Irrational Exuberance!

Video recording of Paying Technical Debt at Scale - Migrations

December 13, 2018 Video of my QCon SF talk is up! The talk was about migrations and how they define company velocity over time: Paying Technical Debt at Scale - Migrations.

Infrastructure planning: users, baselines and timeframes.

December 9, 2018 Technical infrastructure is never complete. System processes can always run with less overhead or be bin-packed onto fewer machines. Data can be retrieved more quickly and stored at a cheaper cost per terabyte. System design can broaden the gap between failure and user impact. Transport layers can be more secure.

Introducing SREs, TPMs and other specialized roles.

August 13, 2018 Folks are sometimes surprised to learn that I started out working as a frontend engineer. I'd like to imagine it's because I'm so terribly knowledgeable about infrastructure, but I suspect it's mostly grounded in my unconscionably poor design aesthetic. Something that has stuck with me from that experience was feeling treated as a second-tier engineer: folks were unwilling to do any frontend work, but were careful to categorize it as trivial.

Sizing engineering teams.

July 14, 2018 I've come to believe that most organizational design questions can be answered by recursively applying a framework for sizing teams. Over the past year I've refined my approach to team sizing into a bit of a framework, and even changed my mind on several aspects, especially the viability of small teams. This post describes how I now size teams

Digg's v4 launch: an optimism born of necessity.

July 2, 2018 Digg was having a rough year. Our CEO left the day before I joined. Senior engineers ghosted out the door, dampening productivity and pulling their remaining friends. We had only one remaining shot at revival, launching our two-years in the making rewrite: Digg v4. It did not go as planned.