Organizational Debt

Within organizational debt, there is a volatile subset most likely to come abruptly due, and I call that subset organizational risk. Some good examples might be a toxic team culture, a toilsome fire drill, or a struggling leader. These problems bubble up from your peers, skip-level one-on-ones, and organizational health surveys. If you care and are listening, these are hard to miss. But they are slow to fix. And, oh, do they accumulate!...

November 3, 2020 · 1 min · anvyst

Productivity killers in growth

However, the real productivity killer is not system rewrites but the migrations that follow those rewrites. Poorly designed migrations expand the consequences of this rewrite loop from the individual teams supporting the systems to the entire surrounding organization. If each migration takes a week, each team is eight engineers, and you’re doing four migrations a year, then you’re losing about 1 percent of your company’s total productivity. If each of those migrations takes closer to a month, or if they are only possible for your small cadre of trained engineers—whose time is already tightly contended for—then the impact becomes far more pronounced....

October 28, 2020 · 1 min · anvyst

Product vs Function oriented structures

A function-oriented structure in which firms have “vertical” groupings such as Marketing, Finance, Operations, R&D, or Customer Service. Each function has a specialty, and these specialties are critical to the performance of the firm. This kind of structure is effective when the organization’s product lines are fairly narrow or serve defined market areas. The Product Manager’s Survival Guide. And now for product-oriented structures: A** product-oriented **structure is commonly used by midsize to larger firms that are divided into product groups, product lines, or even product divisions....

May 31, 2020 · 2 min · anvyst

Shape Up: Shaping a Product

While going through the second chapter of Shape Up book, just want to summarise some of the key points of it. Real-world scenario with “calendar feature” was perfectly broken down to the points, except of “point-zero” that is constantly missed out in Cyprus: With only six weeks to work with, we could only build about a tenth of what people think of when they say “calendar.” The question became: which tenth?...

March 5, 2020 · 2 min · anvyst

Shape Up: General Points

Basecamp started off in 2003 as a tool we built for ourselves. At the time we were a consultancy designing websites for clients. Information would get lost in the game of telephone between the client, the designer, and the person managing the project. We wanted Basecamp to be a centralized place where all parties could see the work, discuss it, and know what to do next. It turned out lots of companies had this “information slipping through the cracks” problem....

March 3, 2020 · 1 min · anvyst

Lead engineer memo

If you’re still not convinced by this, there’s a more details version of it here.

October 27, 2019 · 1 min · anvyst

Culture of appreciation in dev communities

Github recently released its annual report - Octoverse 2018. Ben Halpern descried an interesting fact about the use of emojis in in Github issue tracker. According to Github infographics in the report, “the kindest” development community is Ruby developers. In a sense of support and appreciation for other developers via the use of emojis. Some might say that this metric won’t say much about the “the kindness” of the community. So you might consider also the age distribution of the developers....

December 11, 2018 · 2 min · anvyst

Code Churn: post-release defect elimination

Among numerous metrics on code evaluation (like CRAP index) in product lifecycle, code churn seems to be the one to look for while dealing with post-release and legacy code elimination. Code churn helps you to evaluate file changes across builds. Code churn is a good predictor of post-release defects. Thus, it’s a warning sign if you approach a deadline while your code churn increases. That’s a sign that the code gets more and more volatile the closer you get to your deadline....

December 5, 2018 · 2 min · anvyst

HubSpot: Gatekeepers and Gardeners

HubSpot tech blog published great article on job balancing and tech leads paradox of gatekeepers gardeners. You might be a gatekeeper if: your team regularly waits for you to review their PRs. your team waits to do the next thing assigned to them instead of taking initiative to find projects for themselves you hesitate to go on vacation because you’re concerned your team will struggle in your absence On the opposite....

October 25, 2017 · 1 min · anvyst

Main Software Engineering cornerstone: Quality

Recently Paul M. Jones published great article on the Software Engineering major conflict between Business and Software worlds: Product quality that perfectly matches Robert L.Glass book I’ve been recently reading on “Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering”. If you still didn’t read it - strongly recommended! Just few excerpts on the article: They [engineers] have a reputation to maintain. Low quality for their kind of work is bad for reputation among their peers....

October 2, 2017 · 1 min · anvyst