Product teams own capabilities, not (only) code.

As a software engineer, what is your job? and what is your value? On many teams, the work is “add features to this codebase.” We congratulate teams for moving JIRA tickets from “defined” to “delivered.” Meanwhile, the value to the business depends on value to the customers, or to people or software who in turn …

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What is this “product” you speak of?

We talk about “software products” and “product teams.” What does this even mean, “product?” It is not the definition I learned in school. Economics 101: the output of the economy is “goods and services.” Goods, also called “products,” are physical items that you can buy, take home, and have. Like, if you buy a rug, …

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a fire hydrant is sideways on the ground.

Run an OpenTelemetry Collector locally in Docker

This is an experience report for my future reference (and yours). The OpenTelemetry Collector is useful for receiving trace data in whatever format and exporting it to the back-end of your choice for storage and querying. For instance, I wanted to receive traces over HTTP/JSON from this sneaky browser extensionLINK and send them to Honeycomb. …

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Better coordination, or better software?

TL;DR: When different parts of an organization need to coordinate, it seems like a good idea to help them coordinate smoothly and frequently. Don’t. Help them coordinate less — more explicitly, less often. Software systems get big, and they have lots of parts, and those parts need to talk to each other. Maybe we’re building …

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Project to Product asks more of our software, and more of us

TL;DR: Projects ask teams do what is asked of them; Products ask teams to invent their work. This requires a different way of seeing the world, and not everyone can do it yet. Software is not an up-front investment that pays off over its use. Software is an ongoing concern, an intricate piece of a …

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Software Design: Beyond Boxes and Lines

Keynote at YOW! December 2021: Software design: Beyond Boxes and Lines – Jessica Kerr – YouTube Slides Latest: https://miro.com/app/board/o9J_l6zV8Lg=/ References Domain Driven Design, by Eric Evans (book) Learn Wardley Mapping, by Simon Wardley; documented by Ben Mosier (site) Team Topologies, by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais (book) Grokking Simplicity, by Eric Normand (book) Functional Programming …

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