Irrational Exuberance!

Headcount dilemmas.

November 15, 2018 When I was four, I won a cake walk. For thoes who haven't partaken, a cake walk is when a group of folks walk around a path on the floor, and then stop when they are told to stop. Whether you win or lose a cake is entirely out of your hands, it's a matter of timing and position, both of which are out of your control. I've been reflecting lately on the forces which make headcount planning--really just a specialized form of resource allocation--difficult, and perhaps sthe cake walk has something to teach us.

Speaking at QCon SF 2018 about migrations.

November 5, 2018 Quite excited that I'll be speaking at QCon SF 2018 tomorrow about migrations, and hope to see some of y'all there.

Talent distributions.

November 4, 2018 When I was applying to college some years ago, one of my teachers asked me if I thought I would regret not applying to more prestigious schools, making the observation that it's not whether the professors will be good--professors are good everywhere--but the quality of the student body. Would I learn from my peers? I hadn't thought of that conversation in a decade, but it floated up through the layers of memory recently when someone asked why I originally joined Stripe.

Landing in the JET Program.

October 15, 2018 A couple months before graduating as one of ten students in Centre College's computer science program, I did the natural thing: applied to the JET Program to teach English in Japan. Five months later in early August I arrived alarmed and alone in Kamioka-cho, Hida-shi, Gifu-ken, Japan, but my favorite story about the JET Program is actually the the prelude: my final interview round in Atlanta.

Capturing resources.

October 14, 2018 I was recently reflecting on a strange experience I had when leading Uber's SRE team, which was being asked by an senior engineer on the mobile development team to prioritize setting up and managing their mobile test clusters. At the time, most of my attention was focused on how we could clarify better interfaces around the services we provided, eventually ending with a service cookbook, but as I reflect on it now, what comes to mind is something else entirely: how frequently teams and organizations make resourcing decisions that at least initially come across as entirely implausible.