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0800-DEVOPS #32 – Improving organizations with product management

21. 12. 2021

Welcome to 0800-DEVOPS, a newsletter digest of interesting ideas from the world of DevOps, technical practices and increased productivity! We are looking at how product management principles can drive organizational improvements and best practices in working with legacy systems and their modernization.

A newsletter that started as a personal learning and getting-in-touch project by Ivan Krnic grew into a sociotechnical newsletter covering topics of technical excellence, organizational improvements, and productivity.

Improve with product management

This month I had a conversation with my colleague – we were talking about some dysfunctions in our company and possible ways to improve things. Problems that seemed blurry and massive in the beginning, didn’t seem so massive toward the end of the conversation. In fact, we came up with some tangible actions. Pretty neat!

Pondering on that, it struck me again how organizational improvements share the same principles with product management

In a nutshell, 1) get your butt out there, 2) talk to people, 3) understand their problems, and 4) adapt your actions.

Me (@ikrnic)

If everybody in the organization would do this 10 times in a row, the organization would naturally self-align no matter how divergent it looked today.

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Hand picked

Three things that are limiting your impact as an engineer – a brilliant article by Patrick Kua on how to constructively communicate your ideas for improvements. Don’t be that “frustrated engineer who wanted to change something or convince others of an idea but faced hurdles” and ended up “disheartened and resentful”.

Not Everyone Needs Objectives and Key Results (OKRS)Christina Wodtke warns against putting OKRs on every single thing in the organization. OKRs are best used for strategic goals, things that are “important but not urgent”, things that we know we need to do but somehow a year passes by and we didn’t move at all…Raise your hand if you’ve been in such a situation.

Howie: The Post-Incident Guide – our friends at Jeli have put Howie together! Howie is not a robot It’s a guide for addressing post-incident investigations. If you want to learn from incidents (which you should! :), but don’t have much practice, then Howie is a great place to start!

AWS re:Invent 2021 – The architect elevator: Connecting IT and the boardroom – excellent talk by Gregor Hohpe on the importance of software architect role and the value that it provides.

Common Patterns of Infrastructure as Code Architecture: Terraform & Terragrunt – Terragrunt is a thin wrapper around Terraform and Tianchen Wu shares common patterns of using it while implementing Infrastructure as Code (IaC) principles.

Rubber Duck Debugging – my kid tried to solve a difficult computer science assignment the other day. It was something dealing with adding binary numbers in a processor register – honestly, I have no clue, I couldn’t help her. But she was talking to me so much about it that finally she came to the solution by herself. And then I taught her what Rubber Duck Debugging is

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Kill It with Fire: Manage Aging Computer Systems

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Many of us are not in a position to erase the whole existing ecosystem and start from scratch. We need to work within certain constraints in terms of existing, legacy systems. BTW. did you know that IT is the only domain where “legacy” has a negative connotation?

Marianne Bellotti shares her experience in working with legacy systems and best practices in their modernization.

Header photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels

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