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Improving Product Release and Functionality

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Dev Processes
Product Team

4 February, 2019

Igor Naverniouk, tech lead at Google, identifies the most important feature of a product as its release point. From there, he details the importance of keeping the process organized and sensical.

Problem

A common error in releasing a product is doing so with an excess of added features that nobody is going to use and subsequently, wasting time.

Actions taken

  • Launch the first version of the product and start learning from it.
  • Get the absolute minimum necessary into the hands of users and start iterating.
  • Make changes with the feedback that you get from users. Do so in a way that it remains simple and modular. It should be organized in such a way where you can have pieces that can be removed and replaced separately.
  • Use shortcut decisions to help you make changes without disrupting the entire code process.

Lessons learned

  • It is better to give someone something that isn't good enough and have them tell you that directly, than to give them something that they do not need.
  • Most users understand really well, that when they get new software, it will be beta and that there will be a follow-up conversation with the developer.
  • If the code is heavily intertwined it becomes increasingly more difficult to make changes.
  • If you can make a shortcut decision in order to change the internals of code later, while keeping the API the same, you will be able to manage the technical debt aspect.
  • Most of the time you will find out that your short cut decision was actually fine and you can live with it for many years. Once in a while, however, you will see that your decision has become such a thing that you will have to make a choice to improve it, without redesigning the entire thing.

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