I hope you and everyone you care about are doing well and healthy.
This first issue brings immense excitement. Putting myself in front of many people is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Even though I’m a bit an extrovert, it still frightens and excites me every time I start a live session, send a tweet, or publish a blog post. However, I want to keep going. This newsletter is my latest effort to share what I’ve learned, read, watched and liked.
Before going into the details, I would like to thank you for being here. All efforts have no meaning if you are not with me. I mean it. I care about you and what you think. If you have any questions or feedback, send me a tweet or an email, or book a 10 mins free call with me. I’m always here for you.
Alright, on to the Mektup.
Interesting Things I Have Been Reading and Thinking About
The feeling of inefficiency spreads through the whole organization. When developers are working in long feedback loops, such as having a long compile time or deployment cycles, they get distracted. While waiting for compiling to finish, they lose focus and produce shallow work. Case studies show developers working with micro feedback loops often use them and take action on the result. They validate their work earlier and reduce rework and back and forth communication. The article also lists down key feedback loops that we can aim to optimize.
Silicon Valley-like (SV) companies embrace engineers to be autonomous. They cut the hierarchical lines and benefit from engineers’ creativeness. Impact on the business grows along with engineer’s engagement within the industry. Traditional companies create the organization around hierarchical lines, opposite the SV companies where each team is built around the goals. The expectation from developers in traditional companies is “doing the work” and not touching anything else. SV companies expect developers to solve business problems.
Salaries are often aligned with the impact on the business. “Higher autonomy --> higher leverage --> higher value created --> higher pay (all while the company still makes a profit)”
I’ve seen many times teams full of senior engineers fail. Not on the tech side, but the communication. Being inclusive is harder. Cultural and knowledge differences play a significant role. Hiring junior developers force senior engineers to improve their communication. Mixed teams have to invest in training regularly to onboard juniors. The onboarding process gets more satisfying with each junior, and the team becomes resilient.
Meanwhile, we had a talk with Oksana about how companies approach juniors. She mentioned that allowing juniors to try different things and grow within the company is a game-changer to increase their loyalty. And their primary helpers are their mentors, a.k.a. senior engineers.
In January, we had four great talks on Superpeer.
When you scale the company, you scale the problems as well. Solutions to these problems differ in every company. Each one has its own processes and style, such as SoundCloud that has 40+ engineers in their mobile teams. They use three-way teams: feature-teams, platform-teams, and tooling-teams and evolve their architecture around these. Tooling teams focus on increasing the developer effectiveness of the feature teams. Fırat joined me, and we talked about challenges around architecture, tests, releases, tooling, and how teams make their technical decisions.
The challenges of startups are different from mature companies. Software development practices are sometimes ignored in regards to faster release. But we don’t need to sacrifice high product quality over the pace. Fatih and I talked about these kinds of challenges and how he approaches them.
All marketing campaigns have a big chance of failure if we don’t understand our users or who they are. Planning and creating a strategy around our brands and stories are compelling. Peri and I talked about marketing strategies.
Nobody cares about students in companies, yet they are the future and fundamental part of our knowledge. Students face many problems, including low salary, learning, being disregarded. If these students are ex-pats, then many other challenges come into play, such as visa restrictions. Oksana and I talked about her journey from Ukraine to Germany and working while studying.
We had a talk with Yasemin about diversity, gender discrimination, and women in tech before. Some people might deny the problem and don't care about it at all. At the same time, many people are aware of the problem, and they try to be inclusive as much as they can. Yet, some of them find themselves in the comfort zone, and they stop pushing about diversity. This loosening happens more often in first-world countries because the third-world countries haven't set up the foundations yet. I wrote a piece about the need to leave the comfort zone. We should increase the diversity, but not forget that other communities need help to solve more significant problems. If we can create more opportunities for more people, eventually, we can increase diversity anywhere.
I shared why writing is a great way to prevent meaningless and long discussions. The RFC (Request for Comments) is a great tool that we can use in our companies. Many people discussed the article a lot on HackerNews. Also, it is widely shared. I also joined one podcast (it’s in Turkish 🇹🇷) where we talked about the article. I’m thrilled with the feedback I got.
I finished reading the Building Microservices book and liked it. Microservices architecture style is not a silver bullet. The book is aligned with this statement and gives an excellent in-depth explanation of the advantages and disadvantages. With this book, I started sharing my book notes. I published the first, second, and third chapters and will continue to add more. This is the initial attempt at sharing my book notes. Please let me know what you think.
Challenges of mobile application development are distinct at scale, as we talked with Fırat. I’ve read the draft of 33 Mobile Challenges at Scale from Gergely Orosz the last month. I will share my notes after Gergely finishes writing the whole book. I’m currently waiting for the next chapters to come out.
Something that warms my heart:
I’m currently reading Fundamentals of Software Architecture with a reading group at work. I’ll start sharing my notes on it and continue publishing my notes from other Building Microservices chapters.
In Software World with Candost, I have already organized all the Superpeer talks for February. It is full of surprises! Hold on and follow the announcements on Twitter.
Until next time, see you around, my friend!