Building great products requires a harmony of art, science, and intuition.
There are many ways to build a great engineering department. The key is to make sure that everything fits together and works well in unison. 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.
The following principles guide and define how I work.
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. If you don't ask "why", you'll end up building something, but it might be the wrong thing.
Optimism coupled with a healthy dose of reality
I'm an optimists, and know how to operate in the real world where everything is not rosy.
Balance is necessary, but strive for rhythm and harmony
The world is not black and white, and it is 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 mistake is what will kill you. Execute swiftly while avoiding large mistakes. It's the winning formula. Don't worry about optimizing every single thing.
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 run experiments on this stable foundation. Shiny things can lead to silly mistakes, and those are the ones that will drag you down.