This was a great interview.
Evaluation is a busted idea
“It’s my opinion that the big company evaluation systems we all think of have been broken for a very long time. Long before Drive came out, W. Edwards Deming was practically yelling at the world that performance evaluations were a busted idea.”
“Remember that annual bonus money is not free money that comes into existence when a company decides to give bonuses. Bonuses are, effectively, a group of people agreeing to give up a percentage of their salary for their managers to redistribute to the people those managers arbitrarily select. What sane group of people would agree to that?”
“Bonus-tied reviews by the management layer reduce an organization’s ability to change direction, because it incentivizes people to deliver what they’ve committed to, even as new information suggests different work would be more effective.”
“It’s interesting that everyone asks about the evaluation process. I think that’s a really strong signal that most engineers don’t work in structures or environments that provide enough transparency.”