Leading your engineering team through an unexpected product pivot

#92 – June 06, 2022


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this week's favorite

In tech, we talk a lot about failing fast: implementing small, incremental changes so we can learn quickly, prevent codebases from getting unwieldy, and ultimately, create better products for our customers.

Does your engineering team ever receive large feature requests that MUST happen fast? You’re already envisioning how you’ll need to drop all your team’s tech standards to comply with the business requirements on time. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have tools in your team’s arsenal to offer a plan to deliver fast, without compromising on a high-quality technical solution?

I had a sticky note on my desk labeled “Architecture Diagrams”. Whenever I was in a meeting, if I said I can draw a diagram for that, I wrote a tick mark.

There’s this belief that in order to hire well as an underfunded startup, you need to hire via compelling vision. I remember asking advice from a founder in early 2015, back when I was new to this whole hiring thing, and he kindly agreed to get coffee with me at L’Usine in downtown Saigon.

The job of a Staff+ IC (individual contributor) leader is murky at best. Even when I spoke about this in [the first event dedicated to Staff+ folks], I felt compelled to explain that “it is a job that can be different things at different times”.


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