Care and feeding for your engineering strategy.

November 7, 2020. Filed under management 123strategy 7

If by some act of perseverance and skill you write an engineering strategy that’s well-received by your organization, then you’re faced with the next challenge. How do you keep this living document alive past that initial burst of excitement?

Things that aren't engineering strategy.

November 7, 2020. Filed under management 123strategy 7

When you’re writing an engineering strategy, what you put in is important, but it’s almost as important to be deliberate about what you choose to leave out. The full list of things to exclude is uncountably vast, but there are a few worth emphasizing in particular.

A survey of engineering strategies.

November 7, 2020. Filed under management 123strategy 7

Before attempting to document what an engineering strategy ought to be, it’s useful to sharpen a related problem statement: why do engineering teams decide to write an engineering strategy?

Engineering strategy.

November 5, 2020. Filed under management 123staff-plus 24strategy 7

One of the projects from my time at Stripe that I’m proud of was writing our engineering strategy, which I later sanitized into a public version in Magnitudes of exploration. The strategy was an elegant document that carefully reconciled two worldviews that had initially appeared incompatible within the engineering organization. While it was both a conceptually pure and utterly pragmatic document, in the end, it wasn’t particularly useful. It reflected how we described making tradeoffs as opposed to how we genuinely made tradeoffs.

Performative leadership.

August 23, 2020. Filed under management 123

Earlier this year, I realized that I had been using the term "performative" incorrectly. This led to an interesting discussion, with Laura sharing the proper definition, and Julia pointing out that literally no one uses the term as it's "properly" defined.