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For Engineering Managers
For Directors of Engineering
For VPs of Engineering
Topic - 218 Stories
Benjamin De Point
VP of Engineering at Olly Olly
Transitioning from waterfall to Scrum and getting the Business team to buy-in
When the engineering team at CaterTrax was developing software, they often missed the mark and delivered products on time but with features that were not always right. To address this, the team transitioned from a waterfall to a Scrum methodology, which improved quality and met commitments. However, the business team was initially resistant to the change and it took five months for them to buy in. To gain buy-in from the business team for a new working method, it is important to develop a business case, get feedback from the team, and meet commitments with short feedback loops and quality, working software.
Founder at Xodiac Inc.
Cloud Migration: A Journey In Visibility, Communication, & Regulation
A cloud transformation was needed to address the problems caused by an architectural decision to create independent “stacks” of systems for each development feature. This had resulted in hundreds of systems that needed to be managed, draining infrastructure resources. A three-step plan was proposed to present the largely unknown problem to a few hundred people, deal with the concerns of the development teams, and introduce cloud capabilities into the organization. The key lesson learned was that when dealing with complexity, teams need to be empowered to solve the problems and communication channels need to be opened up.
Founder, CTO-as-a-Service at Mossa Labs Inc.
The Startup Dilemma: Who Should Be Your First Hires
Early-stage startups face many dilemmas, including who to hire first. It is important to anticipate the company's growth in the next 12 months and plan accordingly. It is recommended to prioritize leadership over management, and to focus on collaboration and teamwork rather than hiring an Engineering Manager (EM) unless there are at least 30 engineers. Senior engineers can be responsible for code reviews and approvals, and the company can dedicate an hour monthly to testing with all business teams. During interviews, focus on chemistry and collaboration.
VP of Engineering at OctoML
Hiring an Engineering Manager
When hiring an engineering manager, it is important to define the role and consider the traits and questions to ask in the interview process. Three facets of the job to consider are personnel management, execution leadership, and technical leadership. Traits to look for include a willingness to admit failure and questions should include performance management issues, employee unhappiness, and a project from inception to delivery. Technical leadership can be assessed by asking the candidate to explain a system their team worked on and how they helped arrive at technical decisions.
VP of Engineering
What I Learned From A Huge Automation Initiative
A talented Tech Lead and experienced Product team had been working on an automation initiative for over a year that could save millions of dollars for the company, but it had not taken off. An engineering leader who understood both Machine Learning and Software Development was brought in to shift the ML team's focus from research-oriented to production-oriented development. The team adopted a "Rapid Prototyping" model and committed to action and planning around it. Lessons learned included that failure is a great teacher, good enough is good enough, and cutting through management layers is sometimes necessary.
Sr Director ML Personalization and Recommendations at Roku
Project Estimation Using T-Shirt Sizes
This article discusses an effective agile estimation technique for project estimation in software development, called t-shirt sizing. It involves categorizing tasks into S, M, L, and XL buckets, which can be mapped to a 1 person work week. The scale can be adjusted based on business and project needs, and there are three techniques (T1, T2, and T3) for estimating delivery dates with varying accuracy. This technique helps teams understand their velocity and plan for resources, while avoiding analysis-paralysis.
Engineering Manager at Walmart
Get ready for tomorrow, without losing out on today’s battles
This article discusses the challenge of addressing unplanned activities and ensuring completion of committed deliverables. The author allocated one person every sprint cycle for unplanned activities and collected data on the quantum of unplanned activities. This data was used to form a 'call of duty' service, where a team of developers would work on unplanned tasks, stories put in the backburner, and additional tooling. The author learned that allocating a dedicated engineer every sprint cycle reduces context switching, having a dedicated developer helps with critical analysis of applications, and collecting data on unplanned activities helps quantify the work and take corrective actions.
Head of Software Application at Groq
Sticking Your Own Fork In The Road
A friend asked for career advice on whether to be an individual contributor or a manager. The speaker shared his own experience of switching from a career in finance to a Ph.D. in machine learning, and the lessons he learned from it. He encourages others to take risks and follow their passions, and to not forget the life learnings they have acquired. He also suggests looking into functional programming as a great way to build systems.
Engineering Manager at Checkout.com
Experienced engineering leader and mentor, Women in Tech Advocate, international speaker, and Customer Advisory Board Member
Engineering Manager at NoRedInk
Experienced navigating ambiguity & bringing effective progress to unstructured/chaotic environments.
Consulting Software Engineer, Engineering Executive at Studio Connect, LLC
Engineering Executive, AWS Solutions Architect, and Musician
Director of Engineering at Affirm
Infrastructure / SRE / Observability, ex-Google, Uber
Head of Engineering & ML, Product Analytics at Autodesk
Leadership | Technical Strategy | All things Data
ex-Senior Engineering Manager at SchoolMint
Software Engineering Lead | Game Developer | University Teacher
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Talent Success Manager at Gun.io
10 Engineering Leadership lessons I learned with Customer Success Managers
Customer Success Managers can teach Engineering Leaders valuable lessons on prioritizing user needs and experience over technical complexities. By emphasizing customer-centric approaches, Engineering Leaders can ensure that products align with user expectations, enhancing satisfaction and retention. Effective communication and collaboration between technical and non-technical teams are highlighted as important for a holistic understanding of user requirements and driving product innovation. The text provides 10 lessons learned from Customer Success Managers that can optimize software development processes and deliver solutions that resonate with end-users and drive long-term success. These lessons include the importance of empathy for customers, putting into action what is advocated, enhancing the leadership voice of the customer within engineering, the significance of persuasion, the balance between support and confrontation, managing expectations, asking great questions, being invested in customers, seeking obstacles and issues beyond the product's scope, and the benefits of proactivity. By integrating these insights and strategies, Engineering Leaders can drive product development and enhance customer satisfaction, leading to increased loyalty and long-term success.
Learnings of a Solo Game Developer — Wacky Drivers video game
The author shares their journey of creating a video game called "Wacky Drivers" for Android and iOS. They had the idea for the game since they were a teenager and decided to use Unity as their development tool. They emphasize the importance of having a Game Design Document (GDD) to stay on track and discuss the development process, including creating reusable components and optimizing performance. They also highlight the importance of refining aspects such as controllers, game balancing, settings, and particles. The author advises releasing a minimum viable product (MVP) and gathering feedback early on. They also discuss their marketing efforts and future plans for expanding the game. The author encourages readers to try the game and provide feedback, and concludes by emphasizing the importance of consistency and sharing their enthusiasm for video game development.
Sr Software Engineer at Amazon Web Services
10 learnings from 10 years at Amazon
The author of this blog post shares their ten learnings as a software engineer at Amazon. They discuss the importance of leadership principles, taking on different roles, implementing mechanisms for consistent behavior, asking questions, learning from failures, following personal interests, taking calculated risks, having meetings with agendas, contributing in meetings, mastering tools, and helping other engineers grow in their careers. These learnings have contributed to the author's continuous growth over the past decade at a fast-paced company like Amazon.
Improving Performance in Code Reviews
Pull requests are an important part of the software development process, but they can become slow and inefficient as projects grow larger. This article provides tips and strategies for optimizing performance in pull requests. Some common challenges include ineffective pull requests, long wait times for reviews, and poor code quality. Strategies for improvement include setting up a team culture that values the pull request process, optimizing the code review process with clear guidelines, breaking down large pull requests, using performance profiling tools, implementing automated testing, making pull requests more efficient, allocating dedicated time for reviews, making the process visible through team chats, and creating merge requirements. By implementing these strategies, teams can enhance the performance of their pull requests and maintain a smooth software development process.
Senior Engineering Manager, Platforms
Enabling Copilot: The Journey
The author of the text initially heard about Copilot, a coding tool, at a gathering for engineering leaders. Intrigued, they decided to try out the free trial and were impressed by its capabilities. They then proceeded to convince the stakeholders at their company, including engineering leadership, security, and legal teams, of the tool's potential. Concerns such as licensing, budget, sensitive information, and legal risks were addressed and resolved. The deployment process was straightforward, and after one month of usage, the author gathered early results which showed positive feedback and a significant number of users opting to continue using the tool. The author also highlighted areas for improvement and provided additional resources for reference.
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