jm + engineering   24

London's Tube has been running so long it's literally raising the temperature of the earth around it | CityMetric
London has been running tube trains so long that the ground beneath parts of the city is now as much as 10°C hotter than it was in 1900.
london  tube  underground  tfl  engineering  history  temperature  ventilation 
5 weeks ago by jm
Here’s Why Juicero’s Press is So Expensive – Bolt Blog
Our usual advice to hardware founders is to focus on getting a product to market to test the core assumptions on actual target customers, and then iterate. Instead, Juicero spent $120M over two years to build a complex supply chain and perfectly engineered product that is too expensive for their target demographic.

Imagine a world where Juicero raised only $10M and built a product subject to significant constraints. Maybe the Press wouldn’t be so perfectly engineered but it might have a fewer features and cost a fraction of the original $699. Or maybe with a more iterative approach, they would have quickly found that customers vary greatly in their juice consumption patterns, and would have chosen a per-pack pricing model rather than one-size-fits-all $35/week subscription. Suddenly Juicero is incredibly compelling as a product offering, at least to this consumer.
juicero  design  electronics  hardware  products  startups  engineering  teardowns 
april 2017 by jm
Who Discovered Why The Challenger Exploded?
Everyone knows Richard Feynman’s famous televised demonstration that the Challenger had exploded because its O-rings got stiff when they were cold -- but it wasn’t Feynman’s discovery. It was Sally Ride’s.'

(via Tony Finch)
richard-feynman  sally-ride  history  space  challenger  o-rings  science  engineering  nasa 
march 2017 by jm
'Software Engineering at Google'
20 pages of Google's software dev practices, with emphasis on the build system (since it was written by the guy behind Blaze). Naturally, some don't make a whole lot of sense outside of Google, but still some good stuff here
development  engineering  google  papers  software  coding  best-practices 
february 2017 by jm
The Rise of the Data Engineer
Interesting article proposing a new discipline, focused on the data warehouse, from Maxime Beauchemin (creator and main committer on Apache Airflow and Airbnb’s Superset)
data-engineering  engineering  coding  data  big-data  airbnb  maxime-beauchemin  data-warehouse 
january 2017 by jm
Management levels
I’ve had the privilege of experiencing a few different management levels (responsibilities? jobs?) at Etsy since I’ve joined. At each stage, I felt like the job of being a manager totally changed. What I did day-to-day changed, what was hard about it changed, how I measured my own success changed, and though I feel like the experiences built on one another, it continues to be an enormous shift in brainpower each time the gig changes a bit. Given how intangible (and often hidden) management work can be, I’ve outlined some highlights of what my work has been like as a manager over the last four years. (Obvious, major caveat: this is just my experience, and there’s lots in here that is unique to this particular work environment, hierarchy, requirements, and challenges!)
business  engineering  management  career  lara-hogan  managing 
october 2016 by jm
Engineer’s Guide to Drinks
excellent blueprint-style poster covering all the major cocktails
cocktails  drinks  engineering  posters  blueprints  graphics  pdf 
january 2016 by jm
Intercom Engineering Insights - Scale and Reliability 2015
next Intercom hiring^Wevent coming up, Dec 10th in Dublin, talking about how they scale and ops their ElasticSearch and Mongo clusters
elasticsearch  mongodb  intercom  engineering  talks  dublin 
december 2015 by jm
RentTheRunway's Engineering Ladder
One of the best things about working at Amazon was having a clear, well-defined career progression, and it's something that's always been absent in startups. Career growth, levelling, and tech management is important, and also helps in hiring by providing clear levels. This is the RentTheRunway engineering ladder, Camille Fournier's team, which they open sourced back in March 2015
engineering  hiring  management  career  renttherunway  camille-fournier  amazon  startups  career-growth  levelling  ladder 
october 2015 by jm
Notes on Startup Engineering Management for Young Bloods
Below is a list of some lessons I’ve learned as an startup engineering manager that are worth being told to a new manager. Some are subtle, and some are surprising, and this being human beings, some are inevitably controversial. This list is for the new head of engineering to guide their thinking about the job they are taking on. It’s not comprehensive, but it’s a good beginning.
The best characteristic of this list is that it focuses on social problems with little discussion of technical problems a manager may run into. The social stuff is usually the hardest part of any software developer’s job, and of course this goes triply for engineering managers.
engineering  management  camille-fournier  teams  dev 
october 2015 by jm
Let a 1,000 flowers bloom. Then rip 999 of them out by the roots
The Twitter tech-debt story.
Somewhere along the way someone decided that it would be easier to convert the Birdcage to use Pants which had since learned how to build Scala and to deal with a maven-style layout. However at some point prior Pants been open sourced in throw it over the wall fashion and picked up by a few engineers at other companies, such as Square and Foursquare and moved forward. In the meantime, again because there weren’t enough people who’s job it was to take care of these things, Science was still on the original internally developed version and had in fact evolved independently of the open source version. However by the time we wanted to move Birdcage onto Pants, the open source version had moved ahead so that’s the one the Birdcage folks chose.


(cries)
tech-debt  management  twitter  productivity  engineering  monorepo  build-systems  war-stories  dev 
september 2015 by jm
Kate Heddleston: How Our Engineering Environments Are Killing Diversity
'[There are] several problem areas for [diversity in] engineering environments and ways to start fixing them. The problems we face aren't devoid of solutions; there are a lot of things that companies, teams, and individuals can do to fix problems in their work environment. For the month of March, I will be posting detailed articles about the problem areas I will cover in my talk: argument cultures, feedback, promotions, employee on-boarding, benefits, safety, engineering process, and environment adaptation.'

via Baron Schwartz.
via:xaprb  culture  tech  diversity  sexism  feminism  engineering  work  workplaces  feedback 
september 2015 by jm
Tinker Crate
'inspires kids to explore and learn about science, engineering, and technology—and have fun doing it. Every month, a new crate to help kids develop a tinkering mindset and creative problem solving skills.' aimed at ages 9-14+
kids  gifts  tinkering  stem  education  fun  engineering  science  toys 
march 2015 by jm
Avleen Vig on distributed engineering teams
This is a really excellent post on the topic, rebutting Paul Graham's Bay-Area-centric thoughts on the topic very effectively. I've worked in both distributed and non-distributed, as well as effective and ineffective teams ;), and Avleen's thoughts are very much on target.
I've been involved in the New York start up scene since I joined Etsy in 2010. Since that time, I've seen more and more companies there embrace having distributed teams. Two companies I know which have risen to the top while doing this have been Etsy and DigitalOcean. Both have exceptional engineering teams working on high profile products used by many, many people around the world. There are certainly others outside New York, including Automattic, GitHub, Chef Inc, Puppet... the list goes on.

So how did this happen? And why do people continue to insist that distributed teams lower performance, and are a bad idea?

Partly because we've done a poor job of showing our industry how to be successful at it, and partly because it's hard. Having successful distributed teams requires special skills from management, which arent't easily learned until you have to manage a distributed team. Catch 22.
business  culture  management  communication  work  distributed-teams  avleen-vig  engineering 
january 2015 by jm
Why Sweden Has the World's Safest Roads
Nearly half the EU-wide average.
Sweden has also created 12,600 safer pedestrian crossings with features such as bridges, flashing lights, and speed bumps. That’s estimated to have halved pedestrian deaths over the past five years. The country has lowered speed limits in urban, crowded areas and built barriers to protect bikers from incoming traffic. A crackdown on drunk driving has also helped.
sweden  safety  engineering  road-safety  pedestrian  roads  cycling 
january 2015 by jm
Dan McKinley :: Thoughts on the Technical Track
Ouch. I think Amazon did a better job of the Technical Track concept than this, at least
engineering  management  technical-track  principal-engineer  career  work 
december 2014 by jm
Counterfactual Thinking, Rules, and The Knight Capital Accident
John Allspaw with an interesting post on the Knight Capital disaster
john-allspaw  ops  safety  post-mortems  engineering  procedures 
october 2013 by jm
12 DevOps anti-patterns
my favourite:

3. Rebrand your ops/dev/any team as the DevOps team

CIO: “I want to embrace DevOps over the coming year.”

MGR: “Already done, we changed the department signage this morning. We are so awesome we now have 2 DevOps teams.”

Yeah great. And I bet you now have lots of “DevOps” engineers walking round too. If you’re lucky they may sit next to each other at lunch.
devops  ops  dev  company  culture  work  antipatterns  engineering 
april 2013 by jm
On Being A Senior Engineer
Encyclopedic post from John Allspaw (of Etsy) on the topic, with an "Obligatory [List Of] Pithy Characteristics"
senior  engineering  career  tech  coding  work 
october 2012 by jm
Exclusive: a behind-the-scenes look at Facebook release engineering
'Facebook gave me an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the process it uses to deploy new functionality. I watched first-hand as the company's release engineers rolled out the new "timeline" feature for brand pages'. Hiphop, BitTorrent, 1.5GB binaries, and IRC!
facebook  deployment  engineering  releases  via:bos 
april 2012 by jm
Advanced PostMortem Fu and Human Error 101 (Velocity 2011)
John Allspaw's previous slides on Etsy's operations culture -- this'll be old hat to Amazon staff of course ;)
etsy  devops  engineering  operations  reliability  mttd  mttr  postmortems 
march 2012 by jm
Deployment is just a part of dev/ops cooperation, not the whole thing
metrics, monitoring, instrumentation, fault tolerance, load mitigation called out as other factors by Allspaw
ops  deployment  operations  engineering  metrics  devops  monitoring  fault-tolerance  load  from delicious
december 2009 by jm
Programmer Competency Matrix
actually quite a good breakdown of software eng skill progression
software  coding  programming  management  hiring  engineering  matrix  skills 
july 2009 by jm

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