Distribute authority with design thinking

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Photo by Clayton Cardinalli on Unsplash

Hi, I’m Dan Pham. I’ve spent the last ten years of my career in the San Francisco Bay Area working with teams of product leaders, software engineers, and operations. Today, I wanted to share my experience with you as a former people manager at Google, specifically how leaders at technology companies can encourage their employees to love coming to work on a team.

Below, I’ve adapted multiple companies’ best practices with the goal of encouraging more leaders in tech to embrace autonomy within teams so innovation becomes common practice and work becomes more enjoyable, customer-focused, and creative.

When I began…


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A collection of learning resources for automating program…


The hidden talent of high performing tech workers

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Photo by Madhur Chadha on Unsplash

A while back, a group of us were trying to figure out what separates fast-rising Staff Engineers from Senior Engineers. We thought it counterintuitive that the answer wasn’t always tied to technical skills.

Instead, all the Staff Engineers demonstrated crucial leadership through the successful project management of their projects.

Interested in how we could level the playing field by giving engineers access to additional leadership training, we did lots of research with Northeastern University on what good project management is — trying to figure out how Product Managers and Engineers could leverage these skills, even without a dedicated project manager…


A guide to salary negotiations for those working in tech

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Photo by Concrete Lies Photography on Unsplash

This article is based on a talk by Alexandra Dickinson, CEO of Ask For It, at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2018. Her negotiation framework was originally made available to Platinum and Interactive Badge holders for an admission price of $1,395 per person. After the talk, the notes were shared widely among women in tech with the goal of closing the wage gap through salary negotiations. At Google, I used some of these tips to successfully re-negotiate my own pay and indirectly increased the salaries of several of my fellow long-tenured peers as well.

This has been updated in 2020 for…


PROGRAM MANAGEMENT TIPS & TRICKS

Spend less time with spreadsheet maintenance, so you can focus on connecting people faster

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❤️ Ethics Note: If you have hired a program manager to assist in the process of job applicant and referral tracking, please do not build this solution to replace them. Program Managers can be re-deployed at your company to more strategic hiring goals once automation has eliminated rote reporting and follow-up tasks.

☀️ Purpose

I use this document to teach prospective learners a rapid approach to automating the follow-up and status reporting of Applications and Referrals in Greenhouse. Making those statuses available in 1-many Slack channels creates consistency and transparency across your company and best of all, saves Recruiters precious time.

The solution presented here can be used as a working prototype as is, or even turned into a fully-fledged corporate Slack app. Conservatively, this saves recruiting 2 hours of manual data collection and note-taking every week. …


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or rather, Building Stuff Internally Can Sometimes Be Wasteful

After leaving Google a year ago, I’ve become more aware of how the rest of the world operates. One thing that’s been quite surprising is that lots of schools, businesses, enterprises, and startups are using Google Forms or Google Classroom for public processes. Not just for kid stuff like turning in homework, but also for doing business-critical functions like lead generation, market research, and even VC-fund investor sign-ups!

To be honest, after years of using Google Forms for only internal processes, at first, I thought, Jeez, these companies must not have a lot of budget to be forced to use…


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Time’s Up on the Gender Pay Gap: How to Negotiate in 2018

Dan's Editorial: This talk was presented and made available to Platinum and Interactive Badge holders between March 13–21, at SXSW 2018, for an admission price of $1,395 per person. After the talk, it was shared widely among women in tech with the goal of closing the wage gap through salary negociation. At Google, I used some of these tips to successfully re-negociate my own pay and indirectly increased the salaries of several of my fellow long-tenured peers, as well 🙌🏼

Speaker: Alexandra Dickinson, CEO of Ask For It, a columnist for Forbes
Notes by: Janine Kahn, Editorial Strategist, Airbnb

Negotiation Framework

[For…


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Sorry, Wordpress ;)

PASSIVE INCOME STREAMS

A look under the hood of my humble online business


COVID-19 Hiring Resources

How to write for your audience in People Operations

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Many successful people know the importance of well-written referrals when it comes to hiring. When you can help your company find talent and vouch for someone’s experience by writing a reference, you make an outsized impact at the company while simultaneously helping someone get connected with hiring managers. I found out recently that the industry standard is that ~46% of all hires begin with a referral.

That’s right, ~46% of all hires begin with a referral!

That said, writing an excellent referral requires time, thoughtfulness, and empathy. …


Program Management Tips & Tricks

Eliminate tedious toil work by using the SFDC & Gmail APIs

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❤️ Ethics Note: The act of automating 1-to-many communications via Gmail is not designed to “replace” humans but to enable re-deploying staff to higher value, strategic activities, instead of repetitive tasks.

☀️ Purpose

This document is designed to teach prospective learners an approach to automate customized email notifications to different Sales teams using Gmail and Salesforce. Conservatively, this saves sales managers, marketing managers, product managers, and/or program managers 2–3 hours of manual data collection and note-taking every week. On some teams, this solution entirely replaces the need for a dedicated resource and significantly reduces the length of large staff meetings.

⭐ User Stories

  • Sales Manager/Marketing Lead: I want to see the status of my Campaigns and Pipeline this week, without having to ask each Sales Rep for an update 1:1, so that we can quickly identify…

Dan Pham

San Francisco, CA, Planet Earth. New Father and Asian American working in Tech. I’m trying my best! Currently: Staff Technical Program Manager @ Slack

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