Building the Retweet Button

I joined the Twitter engineering team in March 2009 and spent 5 years at the company, as it grew from ~30 to ~3000 people. It was a seminal experience in my career and the first few years generated some “interesting” stories about engineering work. Over the past decade-plus I have found myself telling these stories to coworkers so many times that I figured I should write them down. I want to write them especially for folks who have entered the industry more recently, as it can sometimes be hard to comprehend how things were in the “old days”.

Leaving Color

After ~2 years, today will be my last full-time day working at Color. I joined Color in the midst of the pandemic to help scale the systems, product and engineering organization. As the company, and world, shift gears, I have decided it is time to move on. I don’t have anything lined up yet, but am planning to spend at least the summer consulting and advising while I figure out my next steps.

Is Twitter Down?

Image courtesy of Adam Sharp. It is with mixed feelings and after a decade+ of downtime that I decided to revive I will not even try to summarize the drama that unfolded as Elon Musk tried to, tried not to and then was forced to purchase Twitter and take it private. But I think things have gotten to the point that the site going down is a real possibility.

Growth Without Growth

For Staff+ engineers personal growth is often fueled by organizational growth. In my time at CZI, I founded and worked as the Principal Engineer for our Infrastructure and Security group. One of the things I have been reflecting on recently is the ability for organizational growth to fuel individual growth. Back in the day when I was fighting the Fail Whale I found that rapid organizational growth and change enabled rapid personal growth and learning.

Yak Shaving

Yak Shaving is among the more colorful sayings used by software engineers. And it is an idea that, once you know it, you see everywhere. I worked on a team at Twitter that went so far as to have a Yak as our team mascot. But what is yak shaving? According to wiktionary, it is– Any apparently useless activity which, by allowing you to overcome intermediate difficulties, allows you to solve a larger problem.