27 Jun 2020
Here’s a common discussion between a business stakeholder and an engineering leader. Why aren’t we hitting our deadlines? Or the alternative, why aren’t you able to give me accurate timelines. The engineering leader sucks in a deep breath. Then they begin a tirade on how impossible it is to know how long engineering work will take. Or the engineering leader will agree to put a date on work they know won’t get completed in time. This situation plays out week after week. The business person loses confidence in the engineer. The engineer loses the motivation to even try communicating anymore. The relationship turns toxic and everyone is unhappy. The real kicker is that both of them are smart, ambitious, and want the best for the team.
So how did we get here?
20 Jun 2020
Welp. You’ve just found out there’s an urgent issue that needs to be addressed. Someone released a bug or maybe there’s an outage with a critical system. Whatever it is, you have a “drop everything” situation. You have yourself a fire.
13 Jun 2020
I have a little figurine on my desk that I look at from time to time. It’s Michael Jordan soaring for a dunk. The plastic base is missing a corner, chewed off by my dog years ago. The metal stand is rusted and most of the paint is faded. But it’s unmistakably MJ with that red 23, tongue out and hand palming a basketball. I’ve had this figurine since elementary school and it’s been on my desk through high school, college and now as I navigate my professional career. I use it to calm myself down, inject a boost of confidence or when I need a push to stop procrastinating. I look at my little figurine and remember that Jordan wouldn’t be scared and then direct that feeling towards whatever needs to get done in that moment.
06 Jun 2020
I recently went through my own round of interviews for several companies and I was expected to write code in multiple sessions for each one. I’m not particularly senior (though I was interviewing for a Director role) and I still love coding so it didn’t strike me as odd. But I’ve now had this conversation with multiple folks so I thought I’d try and gather my thoughts. So the question I’m posing to myself is:
Should senior engineering leadership (Director, VP, etc) be expected to code during an interview?
30 May 2020
I’ve read plenty of blog posts and books on testing in my career that extol the benefit of testing and give great instruction on frameworks and best practices. I don’t often see any thoughts on what happens next. I’m going to attempt to skip past the first part and assume if you’re reading this you a) believe and understand that testing is important and b) have a good sense of how to set up your favorite testing framework.