We're probably bad at job titles. And it's OK.

We're probably bad at job titles. And it's OK.

There's no point in re-inventing the wheel. We all walk in the footsteps of industry pioneers & use the legacy of their lessons learned for our advantage. However ... Think for yourselfI hate mindlessly copying "industry standards" & "best practices". Software Engineering varies so heavily & is so contextual that what (IMHO) works best is crafting your own solutions to solve your own specific problems (by MAPPING others' experiences onto your own environment). This involves three critical steps I call: Awareness -> Understanding -> ClarityAwareness is all about asking the proper questions, relentlessly exploring the reality (instead of acting…

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Why scaling organizations is so difficult?

Why scaling organizations is so difficult?

There's plenty of hard topics in building software, but if you asked me what's the most challenging one, I'd answer without doubt: scaling (engineering) organizations. Why so? first of all: economies of scale do not work for building software (I've written an article about that few years ago, if you're interested in more details)the role of contextual knowledge is more important than in other industries (people/roles are not so easily replaceable), so learning curve for new people is steeper & adaptation takes them more timeorganizations can grow much faster than the sharpest & most successful people within these…

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When people care about what you do (for them)

When people care about what you do (for them)

Last week we've released a new mobile app for our business users (we have a SaaS-enabled Marketplace, so we have apps for those businesses' customers as well). There were no advertisements, no marketing, no previews. We were polishing it quietly, alpha & beta testing it, getting some early feedback in an F&F (friends & family) pilot. And then we've finally released it. Not like we've been super-discreet that we did, we may have hinted it to few people ;P ... so the news spread like fire (our users are not only smart, but also form communities - surprised? there's…

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Quantifying seniority (the right way): "the leverage"

Quantifying seniority (the right way): "the leverage"

Let's talk about "seniority" - but not in the usual way, in a context of career progression. I'm more interested in speaking about the "seniority" itself, regardless of specialty/path chosen, compensation, labels & position names. It's the kind of discussion that revolves around the following questions: what makes senior "senior"?how to measure/compare "seniority"?does seniority have boundaries? (what is the ceiling, how to recognize it and ... what happens when you reach it?)Answering these questions ain't trivial & every organization does it its way (or pretends the problem doesn't exist ...). I have my ways as well: dimensions,…

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Lava Flow Anti-pattern

Lava Flow Anti-pattern

What can we say about the characteristics of lava flow (no metaphors YET, I refer to RL lava)? it's practically impossible to stop/revert lava flow, it can either continue in the current "channel" or get routed in a new one(s)if there's no clear channel/route, lava will find its way in an uncontrollable mannerlava doesn't just pass by, it marks its way along the whole path with fire & razed groundNeat, but how does it correspond to software architecture? Lava flow represents the utilized "capacity" of development team. Developers will create code regardless of whether architecture is…

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I'm crazy: I ask job candidates to do homework!

I'm crazy: I ask job candidates to do homework!

Yupp, apparently I'm completely nuts. Demand in software engineering job market went through the roof (seems about to reach stratosphere) & I ... not only do not snatch everyone with 10 fingers and a basic understanding of "ifs" & "fors". Actually, I ask candidates to ... do homework, before they come for an interview. Seems like some sort of a ... ... modern recruitment harakiriBut it's not as crazy as it sounds. Firstly: obviously it does not apply to all kinds of positions - works best for senior (or self-declared "senior" ...) candidates, roles with a very wide autonomy or ones which would require operating…

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Our Continuous Testing odyssey - part VI

Our Continuous Testing odyssey - part VI

This blog post is about: why Operation Kalashnikov was doomed to succeed, what does it mean to have an emotional bond to a mission, why Front-End Engineers have smashed what was so hard for Quality Assurance specialists, what kind of effects we've expected and how I've cynically machiavelised the project outcome ...Previous post in the series can be found here. Where did the last post leave us? We were just about to start Operation Kalashnikov - our final experiment aimed to prove that we either are able to tackle the challenges of E2E automation or we should go for entirely…

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Unappreciated skill of visualizing the work

Unappreciated skill of visualizing the work

This blog post is all about: what can be (effectively) visualized, when visualizing works (brings benefits), what does it mean that visualization is "effective", why visualization makes a difference, why visualization is not just about sketching something that comes to your mind.One of the defining moments in each professional Software Engineer's career is when (s)he realizes her/his limitations - that (s)he can do only about as much but not more. That it's not possible to up-scale her/himself anymore & out-scaling is the only option (if one is really determined to achieve MORE). That is the…

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