The Sweet Spot
On software development, engineering leadership, machine learning and all things shiny.


What's the fuss about formal specifications? (Part 2)

In which we debug a production bug (loosely based on a real bug at Lyft) and check its fix in the TLA+ model checker!

What's the fuss about formal specifications? (Part 1)

What Math ✨ can bring to your daily toolbox of programming tools to write robust, concurrent programs: a light introduction to TLA+.

Let's talk about the FAANG interview

If you've ever cruised Hacker News or Blind, you'll know there's an intense obsession with passing the interview loop at big tech companies like FAANG. This is a post for early-career engineers and those looking to break into the field. As someone who's failed SO MANY of these loops, I'm here to tell you to relax.

Overproduction and its discontents

I'm committing myself to an article a week on this blog while on paternity leave in early 2022. Today's topic is on how I'm recovering and reorienting myself after a disorienting 2021.

How now, sacred cow?

Sometimes, our most dearly-held beliefs and practices are the very things that keep us from succeeding in new leadership roles.

The Product Owner Engineer - The Four Product Hats

Cool, we've got swarms of empowered ICs working on their newly ideated projects. How do you keep the team holistically moving toward the right goals, without having the superpowers of a PM on hand? You improvise and hand out some hats.

The Product Owner Engineer - Engineers as Project Drivers

When individual empowerment is your radical idea, then you commit fully to it with the Engineer as Project Driver. All engineers, no matter their experience, are given the responsibility to take a project from start to finish and own the outcomes.

The Product Owner Engineer - The Idea Backlog

How do you teach engineers to think like PMs? You give them the awesome and scary responsibility of choosing their work. Our team learned how to think and prioritize strategically by collectively building an Idea Backlog where we dream up and prioritize impactful projects to tackle. Here's how it works.

The Product Owner Engineer: What if there were no PMs?

Can a team with a recently-departed product manager learn to survive on its own? How we built a bottom-up product development culture on my team at Lyft.

My Biggest Three Mistakes as a Manager

It's been several years since I've come off of my former role as an engineering manager, and with enough humble introspection I've had several insights into the mistakes I've made, and how I'm integrating those learnings into my teams nowadays.

I choose XP

A discussion about why I enjoy working in the XP-school of Agile. (tl;dr: I enjoy working in a pull-based work stream. I like that pair programming, TDD and other best-practice batteries are all included.)

Conway's Law for humans

If you’re familiar with Conway’s Law, it states: