Where do Staff-plus engineers fit into the org?

June 28, 2020. Filed under management 114staff-plus 14

When I work on the organization design of an engineering organization, I think a lot about "organizational mathematics", the guideline that each team should have one manager and six to eight engineers, and each manager of managers should support four to six managers. From those numbers you can rapidly determine an appropriate structure for your organization that’ll work fairly well. It might not be perfect, but it’ll work.

StaffEng Updates, June 2020

June 23, 2020. Filed under staff-eng 4

I'm on parental leave for four weeks (after which Laurel and I are siwtching off, so I'll be taking more later when she returns to work), and in addition to learning how to change diapers, read hunger and exist in a world of constant sleep deprivation, I also wanted to push forward a couple of lingering projects, one of which was StaffEng

Stuff I've learned about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion over the past few years.

June 20, 2020. Filed under management 114inclusion 4

When I wrote An Elegant Puzzle, I wanted to document some of the structured ways I’d learned to foster inclusion within the organizations, which surfaced in a number of sections, including Opportunity & Membership, Selecting project leads, Inclusion in the first shift, and Work the policy, not the exceptions. Those pieces continue to reflect my values, but they often operated on an aspirational level without acknowledging the grittier, more ambiguous layers beneath the ideals where you spend most of your time attempting to effect change. In these notes I want to focus on what I’ve seen work over time.

How to practice backend engineering.

June 20, 2020. Filed under architecture 29interviewing 4

On a recent call, I chatted with someone about backend roles in software engineering, and what folks actually do in those roles. More than just what do these folks do, how would you practice for this kind of role or prepare for interviews?

Trapped in a Values Oasis.

June 18, 2020. Filed under management 114

Learning to influence without authority is the keystone leadership skill to transition from early to mid career. It becomes an even more important skill later in your career as you need to partner effectively with your peers, executives and board members.