Building great products requires a harmony of art, science, and intuition.
There are many ways to build a great engineering department, just lke there are many way to build a bridge. The key is to make sure that everything fits together. Your people must match your systems and process. Who you hire, what agile methodology you use, and how engineering works with the product, design, and data teams can't be left to chance. I know what works well together, and what does not, and will help you design your department for success.
Make decisions that allow you to get a good night's sleep
Good sleep matters, both literally and figuratively. If everything works well, you won't get woken up at night, your clients are happy, and you will confidently move forward knowing that everything is as it should be.
The "why" is paramount
Focus on the outcome, not on the actions. Understand what you want to achieve, define your goals, and the solutions will follow. Otherwise, you risk building great things that get you to the wrong place faster.
Optimism coupled with a healthy dose of reality
I'm an optimists, and know how to operate in the real world.
Balance is necessary, but strive for rhythm and harmony
The world is not black and white. The world is also not a uniform shade of gray either. I strive to find the right balance. I don't deliver a bland average. I strive to find the right rhythm, cadence, and harmony that balances the needs of my clients.
Execute well while avoiding silly mistakes
A suboptimal choice is not lethal. The big silly mistake is what will kill you. Execute swiftly while avoiding gross mistakes. It's the winning formula.
A solid foundation is more valuable than trendy window dressing
New and shiny things are distracting. Stick to proven technologies, build a strong foundation, and experiment with innovation. Shiny things can lead to silly mistakes, and those are the ones that will drag you down.