Irrational Exuberance!

My rails for engineering leadership.

July 1, 2018 My experiences working with many new engineering leaders, combined with my own struggles starting out, have lead me to develop a somewhat unusual approach to leadership, centered on systems thinking and providing robust standard rails. This is a collection of my writings by theme, which hopes to introduce folks to how I think about engineering leadership.

The briefest of media trainings.

June 24, 2018 When I was working at Digg, I was fortunate enough to get five minutes of media training, and I'm still learning from those five minute a decade later, so I've finally written them down.

A case against top-down global optimization.

June 23, 2018 After writing "Staying on the path to high-performance teams", quite a few folks brought up the same question, "Once a team has repaid its technical debt, shouldn't the now surplus team members move to other teams?" This is a pretty interesting question, and I've written up how I think about it.

Staying on the path to high performing teams.

June 17, 2018 A friend is six months into supporting a sixty person engineering group. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of their teams believe they have urgent hiring needs. It's a great question, and captures a deeply challenging aspect of leading an organization: keeping the path after you've established a strategy and while it's still waiting to show results.

Where to stash your organizational risk?

June 13, 2018 Lately, I'm increasingly hear folks reference the idea of organizational debt. This is the organizational sibling of technical debt, and represents things like biased interview processes and inequitable compensation mechanisms. These are systemic problems, which are preventing your organization from reaching its potential. Like technical debt, these risks linger because they are never the most pressing problem. Until that one fateful moment when they are. Organizational risk is the more volatile subset of organizational debt.