Reclaim unreasonable software.

July 28, 2019. Filed under architecture 26

Big Ball of Mud was published twenty years ago, and rings just as true today: the most prominent architecture in successful, growth-stage companies is non-architecture. Crisp patterns are slowly overgrown by the chaotic tendrils of quick fixes, and productivity creeps towards zero.

What's the inverse of literate programming.

July 14, 2019. Filed under literal 1rust 1

One of my favorite ideas in programing that hasn't ever quite worked is literate programing. Literate programming explores how the act of writing and reading software might work if we blended code and documentation--the how and the why--much more closely, usually in the same file.

Head in the clouds.

July 7, 2019. Filed under infrastructure 33cloud 3

When I wrote about the public cloud expansion forcing infrastructure engineers to evolve their role, I sort of imagined that the precursor question--should we run our infrastructure on the public cloud?--was already quite settled, but it's a discussion that I find myself having more rather than less frequently each year, so I've taken some time to structure and document my thinking.

Don't follow the sun.

July 3, 2019. Filed under infrastructure 33reliability 2

When I get the chance to speak with engineering leaders, I sometimes get asked to endorse an already underway plan to spin up a “follow the sun” on-call rotation. My advice is probably not what folks anticipate: please don’t.

Notes on Escaping the Build Trap

June 30, 2019. Filed under review 13book 11product 5

Last year while thinking about product management in infrastructure I read Cagan's Inspired, which I thought was a very solid book. I just finished reading Perri's Escaping the Build Trap, which is similarly excellent, and I've written up some notes.