Path to engineering manager of managers.

June 15, 2019. Filed under management 111career 13

Once your company gets large enough to roll out a formal career ladder, it becomes the foundation of most discussions about performance and promotion. All ladders have certain requirements that have to be met in order to advance, but typically the resources required to fulfill thoes requirements aren't scarce. As you get more senior, scarcity starts to creep in.

Privilege's upward-facing window.

June 1, 2019. Filed under management 111inclusion 4

Somewhat recently there was a controversial Twitter thread that defined which universities had computer science graduates worth hiring, and the hirable percentage from those universities. The best ranked universities were small, famous and expensive. Quite a few folks reacted against this perspective’s bias and privilege, at least as many chimed in to confirm the claims.

An Elegant Puzzle is released today!

May 28, 2019. Filed under management 111writing 31elegant-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 111

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 111infrastructure 34

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.