Global secondary indexes.

January 30, 2018. Filed under infrastructure 34storage 1

At work we’ve been planning the next phase of our storage infrastructure, and a big part of that conversation has been around global secondary indexes a technique used by horizontally scalable datastores like Cassandra. While I was super comfortable nodding along, I wasn’t sure I actually understand the concept particularly well, so I’ve spent some time learning more about them, and wrote up some notes.

Experimenting with content and distribution.

January 27, 2018. Filed under writing 31

I've been writing on this blog for over a decade, but I haven't experimented or changed things up for four or five years. This year I'm trying some new approaches to writing and distribution, and I wanted to share a bit about those goals.

Inclusion in the first shift.

January 23, 2018. Filed under management 99

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. Filed under infrastructure 34cloud 3

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. Filed under management 99hiring 8

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.