Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2014

Don't Hate on Startup Code

I was sitting in the cafeteria having lunch with some new engineers and the conversation somehow found its way to bashing a legacy part of the system. One of the engineers said: “I can’t believe they put these blobs in the database, that’s so dumb.”  Many engineers, who join a company once it has already grown substantially, don’t have much experience in early-stage startup culture and subsequently love to hate on the architectural decisions made in the early days. This behavior really gets under my skin. As a person who started when the company was less than 25 people and now has grown to more than 1000 employees, I’ve come across these conversations a few times. Of course there are many hacks and bugs that linger while a startup team builds their rapidly growing system, but it’s challenging for people who arrive later in the development process to appreciate how the process of conceptualizing and constructing an entirely new product unfolds.  Here are a few things to keep in pe

Emotional Intelligence in Software Teams

I generally get questions about API design, platform marketing and software management, but recently I was asked something a bit different: “Which emotional intelligence traits do you value in your co-workers?” Good question! In order to explain my perspective, I should first clarify the type of office environment I value. I work because I want to be in an exciting space; I want to be the best at what I'm doing, and run a team that’s committed to success. For these criteria to align, I need to work at a company that employs smart people with high intelligence quotients (IQs) in their respective areas of expertise. However, even on software teams equipped with high IQs, having even one member with a low emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) can interfere with the entire team's ability to achieve project goals. Here are the top EQ traits I value on my teams: 1. Control your emotions . Nothing gets in the way of productivity more than someone “losing it” by getting overly c