Michael Church on the “math” of software engineer contributions in an organization: Teams, in general, have four categories into which a person’s contribution can fall: dividers, subtracters, adders, and multipliers. Dividers are the cancerous people who have a broad-based negative effect on productivity. This usually results from problems with a person’s attitude or ethics– “benign incompetence” (except in managers, whose job descriptions allow them only to be multipliers or dividers) is rarely enough to have a “divider” effect.
Melissa Mittelman on why GitHub added management to its workforce: While the old times created a strong sense of camaraderie, employees didn’t know who to direct questions to, either about uncomfortable confrontations with colleagues or about their own performance. “Without even a minimal layer of management, it was difficult to have some of those conversations and to get people feeling like they understood what was expected of them, and that they were getting the support that they needed in order to do the best work,” says Avalos, who’s since been promoted to chief business officer, the only C-level position besides CEO.
Vladimir Oane explains holacracy: Holacracy is a system designed to move companies away from rigid corporate structures and toward decentralized management and dynamic composition. As envisioned, under a holacracy teams largely self-organize, and individuals operate with a fair amount of autonomy. Ideally, this puts work at the forefront and lets a company’s organizational structure support that work, rather than the other way around. As Tom Thomison, a partner at HolacracyOne — the company teaching this system — puts it, “Nothing gets in the way of the work.
James Whittaker on Google’s reaction to Facebook becoming more valuable to advertisers than Google: Larry Page himself assumed command to right this wrong. Social became state-owned, a corporate mandate called Google+. It was an ominous name invoking the feeling that Google alone wasn’t enough. Search had to be social. Android had to be social. You Tube, once joyous in their independence, had to be … well, you get the point. Even worse was that innovation had to be social.
Cluster schedulers promise us ease of deployment with ultimate scalability. We designed an ambitious challenge to test these promises: schedule one million containers. We call this the Million Container Challenge (C1M). HashiCorp prides itself on creating technically excellent software, and the C1M is a test to showcase this. We tested Nomad against the C1M to ensure that we meet the needs of our users at any scale. A cluster of five Nomad servers scheduled one million containers in less than five minutes, a rate of 3,750 containers per second.
Brett Slatner on the trials and tribulations of being a software engineering individual contributor, tech lead, and manager: I’ve been building software professionally for over 10 years now. I love what I do and I hope to be an old programmer someday. But along the way, I’ve encountered many terrible things that have made me hate my job. I wish that someone had given me a roadmap of what to expect earlier in my career, so when some new and unfortunate awfulness occurred that I wouldn’t have felt so alone and frustrated.