* probe into how conflict gets resolved. when was the last time there was a serious disagreement in code review? what happened? who won? were grudges held? what does their body language say?
* ask how well they do on the four DORA metrics. do they track them, do they care?
* how do people move between engineer <-> manager? is it viewed as a promotion or a career change? does anyone then go back to engineer? why, why not?
* is there a career ladder for engineering? with salary bands? what are reviews like? who gets promoted? can you see it?
* do they hire junior engineers, or do they always try to hire the most senior engineers they can afford? how do they think about mentoring and training up the next generation?
* do engineers think the job ladder *accurately* reflects what is valued by management?
* talk to the most junior person on the team. do they feel respected? do they get interesting work to do, are they supported and encouraged? what happens when they disagree with a senior engineer?
* who decides what will be built, and how? how are things deprecated?
* who has domain authority over technical decisions?
* how many storage systems are running in production? what happens if you want to add a new one to support your new project, what is the process and who is involved?
* who is on call for the systems you write?
* are you expected to be on call? what does that involve? will you have backup? how many times were your peers woken up in the last year? whose responsibility is it to keep that number low?
* if it's an ops team, talk to them. do they feel respected? do they get woken up?
basically, i feel like the strategy here is to ask probing questions around sensitive areas until you provoke an emotional reaction -- defensiveness, dissembling, resistance -- and then slow down and dig in.
what do they feel bad about, and why, and how are they dealing with it?
it's not about them answering every question "perfectly". (if they do, run away: they're definitely lying to you lol)
it's about whether or not your rough edges are compatible with theirs, and how self aware they are, and how honestly they will try to communicate with you. 💚
You can follow @mipsytipsy.
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