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With growing pains, software entropy kicked in and product developers had to manage several cross-cutting concerns along with their feature work and timelines.
We need to solve problems holistically to handle multiple teams and applications instead of just the projects at hand
But what does improving the platform really mean?
It is too broad of an avenue to chase after and what we need here is direction and focus. To help answer this, start with these three simple questions
What are our key focus areas?
With this, we list down key goals that help achieve our overarching mission. These goals help provide much needed focus, that in turn translates to identifying the right avenues to tackle.
“The secret to becoming a 10x engineer is to help 10 engineers around you to become twice as productive .”
Define best practices and architectural guidelines . Advocate and enforce them via tooling, reviews, documentation. Provide coaching, participate in slack discussions and help engineers deliver high quality code.
“No idea is true just because someone says so. Test ideas by the evidence gained from observation and experiment. If a favorite idea fails a well-designed test, it’s wrong!”
Whenever we identify promising approaches to any problem, it’s encouraged to try them out through POCs, review results afterwards and make choices accordingly. Key features should always be AB tested and analyzed before complete rollout.
“How do we operate?”
We now define our core values and operating principles that help set the right culture and mindset in our team.
We should know why we are doing what we are doing and the impact it brings to our developers. Now ruthlessly prioritize our short-term goals and activities so that they support our long-term vision.
Always be asking “Is this absolutely necessary to do?”
The platform we build is our product and teams we support are our users. We collaborate like an Internal Open Source (aka Inner source) Team. We do not want any one person or team making decisions on how we solve problems for all teams. The key is to share your plan with teammates and encourage open feedback and suggestions through design reviews or other communication channels.
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