Bucking the Microservices Fad

In the middle of 2013, I was hired to lead the engineering team at LearnZillion--a digital curriculum for K-12 Math and English subjects composed of videos, slides, documents, and images. At the time, there were several applications in support of the business: 2 Ruby on Rails web applications: the content authoring platform for a select group of … Continue reading Bucking the Microservices Fad

Continuous Delivery, not Continuous Deployment

Engineering teams like Etsy's have popularized the idea of continuous deployment: infrastructure that automatically rolls-out newly minted code to production in a safe and gradual manner. In Lean Startup and Web Operations, Eric Ries explains the rationale behind continuous deployment: making a safe habit out of shipping product. I loved the motive, but it was clear that … Continue reading Continuous Delivery, not Continuous Deployment

The 10x Engineer and Delegated Responsibility

Whenever I do an introductory phone call with an engineering candidate, I make sure to explain my management style and how my approach directs our team's process. Our process is agile, but it is decidedly not a formal Agile methodology. It's not Agile Scrum; it's not Extreme Programming; it's not Kanban. Instead, it's delegated responsibility in a … Continue reading The 10x Engineer and Delegated Responsibility

Document the Why

Like many coders, I am a proponent of writing self-documenting code. The more I have worked with intentional code that omits unnecessary or misleading comments, the more efficient I have been as a software engineer. I read clear code and I understand what is going on. However, regardless of whether I have spelunked self-documenting code or code with a girth … Continue reading Document the Why

Pivotal Tracker Dashboard

UPDATE: The script I wrote is no longer needed for the latest release of Pivotal Tracker, as pinned panes persist between browser refreshes. The script below is for the last release of classic Pivotal Tracker on June 20, 2013. I like Pivotal Tracker. It's a step-up from the cumbersome ticket tracking systems I've used in the … Continue reading Pivotal Tracker Dashboard