I'm Dave Anderson! Welcome!

I was a General Manager / Technology Director at Amazon, Leader at Facebook, and CTO at Bezos Academy.


About this Newsletter

  • Each article is a thousand+ words on a randomly chosen topic, usually regarding leadership, management, interviewing, or anything else I've learned while working at companies like Amazon, Bezos Academy, and Facebook.
  • About the photography on the site.
  • This site and newsletter uses Ghost, an awesome open source system. I use the Pro hosting run by the Ghost organization. If you're interested at all in using Ghost, I'd appreciate you using my referral link :)

About Dave

Careers - Growth and Development

  • Grew at Amazon from a Level 5 Development Manager to a Level 8 Technical Director and then Level 8 General Manager.
  • Wrote dozens of successful promotion documents at Amazon, and participated in dozens of promotion panels.
  • Coached multiple mentees through their own successful promotion process, and assisted managers writing promotion documents for their employees.

Bar Raising / Interviewing Experience at Amazon

  • Amazon Bar Raiser for hundreds of interview loops, ranging from Directors to Shipping Container Data Center Managers (a fascinating role by the way).
  • Amazon Hiring Manager and Organizational Owner for hundreds of positions over 12 years.
  • Was a member of multiple Amazon Bar Raiser Core groups (the Bar Raiser leadership teams in each department), providing department level direction for the Bar Raiser community, and participating in Bar Raiser graduation decisions.
  • Was shadowed as an Amazon Bar Raiser by dozens of Bar Raisers in Training (BRITs), shadowed dozens of BRITs, personally graduated many new Bar Raisers.
  • Wrote extensive internal Amazon Bar Raiser instructional documents, gave presentations to the Bar Raiser community.

Bar Raising / Interviewing Experience Outside of Amazon

  • Was one of the few Bar Raisers at Bezos Academy, and wrote the first Bar Raiser guide document defining the new internal processes.
  • As a Hiring manager at Amazon, hired hundreds of open roles at Amazon, ranging from senior management to entry level support and software engineer positions.
  • Performed dozens of interviews at Facebook and Bezos Academy as a senior leader.

Other random things I can mention

  • Why Scarlet Ink - I started using the branding of Scarlet Ink years ago. I liked using red pens to mark up documents, but when I looked for a domain name years ago, red ink was taken. I found scarlet ink (more literary version) was available, and I took it.
  • Name Choices - When I use names in my articles, I pull them from a random name generator on the internet. I used this method to avoid any unintentional bias regarding gender or ethnicity. Now I'm just borrowing some internet name generator bias instead. Funny right?
  • Quotes - My quotes in articles are almost always best effort memories of an actual discussion or written conversation with someone. They're usually a bit abbreviated compared to the actual discussion, because as you might imagine, actual discussions tend to not be brief.
  • Length of Articles - The saying "If I had time, I'd write less" is very true. When I have longer articles, that sometimes means that I had less time to write. In my process, I often write a much longer article, and then start deleting to shorten it to a more readable length.
  • Scuba - I'm a Scuba instructor (OWSI). I have some fantastic memories of people doing stupid things underwater (both myself, and others). I am at home while swimming. I also swam with dolphins once. It was pretty amazing. It's a neat story, but it totally doesn't belong on a leadership blog.
  • If you've read this far, I'm super impressed. If you have any suggestions for my site, I'd love to hear them from such a persistent reader. Just reply to any of my emails.