Monthly Digest — June 📌

Winemaking, a new Job Board, 2 tools, and 3 articles

Hi there! June is almost over and it's time for our monthly digest!

For all new people who joined recently, this is a special issue I write at the end of each month. I use it to recap the latest articles and share some great resources.

I also share personal news and updates about Refactoring itself — I tell you what happened in the last weeks and give you preview of what will happen next.

Let's start! 👇

📬 Thursday Mail

As you can see, I am sending this issue on Thursday, rather than the usual Friday!

This is an experiment — because Friday seems not convenient for many readers, especially those in Asian timezones.

Let me know if you have any preferences on this.

🍷 Weekend in Tuscany

We spent last weekend in Val D'Orcia, Tuscany. We visited a friend of mine who is a winemaker, and got to learn more about wine technology.

It was a mind-blowing experience. It is humbling to see how complex and expensive such manufacturing processes are — especially if you come from the software world.

By looking at these things in person, you get a sense of scale that is hard to explain. Everything is huge, from the machines to the land itself, and it requires an enormous amount of work.

Now that I am back at looking at pixels on a screen, I feel a sense of perspective and appreciation.

💼 Job Board

I am really excited to announce that next week I am launching a special job board for the Refactoring community!

It will feature the best remote jobs on the planet, for engineering and product roles.

The board will launch with jobs from a few companies I hand-picked (literally!) among those that offer a great remote experience. And subscribers will be able to submit new jobs, also with the option of featuring them on the newsletter.

Stay tuned!

🔨 Tools

Here are a couple of great tools I discovered this month:

Softr

Softr allows you to build a web application using Airtable as a backend / database.

There are other similar tools out there, but Softr blows them away in terms of features, design and integrations. If you are an Airtable fan like me, you should definitely try it out.

Bloggi

Bloggi is the simplest blogging platform I have ever seen. Just sign up and start writing. And it looks great.

If you want to start writing and you are procrastinating on the perfect "tech stack", you should stop right now and start with Bloggi.

✍️ Articles

Finally, here are the three new articles I wrote in June!

The Best No-Code Tools You Should Use 🧩

In the last few years, no-code tools have grown from being a cute option for non-technical folks, to an indispensable weapon for any startup and engineering team.

There are two main reasons why you should use them:

  • Speed – when they fit your needs, such tools aren’t just faster than writing code, they are 50x faster.

  • 👥 Empowerment – they allow non-technical people to become active contributors, motivating them and freeing up engineering resources.

I wrote a full article on no-code tools, including a list of my favorite ones, organized by purpose and category.

How to Prioritize Bugs 🐛

Bug fixing is not exactly everyone’s favourite engineering activity.

It’s a tricky process that requires coordination between several stakeholders — PMs, Customer Support, QA, and Engineers.

In this article I talk about strategies to make it work, including:

  • 🔍 Separating severity from priority

  • 📋 Keeping the backlog small

  • ⏱️ Spending fixed time on maintenance

The Power of Inversion 🔃

Inversion is one of my favourite mental models. It is incredibly effective in a large number of situations.

It means to solve a problem “backwards” — thinking first at the ways we could fail, and then working to prevent them. As Charlie Munger famously said: “it is easier to prevent stupidity than to seek brilliance”

There are several practices in Product and Engineering work that are inspired by it. In last week’s article I review some of my favourite ones:

  • 💀 Pre-mortem

  • 💩 The Worst Possible Solution

  • ✂️ Subtracting over Adding

And that's it for today! See you next week with a new article. In the meantime, feel free to reach out here in the comments, via email, Twitter or Linkedin! I read and reply to everyone 📬


Hey, I am Luca 👋 thank you for reading this far!

Every week I read tens of articles and draw from my own experience to create a 10-minutes advice about some engineering leadership topic.

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