altswe

Focus: assign multiple engineers to the same task

Have you ever noticed that Jira (and most if not all) SWE work tracking systems allow assigning only one person to a given task? The whole industry (at least where I've seen it) runs around the assumption that at the bottom “one task == one person”.

The more I think about it through the years, the more confident I am that it's a very unproductive thing to do, and we should default to two people working at the same time on a given task. In complex domains, sometimes potentially even three.

Kill Instant Messaging

This is a part of #altswe series, where I describe ideas for an alternative approach to software engineering.

I've been a part of teams between 3 and around 20 software engineers; in companies between 3 and thousands of employees. I have used corporate messengers, IRC, Hangouts, Slack and many other IM tools. After all of that, I think they are generally counterproductive.

#altswe Introduction: alternative approach to SWE

This is an introduction page for the #altswe series, where I describe ideas for an alternative approach to software engineering.

I've been fortunate to work on software with a lot of smart and hard-working people, in a lot of cool places. And while the companies I worked for were often very different: their business, products, size, growth, etc., the way software engineering was organized, was actually very similar.

I feel like generally, we just keep doing things “as we did them at my previous company”, and very rarely anything truly different is being considered.

I'm a natural contrarian, and I'm always on the lookout for alternative approaches. I just couldn't help myself but to develop a list of things that I really wish I could have an opportunity to try one day.

If I am ever in charge of a team or a company, I'd like to try some or even all of them, and see how well (or bad) they work.

For now, I am just gathering them here, under the #altswe tag. The ones without a link, are yet to be written.

• Kill Instant Messaging – less is more.
• Less is more – cut unnecessary tools, projects, features.
• Work in pairs
• 4x7 – 4 days a week, 7 hours – again: less is more.
• No Scrum, No Standups, No “Wish Points”
• Ownership – Root of safety in Rust, prosperity in the markets, and quality in SWE.
• Avoid success at all cost