Polymath Engineer Weekly #60
Are you curious today?
Links of the week
Things are broken. The deployment pipeline is painfully slow. Your engineering team has doubled in the last year and there's a lack of sufficient process and management. You git blame a file that's used everywhere but nobody understands it; the person who wrote it left the company five years ago.
As a senior-level engineering leader, experience tells you things could be better. You see the gaps. If only the company adopted policy A or dumped technology B, everyone would benefit. But there's so much inertia. The company has always used B. You are frustrated. Can you actually make a difference?
Yes. You are encountering organizational friction, and learning to identify, accept and push through friction is a key skill of engineering leaders. In this talk, Dan will talk about why organizational friction occurs and how to mitigate it. The ability to push through friction will distinguish you throughout your career.
We propose that modeling techniques, which are normally used during system design to predict and avoid incidents, are just as valuable after the fact. Modeling allows site reliability engineers to go beyond a prose-and-figures incident report and produce precise, interactive and analyzable models of incidents.
Prose can be ambiguous. To make things more precise, once the facts are established, engineers should also produce a machine-analyzable model representing the systems involved and the configuration that lead to the incident scenario.
It may be hard to find an engineering team that doesn’t experience some time pressure, and for the same reasons listed in this paper: culture, estimates that don’t appropriately take into account tech debt or dependencies, or changing requirements after work has started. While time pressure may be inevitable in many teams, this paper gives us a more clear perspective on how it impacts teams.
By selecting the relevant line of inquiry, and using the example questions as a springboard to guide your investigation, you will be one the right tack to creating your own integrated business and technology strategy.
The word “enterprise” doesn’t have to mean Fortune 500 companies, by the way – even larger startups like Airtable, AirBnB, Stripe, and the like are starting to demand these kinds of features from their vendors. […] These companies have pretty transparently built teams, features, and marketing motions to cater to enterprises. In other words, it’s a thing most B2B startups will need to figure out – and dedicate engineering time to – eventually.
For some context, the worst 12-year real return in U.S. stock market history was -3.5% per year and occurred during The Great Depression (April 1930-April 1942). This means that Hussman’s measure is predicting that future U.S. stock returns will be over two times worse than what they were during the darkest period in American economic history. So what seems more likely: that we are on the verge of The Great Depression on steroids or that Hussman’s model is wrong?
Book of the Week
Do you have any more links our community should read? Feel free to post them on the comments.
Have a nice week. 😉