CTO Insights - Issue #133
Software Engineering and Technical Leadership
Welcome to CTO Insights #133!
This newsletter is delivering top-notch Software Engineering and Technical Leadership content, making your weekly reading more insightful and enjoyable.
This week’s favorite - Right-sizing Your Technology Team & Where are all the laid-off software developers going?
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As part of strengthening the value for the community, at Adeva we run a questionnaire for product and tech leaders to understand their pain points while hiring talent for their organizations.
Please spare 5-7 minutes to complete this survey. Your responses will remain confidential, used solely for market research purposes. The questionnaire is available on the following link.
Read about the journey of building an experimental AI co-pilot for product strategy and generative ideation called “Boba”.
The story contains some useful lessons on how to build AI applications formulated in terms of patterns. These patterns allow an application to help the user interact more effectively with a Large-Language Model (LLM), orchestrating prompts to gain better results, helping the user navigate a path of an intricate conversational flow, and integrating knowledge that the LLM doesn't have available.
Deployment patterns, like canary releases, blue/green and red/black deployments, feature toggles, A/B testing, and dark launches, offer automated ways to roll out app features while reducing downtime.
CD in software development involves using strategies such as feature flags, blue/green deployments, and permission systems, supported by robust test automation, to deliver quality software consistently. Tools such as Jenkins, Azure DevOps, CircleCI, and GitLab aid in this process. This story dives deep into each of these details.
Determining the right size of your technology team isn't just about the number of developers; it's about their effectiveness in meeting business outcomes and their autonomy in adding value. It's crucial to minimize waste in software engineering processes, understand user needs, and ensure your software is delivering the desired results.
Internal and legacy software maintenance's hidden value should also be recognized and optimized. When software value starts to decline, it's essential to respond to changing user needs and market dynamics and improve feedback loops. Through these considerations, you can ensure you have an optimally sized and shaped tech team ready to deliver consistent results.
I wrote this article that explores the concept of a Fractional CTO, a part-time tech leader who offers strategic guidance at a fraction of the cost of a full-time CTO.
It discusses their benefits, potential drawbacks and identifies scenarios where their engagement is most beneficial. The piece also advises businesses on how to align their choice with strategic objectives and specific needs.
The blog post from Aha! presents a more organized way to manage customer research data.
It helps product teams collect, analyze and prioritize customer insights in a visual, easy-to-understand manner. The system allows for creating cards for each insight, tagging them with relevant attributes, linking them to other records like features and ideas, and then grouping and prioritizing them.
Chronon is Airbnb's innovative solution to address feature management issues encountered by machine learning engineers. It centralizes data computation for model training and inference, ensuring consistency and enabling efficient feature generation.
With capabilities such as data ingestion from various sources, transformation via SQL-like operations, and producing both real-time and batch results, Chronon significantly streamlines feature engineering, transforming the landscape of machine learning at Airbnb.
In this blog post, Durga Krishnan, an Engineering Manager at Deliveroo, discusses her professional journey and the role of resilience.
She highlights her challenges as a woman in Tech, the strategies she developed to overcome them, and the importance of personal growth. She further provides advice for other minorities in Tech, emphasizing authenticity, mental health, and personal strengths, while also stressing the need for supportive and inclusive work environments, particularly for neurodivergent individuals.
2023 has seen significant tech sector layoffs, predominantly from major companies like Meta, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple. Despite this, hiring speed has increased as companies aim to utilize the available talent pool.
Many engineers, rather than downgrading, are seeking similar or higher-level roles. Non-tech companies are presented with an opportunity to enhance their engineering quality, though their outreach needs improvement. Notably, many laid-off tech workers are starting their own businesses.
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