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Inversion of Control #FS16sf

B5b0f56c5edce4c54f1fea72e31d8378?s=47 Nic Benders
November 17, 2016

Inversion of Control #FS16sf

How New Relic's engineers picked their own jobs and built a faster org. Presented at FutureStack San Francisco 2016.

Building great products means dedicating your Engineering organization to innovation. But what do you do when success and growth have started to get between your teams and the innovation you need to stay on top? At New Relic, we went back to our #datanerd roots to solve this problem and ended up giving our engineers far more control than anyone thought possible.


Nic Benders

November 17, 2016


  1. Cory Johannsen @coryjohannsen Inversion of Control How New Relic’s engineers

    picked their own jobs and built a faster org Nic Benders @nicbenders
  2. New Relic is 
 the place to do your best

  3. Distrust

  4. Wasted effort Distrust

  5. Long 
 lead times Wasted effort Distrust

  6. When you get “big”, 
 is that just what happens?

  7. Pipelines

  8. Parallelism

  9. It’s not an individual problem

  10. It’s not a team problem It’s not an individual problem

  11. It’s an organizational problem It’s not a team problem It’s

    not an individual problem
  12. Let’s have a re-org!

  13. We’re engineers,
 we solve problems,
 let’s solve this one

  14. We hire smart people, let them be smart

  15. Optimize for agility

  16. We’re data nerds

  17. Engineers make
 the decisions Analysis Design Rollout Break dependencies

  18. Break dependencies

  19. None
  20. None
  21. None
  22. None
  23. Make strong teams

  24. Full Ownership Teams

  25. T-Shaped Engineers

  26. Invert control

  27. Self-selection

  28. Harder than
 it looks :-/

  29. Managers really didn’t like it :-(

  30. Engineers 
 didn’t like it either :-(

  31. We almost 
 backed down! :-o

  32. Mitigations

  33. The Big Event

  34. Self-selection reveals opportunities

  35. The power of 
 self determination

  36. Working agreements

  37. “We work together best when…”

  38. Insights Team

  39. Mob Programming Continuous Deployment Insights Team Weekly Demos & Retros

  40. It really worked!

  41. None
  42. Download as CSV Pin-to-Insights Unified Dashboards Metric Explorer Time Picker

    Dashboard Copy
  43. What should you take home from this talk?

  44. You hired smart engineers… trust them

  45. Optimize for vertical ownership and shorter pipelines

  46. Better teams make better products

  47. Jim Shore

  48. None
  49. Thank you. Nic Benders @nicbenders Cory Johannsen @coryjohannsen