A Day In The Life of A Netflix Engineer

Some things age, some don’t. Some insights fade, some prevail. Inspiring 2015 talk by Dave Hahn about software engineering and operations at Netflix and in general.

Full of gems, but this one I liked in particular: Innovation is inherently error prone. It is called trial and error for a reason. So, whenever you innovate, you loose. You trade in a bit of stability, availability and “correctness” of your service. You can make that choice implicitly and hit those lazy engineers/devops/testers/architects/project managers over their whenever something goes wrong. Which will lead to people and teams that will avoid innovation and risk.

Or, you can go the way of Dave Hahn and make the trade explicit. Announce publicly that you do it and that it is okay to loose some stability and availability of your service for the sake of innovation. Then you fail. And deal with it the right way, by making failures unique. Ensuring instant reviews. Digging for the what and why in a save, open and honest environment. If you do that, you might arrive at the real root cause of what went wrong, fix it and move on.

Continue reading...

Rate A Development Teams Maturity in Under 3 Minutes

The Joel Test, a basic checklist to rate the operational maturity and health of a dev team:

  1. Do you use source control?
  2. Can you make a build in one step?
  3. Do you make daily builds?
  4. Do you have a bug database?
  5. Do you fix bugs before writing new code?
  6. Do you have an up-to-date schedule?
  7. Do you have a spec?
  8. Do programmers have quiet working conditions?
  9. Do you use the best tools money can buy?
  10. Do you have testers?
  11. Do new candidates write code during their interview?
  12. Do you do hallway usability testing?

Continue reading...

McSweeny’s Nihilist Startup Haikus

Am I in the scope?
Aren’t we all client facing?
I die in Q4

Pivot your self worth
Rebrand with your therapist
Illusion of choice

Set up a touch base
Can we take this offline?
Regroup with no one

Pure gold. Evil, true, beautiful gold. Nihilist startup haikus from McSWEENY’S.

Continue reading...