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Engineering Culture Notes

Some of the greatest info I've seen on creating a healthy engineering courtesy of Spotify:

Spotify Engineering Culture Part 1

TODO make notes on this one

Spotify Engineering Culture Part 2

  • 0:50 - "We aim to make mistakes faster than anyone else" - Fail Fast and Improve Fast.
  • 1:30 - "Fail Friendly Environment" - Encourage sharing of failures so everyone can learn from them. Some teams have "Fail walls" showing off their failures.
    • "Failing without learning is well, just failing."
    • Not about fault, about what did we learn and what did we change?
    • Use of retrospectives is huge.
  • 2:30 - "Limited Blast Radius" - Set things up so that in case something does fail, the failure is bounded and not catastrophic.
  • 3:20 - "If Everything is under control, you're going too slow."
  • 3:50 - Lean Startup - Use narrative to drive product/ideas
  • 5:15 - Planning: Innovation > Predictability. Don't focus on timelines unless you absolutely have to. Defer comitments to timelines as long as you responsibly can.
  • 6:20 - 10% hack time to let people experiment. If we try enough ideas, we're bound to strike gold sometimes. And the learning we get out of it is important.
  • 7:00 - People are natural innovators, get out of their way.
  • 7:15 - Experiment friendly culture. Don't punish for experiments, encourage them. Don't overthink things. Just do and see what works.
  • 9:40 - Growth pains - create a "Minimum Viable Bureacracy"
  • 10:25 - Defininition of Awesome before diving in . - Awesome is a direction, not a place! If we agree on what awesome is, it helps us get there and track it.
    • Using improvement Katas (make targets towards awesome).
  • 12:00 - Healthy Culture Heals broken process
  • 12:45 - Culture spreads through storytelling - Blogs, lunch and learns, etc.
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