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Engineering Effectiveness

Book: The Effective Engineer
  • Knowledge in adjacent disciplines pay high returns

  • Jump fearlessly into code that you don’t know

    • Highly correlated with success
    • IME: This is very true
  • T: I already do a lot of what this book says

  • Protect your large contiguous blocks of time

    • Ex: Reduce context switches
  • Focus on one thing at a time

  • Create trigger habits to fight procrastination

  • At the start of each day, analyze and prioritize high leverage work. Then chase them fearlessly.

  • Iteration speed is a high-leverage investment

    • Iteration loop includes all of engineering, organizational, and non-organization related factors. i.e. Holistic
  • It’s important to not fall into the failure mode of constantly shipping new features

  • Figure out the biggest bottleneck and remove / optimize them

    • Ex: If the bottleneck is securing approval, focus on that by gaining trust
  • It’s critical to measure your progress and pick the right metrics

  • Memorize the numbers you need to measure project and organizational progress and gain the ability to do back of the envelop calculations

  • Investing a small amount of effort to validate future effort is a high-leverage activity that can help disproportionately with exploring your unknown unknowns

  • Always create feedback loops for any complex decision or product

  • Create measurable milestones to keep track and prevent regressions

  • To effectively execute, we need to maximize learning and minimize risk by tackling our unknown unknowns

  • When executing, test the interactions between sub-systems by creating an early product

  • Don’t sprint to ship products faster as it may not be near the end of the product development cycle and may cause burnout

  • It’s important to make adding new tests as easy as possible to lower friction

  • It’s important to maintain operational simplicity when building products

    • This would mean investing carefully in reliable software
    • IME, this is true
  • When interviewing, it’s important to ask high-signal questions to get the most out of your time spent with the candidate