Irrational Exuberance!

Saying no.

September 23, 2018 Some years back, I was sitting in a room with my manager, our CTO and a crisis. An engineer on my team had mishandled two alerts, which had cascaded into plausibly the worst production incident the company had experienced to date. There were three root causes: alert fatigue, a lack of velocity context for out-of-diskspace alerts, and relying on a centralized database with little support for vertical scaling. At that moment, though, we were no longer talking about root causes. We were discussing whether to fire the oncall engineer, and I was saying no.

Work the policy, not the exceptions.

September 23, 2018 At an early job, I worked with a coworker whose philosophy was "If you don't ask for it, you'll never get it", which culminated in continuous escalations to management for exceptional treatment. This approach was pretty far from my intuition of how a well run organization should work, and it grated on my belief that consistency is a precondition of fairness.

Modeling a hiring funnel with Systems library.

September 18, 2018 After writing the Introduction to systems thinking, I scheduled my yearly trip through the internet looking for easy to use and reasonably priced systems modeling software, and didn't quite find what I wanted, so I wrote something.

Introduction to systems thinking.

September 4, 2018 Many effective leaders I've worked with have the uncanny knack for working on leverage problems. In some problem domains, the product management skillset is extraordinarily effective for identifying useful problems, but systems thinking is the most universally useful toolkit I've found.

Notes on "A Philosophy of Software Design."

September 3, 2018 Jumping on the recent trend, I picked up a copy of A Philosophy of Software Design based on Cindy's recommendation. It's a fairly concise read at 160 pages, and I skimmed through it over the last few days, writing up some notes along the way.