Irrational Exuberance!

Guiding broad change with metrics.

July 6, 2018 Although folks often talk about goals and metrics when they're writing new plans or reflection on plans past, my fondest memories of metrics are when I've seen them used to drive large organizational change. This post covers the approach that I've seen effective to guide broad organizaitonal change relying on metrics and without requiring much organizational authority.

Goals and baselines.

July 5, 2018 There is a moment in every company's growth when top-level planning shifts from discussing specific projects to talking about goals. This can be a very empowering moment because goals decouple the "what" from the "how", but it can also be a confusing transition for everyone involved: writing clear goals takes a bit of practice. This post takes a look at how to write effective goals and how to use them during planning.

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.