I started maintaining a Today I learnt repository 1  when I moved from tech lead to full on Engineering Manager about 5 years ago.

After a while I slowed down in capturing new content as my focus shifted from learning about the role and techniques to be better at it, to navigating the context of my organisation, specific people's dynamics, etc, and whilst from time to time I was going back to some of the techniques I had learnt, I didn't need a lot of research to identify new solutions.

Fast forward to last year, when I got promoted to Engineering Director and I started facing a whole lot of new challenges. To be honest, due to the nature to the transition – internal promotion during a phase of migration – I could piggy back on personal relationships skills and stay in a somewhat comfort zone engaging mostly in a mix of tactical and operational tasks, with a little bit of strategic sprinkle on top, but never big enough to require a whole discovery.

I knew strategic wasn't my strongest suit, but neither was budgeting, for example, and that was much more urgent so that's the horse I bet on, and I up-skilled in that space 2 .

In the past few days, though, I started my research in ways of enabling strategic thinking, and a few interesting techniques started aligning in front of me.

There's a couple of very interesting talks I recommend:

Both talks look at ways of reading and re-think about your business – and hence software systems – employing different techniques: Team Topologies, Domain Driven Design and Wardley Mapping.

Neither of the talks are deeply technical or require a lot of understanding of the techniques, but they enable a way of thinking about software systems I wasn't exposed to before.

So that's what I learnt today.

1. The repo is private as I started capturing also content from workshops I attended, and I wasn't comfortable divulging material I didn't own.

2. Trial by fire, working closely with finance, I don't have a huge amount of insights I can share at this stage as I don't know how much of it is specific of my organisation and how much is repeatable.