Authors Charity Majors

7 days 30 days All time Recent Popular
Developer productivity, y'all. It is a three TRILLION dollar opportunity, per the stripe report.

Eng managers and directors, we have got to stop asking for "more headcount" and start treating this like the systems problem that it is.

If you are getting barely more than 50% productivity out of your very expensive engineers, I can pretty much guarantee you cannot hire your way out of this resourcing issue. 😐

(the stripe report is here:

Say you've got a strategic initiative that 3 engineers to build and support it. Well, they're going to be swimming in the same muddy pipeline as everyone else at ~50%, so you're actually gotta source, hire and train 6, er make that 7 (gonna need another manager too now)...

...which actually understates the problem, because each person you add also adds friction and overhead to the system. Communication, coordination all get harder and processes get more complex and elaborate, etc.

So we could hire 7 people, or we could patch up our sociotechnical system to lose say only 25% productivity to tech debt, instead of 42%? πŸ€”

By my calculations, that would reclaim 3 engineers worth of capacity given a team of just 17-18 people.
It's interesting (and mildly embarrassing) how much I used to think this too. Holy fuckola, how wrong I was.

Don't get me wrong, our storage engine is the rock upon which everything rests.

As the market matures over the next few years, our strategy and differentiation will shift away from "only we deliver o11y" to exploiting all the unusual capabilities of our storage tier. 😈🐝

Subsecond ad hoc querying over weeks of webscale traffic.. unsampled? βœ…

Drill down from high level SLOs to see all of the dimensions, diffed in order of their degree of outlieriness vs the baseline? βœ…

The raw speed and flexibility unlocks soooooo many product daydreams.

But that's just good engineering. How to build a product that helps our customers achieve meaningful observability...that is a design problem.

Teaching people to lean into their curiosity and follow the signal? Design (and product) problem.

This time last year, we were hiring our first product leader, our very first design leader. We had ~9 people writing code.

We've been busy πŸ™ƒ we now have four in product, seven in design, and just doubled our engineering firepower. Every single one of them is ✨😍amazing πŸ”₯🀩🐝