Anna Shipman

Recent blog posts

Turn the Ship Around!

26 November 2020

Prompted by some discussions at work, I recently read Turn the Ship Around! I enjoyed it. Here are my notes.

How to sell

01 October 2020

Even if we don’t work in sales, we often need to sell something: an idea, a course of action, or ourselves (e.g. in a job interview). It’s a useful skill to have in your toolbox. I recently had a very useful conversation with the excellent Jon Slade, who is the Chief Commercial Officer at the Financial Times, and he outlined some sales techniques.

Meeting everyone on a new team

17 September 2020

When I joined the Financial Times as Technical Director for, I inherited a team of around 50 engineers. One of the first things I did was meet each of them for a one-to-one. I was initially resistant, but it was extremely valuable, I’m glad I did it, and I would definitely do it again in a future role.

The Multiple Faces of Technical Leadership

08 July 2020

On Monday I was on a panel, organised by Codemotion, about technical leadership. It was a great discussion, with extremely impressive co-panellists Omosola Odetunde and Pat Kua, and well faciliated by Piergiorgio Niero.

Unlocking value with durable teams

29 June 2020

Over the past six months, my group at the Financial Times has moved from project-based teams to durable teams. In this post I’ll explain why we made that move and how this is helping us deliver bigger and better things for our customers.

Why and how to do annual performance reviews

23 June 2020

We are coming up to mid-year review time in my group at the FT, and two brilliant engineers on my team, Glynn Phillips and Charlotte Payne, decided to run a session for the other line managers in our group on why we have this process.

A 'Hello World' mod-wsgi application

06 June 2020

I recently found myself having to use mod_wsgi, an Apache module which can host Python web apps that support the WSGI spec.

The difficult teenage years at Tech Nottingham

13 May 2020

I was meant to go to Nottingham this week to give a talk about tech strategy. It was going to be a follow on from my talk at Continuous Lifecycle, After the Launch: the difficult teenage years – where are we a year later and what have I learned?

Social distancing quiz

29 March 2020

With our whole team suddenly working from home, we’ve put in a regular Friday 3pm “remote social” for the whole of Customer Products, a team of about 60 people. The idea is to help with the loss of the casual chat and social interaction we get in the office. Last Friday, for the first one, I ran a remote quiz.


31 December 2019

I’ve written briefly about Slack before (at the end of my post on High Output Management), but this year I decided to re-read it. It’s good. Here are my notes from the second read.