fallen leaves

Leaves from the vine / Falling so slow
Like fragile tiny shells / Drifting in the foam
Little soldier boy / Come marching home
Brave soldier boy / Comes marching home

startup power

If you don’t invest in engineering leadership early you’re burning your salary budget. Once it’s time for process, you need someone who empowers your engineers and helps them operate safely rather than imposing rules that grind your releases to a halt.

two leaders

How do I say this politely? If you’re the kind of leader who “puts the group before the individual” that usually just means you’re a bad leader and everyone knows it.

escape delta

A moment of conceptual breathing room by putting forward a well-articulated, divergent view could save a ton of resources later.

graphing teams

I’ve studied many performance rubrics, skill trees, and advancement systems for engineering departments. Boiling them down to core principles can bring clarity when you’re up to your eyeballs in criteria, factors, and value statements.

feature shortcuts

When you’re building a software product, time always feels like your enemy. Co-opting an existing feature for a new use can feel extremely clever, like you’ve sidestepped a ton of work. But it doesn’t scale, it adds friction, and it adds danger.

power structures

As a white dude who can smoothly “pass” as straight and grew up with strong, educated parents in a very stable environment with a strong safety net, I had the privilege of approaching social power structures however I liked. And I chose deeply irreverent.

servant leaders

To me, credibility as a leader is fundamentally whether you’ve convinced me our interests are sufficiently aligned and whether you have the skills & motivation necessary to keep them that way.

family metaphors

Your company isn’t a family. Every time I hear someone describe their workplace as a family, it’s a red flag. It means one of two things: You’re squeezing people, or you’re earnest but inexperienced.

product moats

Shipping new features feels like it’s increasing the “moat” around your product because just look at all the time and effort it took. There’s just one problem: Features aren’t a moat.

open investments

I recently read “Why I wouldn’t invest in open-source companies, even though I ran one” by Wolfram Hempel and started to write a very long comment, but decided I’d just publish my own counterpoint instead.

build off

I’m lately watching The Great British Bake Off. When I thought about why you couldn’t do a similar show about programming, I realized the hurdles to televising it are the same hurdles teams face anyway.