Cultivating Ownership and Innovation

In 2015, Oracle hired the engineering department from the shuttered company Nebula, a private cloud company that promised a turnkey OpenStack solution for the most discerning of customers. I was one of the engineers in that department. (Oracle later acquired the company's IP as well, retroactively branding the move an…

When the Tail Wags the Dog

S3: "agile"I first joined AWS in 2010, working on S3. These were still very early days at AWS. We had only a handful of services—S3, SQS, SimpleDB, EBS, EC2, EMR, CloudWatch, ELB, and SNS. CloudFront and Route 53 were on the horizon. The notion of a VPC was…

Own the Question

While I've been professionally developing software since 2005, it wasn't until I joined Amazon in 2010 that my view of "software development" meaningfully expanded beyond the core activity of writing code. Over a decade later, I'm not convinced writing code is the most important part. Necessary? Yes, clearly—we need…

Minimizing Regret

Friday, June 18, 2021 was my last day at Facebook. I was with the company for just over two years. In my brief time there, I bootstrapped a product and a team focused on delivering Facebook's next-generation advertising products: privacy-preserving, high-performance, and not under the control of platforms owned by…

Go where you're treated best.

This piece of advice is the Great Simplifier. It cuts through all the noise and uncertainty to help you make better decisions. It applies to romantic relationships. Don't stay in the relationship that bring you low.   It applies to family dynamics. Don't emotionally invest in family members who refuse to…

3 Tips for Passing the (Broken) Tech Interview

I've been fortunate to work for multiple top technology companies in my career, including AWS/Amazon, Oracle, and Facebook. There are classes of problems you can only tackle at companies like these, where billions of dollars of business flows through systems that you design and build. It's fulfilling knowing something…

Write courageously.

My favorite definition of courage is, roughly, "being afraid to do the right thing, and doing it anyway." I've always viewed technical writing as a courageous act. In a world of petty arguments over tabs vs spaces, vim vs emacs, and React vs Vue.js—strongly (though increasingly jokingly) expressed…