January 19, 2019 As organizations grow more complex, the folks running them interface with reality through increasingly incorporeal abstractions. On the smallest teams, leadership might be deep in the code on a daily basis. A bit larger, and you're talking about tasks in sprints. Larger still, and you're talking about collections of tasks, and adopting fancy terminology like 'epics.' At a hundred plus engineers, you're likely talking primarily in themes of work with focus on several key initiatives. Next, you might be talking about the investment frameworks for making prioritization decisions.
January 7, 2019 I once worked at a company that built most of their functionality on top of Facebook's advertising APIs. GraphQL was not publically a thing at that point, but the API design was more or less equivalent to GraphQL. Properties would appear and disappear without warning, and reacting to changes required frequent fire drills.
January 1, 2019 Time management is an ongoing challenge for managers: so much to do, so little time. The early-career manager, learning to balance being pulled in so many directions, is a sympathetic figure. Empathy for senior managers, dashing between back-to-back meetings and five minutes late to each, can be hader to summon.
December 30, 2018 I'm working on a presentation for the SFELC Summit 2019 on the topic of designing effective process. There is so much worth saying here that I initially had some trouble narrowing it down. I think the best piece I've written on this topic is "Work the policy, not the exception", but hey, that's about policy not process.
December 29, 2018 Almost a decade ago, I bought a copy of Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs. My purchase was inspired by folks calling it a great work, and I wanted to love it. In the decade since, I've started working through the book probably a dozen times, but never got too far. The early content was too easy to hold my attention, and the later content was inscrutable because I hadn't done the earlier content to learn Scheme. I finally got around to working through SICP, and here are my notes.