Bigger batches to save the day

From the “right leverage point, wrong direction” series (reference to Jay Forrester), the majority of teams I worked with when faced with high batch transaction cost relative to batch size, instead of reducing the transaction cost they increase the batch size.

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Author's profile picture Dragan Stepanović

Whenever we experience a problem in production

the usual intervention I observe is introducing more gates on the way to production.

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Author's profile picture Dragan Stepanović

A '10x engineer' is likely a 0.1x engineer

if they aren’t continuously coaching others on what they know, accelerating knowledge sharing, and helping the whole team speed up.

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Author's profile picture Dragan Stepanović

A property of a good design

is the reduction of the median rate of change across code elements (methods/classes).

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Author's profile picture Dragan Stepanović

Most of the behavior we observe

is non-linear in nature, with some exponentiality in it.

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Author's profile picture Dragan Stepanović

If you need to take time to understand the code before you start refactoring

then the refactoring step you plan to do is probably already too big.

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Author's profile picture Dragan Stepanović

On measuring good design

It’s close to impossible to measure good, testable design, but over the years two interesting metrics settled in my mind that are a fairly good indication of the presence of clear, explicit code that speaks the domain:

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Author's profile picture Dragan Stepanović

Before I, an engineer, believe you, an engineer

that “pressure from product and business made us produce this mess in the code” I need to see how tight your feedback loops are.

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Author's profile picture Dragan Stepanović

On influencing change

Some of the things I think about when asked how to influence change in teams/orgs as a Principal/Staff engineer:

  • Invest time in building relationships before (big) course-correcting. In the start: a productive relationship is more important than being right. Spend time working together with people and sharing the constraints they are facing day-to-day, it will help you understand their context which makes your future interventions more likely to be useful.
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Author's profile picture Dragan Stepanović

TBD + TDD + mob programming is way less YOLO

than working on an isolated, long-lived feature branch, with a delayed review, integration feedback, and a lack of tests.

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Author's profile picture Dragan Stepanović