How to navigate and/or survive your acquihire.

January 2, 2020. Filed under management 128acquisition 2

As I wrote up the story of SocialCode’s acquihire of the Digg team, I had to keep editing out meta-commentary about the process. It’s hard to tell a coherent story when you keep slipping into tips and observations, so I pulled them out and collected them here.

How the Digg team was acquihired.

January 1, 2020. Filed under stories 9digg 6acquisition 2

About a year after the catastrophic Digg V4 launch, our last-ditch experiment to salvage the site showed a spark of hope. We’d cajoled our way into a Facebook beta that allowed us to publish each Digg users’s read articles into their Facebook newsfeed, sending every clicking friend directly to Digg’s permalink page, where they might click on our ads and maybe even create an account.

2019 in review.

December 26, 2019. Filed under career 21blog 14

This has been a really special year for me personally, enough so that even though I won’t get into full detail about the two things (one professional, one personal) I’m most excited about (more in a month or two), writing a year-in-review still fills me with gratitude.

"Good Process is Evolved, Not Designed" in 97 Things Every Engineering Manager Should Know

December 20, 2019. Filed under management 128writing 33

Earier in the year, I got the chance to contribute an article to Camille Fournier's latest book, 97 Things Every Engineering Manager Should Know, and jumped at the change to write something.

Incident response, programs and you(r startup).

December 19, 2019. Filed under infrastructure 34reliability 3

During an incident at Digg, a coworker once quipped, “We serve funny cat pictures, who cares if we’re down for a little while?” If that’s your attitude towards reliability, then you probably don’t need to formalize handling incidents, but if you believe what you’re doing matters -- and maybe today’s a good time to start planning how to walk out that door if you don’t -- then at some point your company is going to have to become predictably reliable.

Mailbag: When your team wants your job, personal brand, and service registries.

December 9, 2019. Filed under management 128mailbag 5

Thanksgiving week started well, and then took a hard pivot towards influenza, which meant that I haven’t had much energy to write or think over the past bit. I did get a handful of interesting questions emailed in though, so I figured I’d do an email grab bag of three anonymized questions that came in over the past week and an answer to each.

Maintaining platform-product fit.

November 25, 2019. Filed under infrastructure 34

Recently I reread Steve Yegge's 2011 Google Platforms Rant, which states "the Golden Rule of platforms is that you Eat Your Own Dogfood," arguing that APIs are good to the extent that the folks developing them depend on their quality.

"How to successfully design organizational processes"

November 23, 2019. Filed under management 128speaking 6talks 4

The first pierce I wrote in 2019 was about good process being evolved rather than designed in a one-off fashion, which served as the basis for a talk I gave at SFELC's January 2019 conference.

"Do engineering managers need to be technical?" in Increment.

November 22, 2019. Filed under management 128writing 33increment 2

The most recent issue of Increment came out, focusing on Teams, and I'm excited to get to cross the chasm and move from playing a small role in the founding of Increment to contributing a piece on whether engineering managers need to be technical.

Expanding on S[a-z]{3,} Reliability Engineer roles.

November 18, 2019. Filed under infrastructure 34sre 1

One of my foundational learning experiences occurred in 2014, when I designed and rolled out Uber’s original Site Reliability Engineering role and organization. While I’d make many decisions a bit differently if I could rewind and try again, for the most part I’m proud when reviewing the reel of rewound memories.