It’s been almost a year since the first stay at home order. As I reflect upon our collective COVID journey, one habit we all have picked up is washing our hands thoroughly and more frequently. This one tenet of personal hygiene is something that became so very important in our fight against COVID.

Over the last few quarters, as we work with more engineering organizations, I can’t help but draw an analogy. Engineering Success depends a lot on data driven decisions. In order to make data driven decisions, you need to have good hygienic data that follows good hygienic processes…

No one wants to talk about it and everyone has it. It’s a topic of discussion no engineering organization can avoid, yet most teams don’t have a way to understand and quantify it. Welcome to the underbelly of the software development lifecycle — operational issues, security issues, quality issues, reliability issues, and overall technical debt.

Generally, in the application development process, there are a lot of conversations around features and feature velocity. Yet, in many organizations, quality, performance, and operational issues take up most of the engineering team’s time, leaving very little time for new features.

One of the biggest…

Companies have vaulted five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of around eight weeks: McKinsey — March 2020

Recent macro events have resulted in a large number of businesses finally accelerating their digital transformation. This transformation had already started a few years back with the migration to the cloud, but the past few months have underscored the point that business patterns are fundamentally going to change, and we are entering a whole new world. As an example, retail companies now have to think about drive-through services. This requires those companies to adopt a whole new…

“Every company is now a software company” — Satya Nadella.

The last few years have transformed every industry into a technology-enabled sector. The competitive edge for a software organization is velocity. Winning on the competitive and cutting edge requires rapidly shipping new products, features, and updates. The more complex an organization is, the harder this becomes. Inconsistent team communication, process variance, gaps, and divergent technology stacks create silos.

Here are some examples of these silos:

Team Silos:

  • Security is not embedded within the engineering lifecycle
  • Different component teams that are not on the same page

Process Silos:

  • Each team follows…

When I meet new engineering teams, I’m always excited to delve into their design document repository. Analyzing the team’s design process is an excellent proxy for understanding how the team works. I hear these responses all too often:

  • We don’t have a standard process for design reviews
  • We don’t follow a standard design template
  • Different teams and engineers are using different tools like Google Docs, Confluence, and [insert your favorite tool here].
  • We only do design docs for important features
  • You can have a deep dive with [insert the seniormost engineer]. …

Nishant Doshi

CEO and Co-founder of LevelOps Inc. Helping customers ship securely, predictably and reliably.

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