September 11, 2017

6 Lessons on Using Technical RFCs as a Management Tool

As an engineering leader, I value trust and believe that individual contributors should be involved in architectural and high-level technical decision making. I consider every line of code to be a decision made on behalf of someone else (including your future self), and having a fast-growing distributed team makes technical decision making particularly difficult to manage.

In the early days of building ride-sharing app Ride, we went from three to more than 25 members, across product, design, and engineering, in the first six months. We were tasked with the challenge of taking an early prototype for a carpooling platform and bringing it to life on the web, iOS, and Android. To make things more fun, we were also distributed across the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, and Ireland.

In the process of building our apps, I received a private Slack message from "a not very happy front-end engineer," who asked:

Why was the data dashboard built using React if our front-end stack is based on Ember?

This made me quickly realize a few important things I shouldn't have missed:

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