(2017 - 8/9) Triple the Team Size Without Losing Control

5d5a6bf8c3a2bae2c5e4d972921cf33d?s=47 Calibrate
September 29, 2017

(2017 - 8/9) Triple the Team Size Without Losing Control

Calibrate 2017 (8/9) - https://www.calibratesf.com/

"Triple the Team Size Without Losing Control" - Nick Caldwell, Reddit, VP of Engineering

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV1582Mr368&index=8&list=PL8iMj9kx_ykTSWpvKj0oBuHYSR6eA9fnu

Nick is responsible for building and operating the 4th most visited site in the US. Prior to joining Reddit, he held various positions in engineering leadership at Microsoft across a 15 year career. He holds a degree in computer science and electrical engineering from MIT, an MBA from U.C. Berkeley Haas, and holds 10 patents related to natural language processing. Nick is an active participant in /dev/color: a non-profit whose mission is to maximize the impact of Black software engineers, and founder of Color Code: a scholarship fund dedicated to future leaders of color in technology fields.

https://twitter.com/nickcald

Calibrate is a conference for new engineering leaders hosted by seasoned engineering leaders. Organized and hosted by Sharethrough, it was conducted on September 30, 2015, September 30, 2016 and September 29, 2017 in San Francisco, California.

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Calibrate

September 29, 2017
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Transcript

  1. TRIPLE THE TEAM SIZE without losing control

  2. NICK CALDWELL Reddit, Inc.
 VP of Engineering
 Microsoft, Power BI


    General Manager
 MIT ’03
 Berkeley Haas ‘15
  3. REDDIT Quick Stats • 4th largest web site in the

    United States (Alexa) • 325M monthly users What’s new? • Executive team • Dramatically different product vision • Rapid expansion REDDIT
 COMPANY SIZE The home of conversation online
  4. Within 3 years, 92% of startups fail... … of those,

    43% fail due to issues with SCALE!
 
 STARTUP
 Genome Report
  5. MY FIRST WEEK AT REDDIT WOAH! ▪ 30+ person standups

    ▪ Google Slide tracking tools ▪ Lots of “tech leads” but no engineering managers ▪ Sloooooow pace ▪Urgent work to do! Also need to hire 100 people! Super-size Daily Standups
  6. 1. FINDING MANAGERS …and removing “tech leads”

  7. VOIGHT-KAMPFF TEST FOR ENG MANAGERS What do you care about

    more, people or architecture? What are your thoughts on shipping towards a deadline? Your PM goes to two of your direct reports and asks them to start working on an urgent new feature, what do you do? You spend one full day a week trolling LinkedIn or working with recruiting, how do you feel? TECH
 LEAD MANAGER ARCHITECT
  8. 2. ROLES + RESPONSIBILITIES Tech Founder Product Founder Quality Data

    Usability Internationali zation Growth Market
 ing Engineers Product Design Sales BD Legal
  9. R.A.C.I. Advantages • Clear ownership outcomes

  10. FAQ: WHAT DOES AN ENGINEERING MANAGER DO? Program
 Manager Product

    Manager • Customer (who) • Vision (what) • Strategy (why)
 Eng. Manager • Architecture (how) • Execution (when)
  11. R.A.C.I. Disadvantages • Inflexibility • Does not directly address lack

    of trust
  12. People are candid and authentic Information is shared openly People

    are willing to share credit Transparency is a practiced value New ideas are welcome Mistakes are tolerated as a way of learning There are few “meetings after the meetings” People talk straight and confront real issues There is a high degree of accountability High energy level HIGH ORGANIZATIONAL TRUST People manipulate or distort facts People withhold and hoard information Getting the credit is very important People spin the truth to their advantage New ideas are resisted and stifled Mistakes are covered up or covered over There are numerous “meetings after the meetings” There are many “undiscussables” People tend to over-promise and under-deliver Low energy level LOW Taken from: Speed of Trust
  13. TRUST (BUT VERIFY) People feel okay to say, “that’s not

    my job” … … when they can also say “the person we hired to do it is amazing!” Tactics for Building Trust • Pilot teams to show quick wins • Leadership off sites and trust falls • Scale pressure and complexity forces delegation
  14. RESULTS
 FOLKS, WE’VE GOT OURSELVES A PRODUCT ORGANIZATION! 0 Tech

    Leads / Program Managers 10 Architects 10 Product Managers 20 Managers / Directors 50% of eng. managers promoted from within 2 Managers went back to IC
  15. 3. EXECUTION AT SCALE, WHAT GET’S HARDER Awareness Everyone wants

    to know what everyone else is doing Bottlenecks Missed dependencies can cripple your production roadmap Coordination Here comes PROCESS: managers, tools, meetings
  16. WHY? Surely, with more people we can just get more

    done! Right? Wrong! For every 1 engineer you hire, add to backlog 1.1 engineers worth of work Eventually, coordination costs and scope overcome your ability to deliver reliably. You will need a process change or reorg to keep scaling up. # PEOPLE Efficiency Curve
 Scope
 Output
  17. REDDIT’S FIRST PROJECT TRACKER

  18. PROCESS ADVICE AND 
 CAUTION Avoid process junkies and boilerplate

    solutions. Evolve something that works for your team. Some variants of Agile promote intra- team coordination more than actually shipping code Original Toyota Kanban “Kaizen”: minimal processes created from bottom up Process becomes culture over time Toyota production system
  19. REDDIT’S JIRA 
 EVOLUTION

  20. TEAM DASHBOARDS Now we can see all the work… …

    but this isn’t useful for daily standups
  21. KANBAN AND STATUS BOARDS

  22. KANBAN AND STATUS BOARDS

  23. KANBAN AND
 STATUS BOARDS Great for standups … … but

    what about reporting status to the rest of the product team?
  24. JIRA + TABLEAU Engineering Execution Dashboard Great for product team,

    but… …too much detail for the execs and company-wide communications
  25. EXECUTIVE DASHBOARDS Realtime executive dashboard… … AND the cartoons are

    back so everyone is happy!
  26. 4. GOOD URGENCY VS BAD URGENCY Bad Artificial top-down deadlines

    Working late hours Good Meaningful work tied to clear user benefit Disciplined use of time Tough but achievable deadlines set and re-enforced within the team
 4. URGENCY Worse No deadlines at all The best kind of urgency is discipline in disguise.
  27. RESULTS Completed JIRA Epics by Quarter

  28. RESULTS 2017 Major Reddit Releases Feb. New Moderator Mail Mar.

    Launch of Profile Pages Mar. Self-serve Ad Platform May. International Reddit Aug. New Video Platform Sep. New Search Platform Sep. New Chat Platform ???? Complete site-redesign
  29. WHAT’S NEXT @ REDDIT More Engineers
 More Welcoming Experiences
 More

    Personalization
  30. CALLS TO ACTION Reddit is hiring!
 http://about.reddit.com Follow me! !Reddit

    https://www.reddit.com/user/nickcald !Twitter https://twitter.com/nickcald !Medium https://medium.com/@nickcaldwell !LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickcaldwell/ 
 Color Code Fund
 http://colorcode.fund
  31. THANKS Questions?

  32. FINAL THOUGHTS 
 ON SCALING FAST 2 opportunities and 1

    challenge
  33. DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION Diverse and Inclusive Teams: • make better

    products • are more fun to work in Like any cultural aspect, it will be extremely hard to “fix” later Make D&I part of your company DNA before you expand!
  34. Get executive support. It is not IC's responsibility to define

    hiring practices or D&I programs Create or invite inclusiveness groups to interact with your company Hire leaders first Be intentional, patient and persistent. DO DIVERSITY & INCLUSION Hire a "head of diversity" and expect them to fix everything Use the “diversity of thought” excuse or ever say, “we don’t see gender or color” Point out individuals without their permission Make assumptions about how much a diverse candidate cares about this issue Hire people who care more about diversity than delivery DON’T
  35. SOCIAL IMPACT Your company’s value to the world can be

    more than the products you ship.
  36. As your team grows your connection to individuals will lessen.

    It will become easy to think of people as numbers or resources in your tracking tools… …remember that people are the most valuable part of your organization and the best part of being a manager.