_ Case studies and best practices for engineering leaders

Engineering Leader’s blog

Learn from some of the most accomplished engineering leaders. This blog brings you key insights from fellow engineering managers and tech leaders to level-up your management skills and to take your developer team to the next level.

The Agile Way to Use Kanban in Software Development

by Shanie Weissman / December 5, 2018

The best way to direct and manage tasks across your software delivery system is to keep a close eye on workflow via a designated, centralized release management system. However, it often seems that regardless of the methodology you choose, or how carefully you monitor workflows, it is hard to predict the duration of individual tasks. Neglecting to properly steer resources can lead to bottlenecks, causing delays to downstream tasks and impacting delivery schedule. In this blogpost, we introduce you to Kanbanflow for effective, Kanban-based portfolio and project management.

Monolith to Microservices: 6 Signs Your Service Is a Jenga Tower

by Patrick Lee Scott / November 22, 2018

"I’d really like to make this change, but I’m afraid to, because I have no idea how that will affect the rest of the system.” If you’ve ever felt this way - most of us have at one point or another - it’s likely that the code you are working on is basically a Jenga tower. Pulling out one block could cause everything to come crashing down! It’s a typical situation when it comes to refactoring your architecture from monolith to microservices. Here are 6 signs your code base is like a Jenga tower!

How to Choose the Best Features for Your MVP

by Angela Beklemysheva / November 7, 2018

Have you ever felt at a loss about which features to include in your minimum viable product (MVP)? Have you ever wanted to build a strategy to help you choose the perfect features for your minimal viable product? The lean startup methodology can help you figure out what minimum viable product development should look like. If you can find and hire good software developers, they can help you figure out what features to include even faster.
Making Microservices Work: Why the Developer Experience Matters

by Will Ezell / October 17, 2018

A microservice architecture can help developers build, manage, and scale services more efficiently. It’s an architecture that’s ideal in a world where new devices, touchpoints, and consumer trends are emerging faster than ever before, which is why big brands like Netflix and Amazon are all leveraging microservices.

But adopting microservices brings about a cultural shift that can deeply impact the developer experience, either positively or negatively. 

5 Questions to Ask Your Offshore Software Development Agency

by Srdjan Sukara / October 10, 2018

Hiring an offshore software development agency to build your idea, trusting them with tens of thousands of dollars and putting your reputation on the line seems like a hard decision to make. 

Picking a good outsourcing company can be really tricky. I've heard fifty different stories about how people got burned. Communication that is not set properly, unclear project expectations and bad guidelines make it difficult for both sides. 

You assume the company you found has good intentions to build your product or service, but what if they are just there to take your money and pretend to do something? It's crucial that we do our homework and ask proper questions when choosing the right partner to create a win-win situation for both sides. 

5+ Reasons to Use Selenium with Docker for Application Testing

by Suraj Vijayaraghavan / September 13, 2018

Application testing is a key element to make sure your web applications run smoothly, as it tells you whether the tested scenario works without a hitch and the features run as validated. High test coverage, code reviews and pull requests are required for a fast pace and high-quality code. Docker gives you the best of this because you can run your tests in containers or isolate them in development and deployment.

Lack of Motivation Could Kill Your Software Team. Here's How to Fix It!

by Tyler Hakes / August 30, 2018

When it comes to software development, we talk a lot about the “hard” skills. Raw talent, individual intelligence, knowledge of frameworks and libraries. We all know these are important. But we often forget about the role of “soft” skills. At the end of the day, every software developer is human. (At least, for now.) As humans, we are driven and affected by more than just our abilities and IQ. Psychological and human elements play a huge role in the ability of a developer to do their job. One of the biggest factors is how individuals on a team feel about the work they’re doing. Do they feel invested and energized? Or are they just there to punch the clock and collect their paycheck?

The Dangers of Scaling Development Processes Before They’re Defined

by Adam Henshall / August 23, 2018

Processes help us determine the best ways to do things and then make sure we repeat that approach again and again and again. This makes it easier to achieve success, find problems in current approaches, and to add new people to your teams. 

Having clearly defined and well documented processes means the training and onboarding of new developers don’t need to be so micromanaged and can bring fresh developers up to the point of creating value for the business even faster.

But when is a team ready to add new members? When and how do we add people into this process in a way they can contribute? 

The Serverless Security Conundrum: Who Manages Security?

by Tal Melamed / August 16, 2018

The idea of ‘serverless’ is NOT about removing the servers completely (or you couldn’t use the internet at all), but essentially paying for services that mean that someone else manages the servers for you, thereby reducing maintenance load…

Not having access to the server can make things harder, but not impossible. And it’s not necessarily wrong, just different.

And the same applies to securing serverless apps. In some ways, it’s easier than securing traditional web apps. In other ways, it’s harder. And in yet other ways, it’s merely different. 

In this post, we’ll summarize these key differences and help you secure serverless apps.

How this Fast-growing Tech Company Manages Developers

by Tamás Török / August 8, 2018

It’s a huge challenge keeping and growing an engineering team. You need to take care of hiring, figure out how to retain developers as long as possible in the team and also figure out the work process and making sure the new developer managers are ready to take responsibility for their teams. In pursuit of uncovering good practices, we started a blog post series, featuring cool tech companies. Our intention wasn’t to find the ultimate silver bullet for every kind of organizational problems but to provide small case studies you can learn from. This case study is about a fast growing medium-sized tech company called Alpha.