 5 months.
Back in 2020, I had the full faith and backing of an OG VP (L9 - People Manager) who extended to me the “benefit of the doubt”. He didn’t fully understand the mechanics of how I was going to deliver the platform. But behind the scenes he was using his authority to ensure that sibling teams - teams that don’t report to me, got in line.
A project of that breadth couldn’t be executed on influence alone.
The OG VP has since been promoted and moved divisions. My new manager sees synergy between the technical issues we are facing and an even higher level of the organization is facing too. So now I’m stuck pitching solutions to problems that we’re supposed to have in common with an even larger organization’s management.
But because the larger organization management is so new, they don’t have the same political capital as the OG VP.
So between the time they highlight a problem and hear my solution, their motivations have shifted. On top of that, they’re not transparent about these shifts either.
The root cause of my frustration is that my scope has exceeded my authority.
It’s been a tough lesson in self-awareness. Acknowledging the boundaries of my control. So now I just put a small section at the top of my strategy documents that reads
“Upper Management X did not commit to aligning with Sibling Team Upper Management Y on topic Z and therefore this strategy could not be executed against.”
This way it’s clear why things never got better.
A Thought 💭
The road towards senior goes through code.
The road beyond senior goes through prose.
My rapid career growth can be directly attributed to effective writing.
In August 2020, I authored a 50 page manual on how to use the HIPAA compliant cloud platform. That year I was promoted from Staff to Principal. I product manage that platform now 100% remotely, and was promoted to Distinguished in 2021.
Last week, I successfully pushed Microsoft for a complete root cause analysis (RCA) to a production outage without calling a meeting. My manager presented it to the SVP and CTO as a template for how we can hold cloud providers accountable. Without these writing skills, none of this would have happened.
I want you to experience this for yourself, too.
What problems do you frequently encounter at your job that a writing template could help with?
Simply reply to this email and I’ll help you out.
I want to see you grow your career the way you’ve always dreamed.
I'd love to hear any feelings you felt while reading this and until next time - be easy.
P.S. Thank you so much for reading the 28th edition of the TTT Newsletter. Subscribe if you fuck with me for real.