An Elegant Puzzle is released today!

May 28, 2019. Filed under management 89writing 30elegant-puzzle 8

My book, An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management, is available today!

Make timeline tradeoffs using iterative elimination tournaments.

May 25, 2019. Filed under management 89

Years ago I found myself in a small room with large glass double doors that didn’t quite close properly, and were leaking crescendoing frustration into an office furiously avoiding any acknowledgement of the dispute happening therein. I was trying to mediate a disagreement between two teams about our approach to collecting data from Facebook Ads APIs. The API provided the necessary data, but didn’t provide a sufficiently granular time series of changes over time, which we need as an input into a budget rebalancing algorithm.

Magnitudes of exploration.

April 6, 2019. Filed under management 89infrastructure 33

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.

Fire fixation.

March 23, 2019. Filed under management 89

Of the early Stripe lore I've encountered, my favorite is that it managed to accomplish a tremendous amount with a small team because folks moved so rapidly from one project to another project that, leaving an afterimage behind them, it appeared that they were everywhere simultaneously.

Rules of thumb for org design.

March 17, 2019. Filed under management 89

While writing 'How to evolve an engineering organization', there were a bunch of org design rules of thumb that are interesting to discuss but didn't fit into the article well, so I've written them up here instead.