Engineering Goals


I got a lot of good stuff out of going to Mountain West Ruby Conference this weekend. Sitting here this morning I’ve come up with some goals I have for myself and my engineering team.

  1. Excel at usability
    • This is more a personal goal than anything
    • But its important for us to get right
    • If people can’t fully use our software they find shortcuts and often break things
  2. Improve cross team understanding
    • More pair programming – if we can each better understand everyone’s code, we can make sure we are doing things correctly, in a sane way, and we can better maintain each others code
    • I have learned so much from just spending a few hours looking over other team members shoulders. This helps me come up with new ideas and I better understand our complex code base and algorithms
  3. Improve testing
    • We have really great coverage on our models, i.e. we’ve unit tested the shit out of our code (mostly). However, these tests are way to close to the metal, we need a higher level set of tests (using something like Cucumber and WebRat). We need to know exactly how new features will affect the entire code base from a very high level.
    • This will help in organizing new features, instead of a bunch of us in a room going, “uh, well, uh I think that shouldn’t break anything”, we can say, first, “why?” and then second “this feature will break these X number of things and will take X number of hours to complete”
  4. More Instrumentation
    • how much load can our systems handle?
    • where are our bottlenecks and what pieces of infrastructure need to be retuned/replaced/recoded?
    • who actually uses each product?
    • this will also help us say either “yes, we can add more load, more data, new features, etc…” or “no we really can’t add X feature until we’ve fixed X piece of code/infrastructure”

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