The Swamp

The swamp is vast, dark, and deep, and passage will cost you dearly. Small bands of travelers with even the most rudimentary instincts for survival will do anything to avoid entry. They recognize it for what it is, redefine their destinations under the shadow of this impenetrable barrier, and either simplify their goals, or turn away toward other ends. Armies […]

Startup operations priorities

One of the things about being in operations is that it introduces you to a whole host of concerns, features, and disciplines that you’d otherwise take completely for granted. In the same way that you rarely think about the work that goes into maintaining the sidewalk outside your house, or the massive international infrastructure devoted […]

Management style

“What’s your management style?” It seemed like an innocent enough question. After all, I’ve been managing teams of engineers on and off for fifteen years, and have spent the last two and a half years organizing my thoughts on the subject. Easy. “Well, you know, I’m, uh… Hmm.” Yes, that sound you just heard was all […]

Someone just quit

One of your key team members just quit. A top performer, she’d slotted into the team as though she’d always been there, and quickly become your go-to person for several key initiatives. Now you’re wracking your brain, trying to figure out what just happened. Things were going so well, why is she leaving? Was it something you did? […]


Reflections on a year in DevOps

I’ve been working in DevOps for just about exactly one year now. Different companies call their teams different things, but at TripAdvisor we divide Operations into the following buckets: TechOps: Live site hardware. This includes managing the data centers, racking and kickstarting servers, setting up firewalls, routers, load-balancers, networking, DNS, bandwidth, certs, and so on. SiteOps: […]