April 6, 2019 Standardizing on a given platform or technology is one of the most powerful ways to create leverage within a company: improve the tooling a bit and every engineer will get more productive. Exploration is, in the long run, an even more powerful force, with _successes_ compounding over time. Developing an investment thesis to balance the ratios and timing of standardization and exploration is a core challenge of engineering strategy.
January 26, 2019 In the earliest bits of my career, I spent a lot of time worrying that my lack of pedigree was holding me back. How much easier things would have be for me, I imagined, if only I'd attended a feeder school like Stanford or started out at a prestigious company like Google. Memories of that angst bubbled up when I was chatting with someone at a recent conference, and they asked how I knew so many of the people nearby. My first reaction was that I don't know very many folks, but it's also the case that I know meaningfully more folks today than I did just a few years ago, and that change isn't entirely accidental.