Irrational Exuberance!

Product management in infrastructure engineering.

February 6, 2018 Recently a bunch of teams I work with have turned the corner, having paid down technical debt to a long-term sustainable level. The future unfurls with possibility. Many of the infrastructure engineer teams I’ve been a part of have struggled to make the transition from maintenance to innovation, and I wanted to write down some of the ideas that we’re exploring to ease this shift.

Inclusion in the first shift.

January 23, 2018 Several years and an employer ago, I was interviewing a candidate for an engineering management role and asked them how they built diverse teams. They mentioned the pipeline problem and concisely summarized their experience: it’s hard. I knew it was a weak answer. And mine was uncomfortably similar.

The physics of Cloud expansion.

January 16, 2018 With many new technologies being released every year, it should get harder to place companies into their era, but I find it’s getting much easier. The staccato drumbeat of JavaScript frameworks has helped, but lately the best indicator has been which components are managed internally, and which have been moved to the cloud. Lately, the move from VMs to containers has fingerprinted companies as surely as the previous move from servers to VMs. It’s particularly interesting to think about how this trend is redefining the role of infrastructure engineering at companies that build on the cloud. How will the cloud’s steady advance shape our future work, and what can we do today to prepare for those changes?

Cold sourcing: hire someone you don't know.

January 8, 2018 Most managers devote their hiring attention to folks that they already have a relationship with, which can lead to uniform teams and becoming a hiring bottleneck as your company scales. This post looks at the process of reaching out to folks you don't know, frequently referred to as cold sourcing.

Engineering management stuff I learned in 2017.

December 29, 2017 I've been working with Stripe's infrastructure engineering team for 2017, getting to work an increasingly interesting set of problems, at an increasingly large scale, and with an increasingly talented group of folks. These are some of the things I got to learn over the past year.