Irrational Exuberance!

Staying on the path to high performing teams.

June 17, 2018 A friend is six months into supporting a sixty person engineering group. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of their teams believe they have urgent hiring needs. It's a great question, and captures a deeply challenging aspect of leading an organization: keeping the path after you've established a strategy and while it's still waiting to show results.

Where to stash your organizational risk?

June 13, 2018 Lately, I'm increasingly hear folks reference the idea of organizational debt. This is the organizational sibling of technical debt, and represents things like biased interview processes and inequitable compensation mechanisms. These are systemic problems, which are preventing your organization from reaching its potential. Like technical debt, these risks linger because they are never the most pressing problem. Until that one fateful moment when they are. Organizational risk is the more volatile subset of organizational debt.

Experiment with distributed finite state machines.

June 2, 2018 I spent some time experimenting with the idea of a system for coordinating finite state machines as an extension of the typical publisher-consumer model for task processing. These are some notes on the project, plus a link to the project in Github.

You can't reason about big balls of mud.

May 23, 2018 Big balls of mud appear to have properties, but they don't. Throw it all away? It's not so dire. You can extend large property-less systems. It's a matter of switching from abstract to empirical reasoning.

Consider the team you have for senior positions.

May 19, 2018 I've been hiring engineering manager of managers roles over the past six months. These roles are scarcer than line management roles, and vary more across companies. This process has taught me a bunch of new things, and been remarkably rewarding.