How to deal with Shwetabh?
Who am I?
I am Shwetabh, I manage Integrations Engineering at Fyle.
I joined Fyle on February 1, 2019, as an intern. If you want to understand how I traveled from being an intern to leading the team I have covered it in this blog.
I would like to use this section to cover who I am outside work. I believe it’s important to know a person to bond and work better with them.
I was raised in a city called Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh. A city that is rich with religious landmarks like the Triveni Sangam. Although I am not a religious person this is something I like about that city.
Currently, I live in Bangalore and have been living here ever since I started working at Fyle. If you’ll work with me you should know that I won't shut up about how much I like Bangalore. If you’re ever here, let’s meet up.
I am very enthusiastic about music. I enjoy almost all genres of Metal and Rock music, with a pinch of country music. I love to play instruments and know how to play guitar and piano and I also sing. I also have a Youtube channel where I’ve uploaded a couple of covers. I’ve shared the link in the last section of this document.
Why do you need this guide?
The goal of the user guide is to give an insight into how I work and how can you fit in with the way I work and we can remove that unnecessary learning curve at the beginning. This will help us get a head start and bond better thus enabling us to work better almost immediately.
We could all use some level of assurance since every individual is different. It is always good to have READMEs for any engineering problems and similarly this is my attempt to write a README for a social one.
Let’s get to the actual purpose of this document.
I find that the vast majority of issues are a result of poor or infrequent communication. It’s important we communicate well and often.
I like to work and converse on public slack channels. If you ever have anything that you need me to address regarding the current task you might be working on, the public slack channels are the medium I would like you to use. I usually don’t respond to direct messages unless they’re very important, personal, or something unrelated to day-to-day work.
The frequency at which I respond to places I am tagged is almost immediate unless I am busy with a meeting, in such cases, I would respond as soon as I can.
I work between 9:30 AM to 7 PM and only respond to P0 things(very high-priority bugs, requests) outside these hours. All the meetings I would schedule with you will be in this time frame. Working on weekends for me is a big no and usually don’t respond to slack on weekends except for P0s. I don’t expect anyone I work with to work on weekends or late nights too unless that’s something you prefer to do.
I will always communicate beforehand whenever I take leaves unless there is an emergency or I fall sick. I would expect the same from you. As long as it’s communicated well you can take leaves as per the company’s leave policy.
I usually take a break of about 7-10 days once every year. I feel that it’s important for our mental health to take a break from work sometimes. It helps me stay productive and excited about work.
I rely very heavily on async communication and updates. I don’t like to get on calls for small things which can be communicated offline. At Fyle whenever we work on something we call it an Initiative. If you’re working on an initiative I would expect you to post daily updates about the progress on the initiative slack channel.
We also use ClickUp for tracking our initiatives and notion for all the ideation and collaboration related to it. So I encourage the use of these tools and regular updates as it makes it easier for me to stay on top of things.
I do not believe in micro-managing and choose to trust everyone I work with completely. If you’re not able to find a solution to a problem I would appreciate it if you do your research before coming to me for help. I would also expect you to reach out to other folks on the team to get a problem resolved. Again, communication is key here, the more you use public slack channels the wider your audience for a problem you face.
Your independence while working is of great importance to me. I like to enable my reports to work in an autonomous way and build enough trust that they’re able to take day-to-day decisions on their own. I always appreciate people coming up with independent ideas of how we can improve anything. It can be code, process, or any other work-related improvement.
I like to keep my work environment light so I am always interested if you send me memes or share non-work banter with me.
I do weekly 30-minute 1-on-1s with all my reports. I like to discuss all the interesting things that would’ve happened throughout the week and I also use 1-on-1s to know you better.
I create a private 1-on-1 slack channel with all my reports where we can communicate asynchronously. I use this slack channel to share any agenda for the 1-on-1 and anything that I would need to communicate to you asynchronously. This channel will also act as a medium for you to do the same. You can share anything you would like to discuss in a 1-on-1 or otherwise on this channel.
If anytime you have to talk to me I will always make time, even apart from scheduled 1-on-1s if it’s something urgent you don’t have to wait to talk to me.
I will summarize everything that we discuss in a 1-on-1 and share it as notes on the 1-on-1 slack channel. This is a way for me to briefly document everything we discussed so that we don’t lose track of any action items.
I will regularly keep sharing feedback with you in our 1-on-1s as well as our async slack channel. The idea is for you to keep improving on a regular basis. The feedback can be related to any aspect of work -
All of these aspects are equally important to me.
The reason for sharing feedback regularly is so that you get enough time to improve and work on it. We can discuss feedback in our 1-on-1s and brainstorm ideas about how you can get over a problem that you might be having.
The same expectation I have from you too, irrespective of experience, age, etc. I am happy to hear any feedback that can help me improve at how I manage the team or manage you. I am very open to hearing your suggestions/feedback and I intend to keep improving myself so that we can function harmoniously as a unit.
I strongly believe that feedback should not have to be repeated multiple times. If the feedback is unclear then it is not really feedback. I will try to keep my feedback for you as clean and clear as possible and would expect the same from you.
It’s very important for me to understand what professional growth means to you and how I can get you there. As we continue to work together I’ll also get a sense of what your expectations are and what can be your short-term and long-term goals.
As I’ve already mentioned that I strongly believe in autonomy; my management style is mainly throwing endless challenges. That’s how I’ve grown in my career and I strongly believe that is a great way to learn. I will be giving you new and harder challenges to work on as you grow and I’ll enable and help you to overcome them independently and successfully.
You might enjoy certain challenges and not enjoy some of them, but in a few days of working together, I’ll try to get on the same page about your likes and dislikes and we can move forward accordingly.
At Fyle, we have quarterly performance reviews where we discuss all of these things in a lot of detail. That is a chance to hold on and look back on how the past quarter was. This will help us evaluate how we could nudge your growth in the correct direction.
I am often late to meetings or sometimes forget meetings when I am deep into my work. I’ve noticed that without a couple of reminders I end up forgetting about them completely. This is something I am currently trying to improve.
I am not great at CSS and Front end development. I understand it and I am able to share my inputs efficiently but I currently rely on others’ expertise in the team heavily when it comes to complicated problems. I am trying to challenge myself more with technical problems and wish to take this up and get better at it soon.
Sometimes when I trust someone a lot I tend to slightly overload them with work. I am trying to control that and learning every day how I can manage this better.
Shwetabh Outside work
I’ve already mentioned that I love music, singing, and playing instruments. This is how I like to spend most of my time. I can spend hours sitting in one place with a Guitar singing and playing. That’s how my wife and I spend many of our weekends.
Here is the link to my YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRTuIGN6tEtrUjdx0qGKXxQ
If you’re interested in the kind of music I listen to, here are some recommendations -
Blackbird by Alter Bridge (Favourite band and Favourite Song) -
Holy Wars... The Punishment Due by Megadeth -
Creating God by Avenged Sevenfold -
Reverie / Harlequin Forest by Opeth -
She's Everything by Brad Paisley -
Words Darker than their Wings by Alter Bridge -
💡 Words Darker than their Wings is a debate between 2 individuals about the existence of god. One of them believes there is no god the other believes that there is something positive in the world that you can believe in. I like to amuse myself with such information and love to talk about songs too
I also love some movies, my favorite is The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by Peter Jackson. I find it majestic and full of things to talk about.
I’ve never read a lot but recently I’ve started reading Harry Potter. Currently, I am on the 2nd book and after reading all of them, I plan to read the popular Tolkein books (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit)
That’s all for now, I’ll keep updating this document as I go through more experiences.
To end, here are a couple of quotes from The Lord of the Rings that make a lot of sense to me
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” — Gandalf.
“Go where you must go, and hope!”— Gandalf.