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Year of the Maker: docs from the smartest people we know

Our 2020 began with a flurry of requests to makers who inspire us with the hope that they would Coda-fy their insights into actionable docs that inspire you. The result is a robust collection of unique, practical, widely-applicable docs, from bona-fide stars.
Originally published 2/14/2020

We always wanted our Year of the Maker campaign to be the opposite of all the empty “New Years, New You” campaigns that fizzle out as soon as they pop up. Instead, Year of the Maker is rooted in actions people take to
actually
improve, like searching for respected people in similar jobs, industries, and situations.

We did our fair share of searching, too. Our 2020 began with a flurry of requests to makers who inspire us with the hope that they would Coda-fy their insights into actionable docs that inspire you. The result is a robust collection of unique, practical, widely-applicable docs, from bona-fide stars like Reid Hoffman (coming soon) and Des Traynor to rising stars like Jenny Emick.

See below — we can’t wait to see what you make of them.

Docs for managers

Managers are a lot like parents; they walk the line between friend and boss. The following group of docs is aimed at helping managers balance fun and professional growth with hard feedback and accountability.

Claire’s offsite toolkit

Claire Hughes Johnson, COO of Stripe, knows how to run an offsite. Fortunately for everyone else, she’s distilled her planning best practices and day-of tips into an actionable toolkit. Get ready to spend a day laying down common groundwork, sharing working styles, and determining who you want to be as a team.
; it will be fun!

Jessica Powell’s guide to great 1:1s

If leading useful 1:1s is an art, former Google VP of Communications and best-selling author Jessica Powell is da Vinci. In her guide to running useful meetings with your direct reports, she’s passing the paintbrush so that you can create a masterpiece of your own.

Jenny’s career development doc

Careers are like puzzles — sometimes we’re not sure where each piece fits. Jenny Emick, Design Lead for Square’s ECOM team, devised a method to help her team put those pieces together and grow beyond their day-to-day.

Docs for teams

Creating a product roadmap, making tough decisions, paying down tech debt: teamwork is hard work. Let the following docs pick up some of the heavy lifting.

Adam Nash’s 3-bucket product planning guide

Are you planning something because customers want it; or is it just cool? How do you balance metrics with feature requests and delighting customers? Start by classifying each item on your roadmap. Follow the signposts along

Gokul’s SPADE toolkit

DoorDash’s Caviar Lead, Gokul Rajaram, is understandably obsessed with the process of making decisions. Not the what-kind-of-kombucha-should-we-order type of decisions — choices that have lasting impact on teams and the company. After a realization that consensus doesn’t work, he developed SPADE, an alternative decision-making framework that emphasizes clarity and accountability.

Rushabh’s software quality, bugs, & SLA doc

Your app is buggy. Now what? For starters, try not to get bogged down in the epic struggle to build a great product while balancing product specs, framework changes, and an evolving infrastructure. Rushabh Doshi used his unique insight as a former Director of Engineering and Product Management at Facebook to construct a framework of checks and balances. Keep your engineering and product teams happy
.

Docs for individuals

Self care takes many forms, including finding a way to carve time for yourself and finding your dream job. The following group of docs puts the I in self-improvement.

Des Traynor’s 4-step prioritised productivity guide

We get it — there are never enough hours in the day. Who can escape the tension between your email, to-do lists, and calendars? With every task and minute scheduled, we find ourselves looking for the next
something
to help us keep things on track. Reclaim your time with Intercom co-founder Des Traynor’s
.

Clement’s interview practice guide

You’ll be happy to know that interviewing well is a skill that you can learn and hone. Product Managers specifically are required to show such a range of breadth
and
depth in interviews — it’s no wonder that Clement Kao, co-founder of Product Manager HQ, felt compelled to create this comprehensive interview practicum.
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