When I started building up a tech team for Better, I made a very conscious decision to pay at the high end to get people. I thought this made more sense: they cost a bit more money to hire, but output usually more than compensates for it.
A modern tech stack typically involves at least a frontend and backend but relatively quickly also grows to include a data platform. This typically grows out of the need for ad-hoc analysis and reporting but possibly evolves into a whole oil refinery of cronjobs, dashboards, bulk data copying, and much more.
It started with a tweet:
New years resolution: every plot I make during 2018 will contain uncertainty estimates
— Erik Bernhardsson (@fulhack) January 7, 2018 Why? Because I’ve been sitting in 100,000,000 meetings where people endlessly debate whether the monthly number of widgets is going up or down, or whether widget method X is more productive than widget method Y.
This is a bit of a rant but I really don’t like software that invents its own query language. There’s a trillion different ORMs out there. Another trillion databases with their own query language. Another trillion SaaS products where the only way to query is to learn some random query DSL they made up.
I get bored reading management books very easily and lately I’ve been reading about a wide range of almost arbitrary topics. One of the lenses I tend to read through is to see different management styles in different environments.
As some of you may know, one of my side interests is approximate nearest neighbor algorithms. I’m the author of Annoy, a library with 3,500+ stars on Github as of today. It offers fast approximate search for nearest neighbors with the additional benefit that you can load data super fast from disk using mmap.
Ok, so I have to first preface this whole blog post by a few things:
I really struggle with the term microservices. I can’t put my finger on exactly why. Maybe because the term is hopelessly ill-defined, maybe because it’s gotten picked up by the hype train.