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? […]

leatherman

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: […]

Customs

Culture can be top down, or bottom up. The big commandments come from on high (“Speed wins!” “Done is better than perfect!” “Don’t be evil!” “Worse is better!”), and everyone scurries to figure out what they mean and how to make them happen. Eventually, a company will settle into a rhythm (hopefully sounding more like […]

is-a vs. has-a

The old-timers have it, of course. They started it, built it, went through hell to ship it, stepped up and created something from nothing in the midst of one disaster after another. You bet your ass they feel a part of what they created, feel like part of a special club, know with a justifiable sense […]