Irrational Exuberance!

Migrations: the sole scalable fix to tech debt.

April 15, 2018 Migrations are both essential and frustratingly frequent as your codebase ages and your business grows: most tools and processes only support about one order magnitude of growth before becoming ineffective, so rapid growth makes them a way of life. This post takes a look at why migrations are so important, and also how to run them effectively.

Some of my favorite technical papers.

April 7, 2018 I've long been a fan of hosting paper reading groups, where a group of folks sit down and talk about interesting technical papers. One of the first steps to do that is identifying some papers worth chatting about, and here is a list of some papers I've seen lead to excellent discussions!

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?