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Optimizing for developer happiness


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Keynote at Railsconf 2011. Video here:

Published in: Technology
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Optimizing for developer happiness

  1. Optimizing fordeveloper happiness Chad Dickerson CTO, Etsy @chaddickersonVideo of talk:
  2. We deploy code toproduction about 25x per day
  3. Across a team of 70 engineers
  4. We have a lot of people depending on us.
  5. 400,000+ active sellers
  6. 9+ million registered members
  7. $300+ million in sales in 2010
  8. > 1 billion page views / month
  9. Business in over 150 countries
  10. How?
  11. Culture.
  12. One that optimizes fordeveloper happiness.
  13. Erik Kastner
  14. Ruby is designed to make programmers happy. — Yukihiro Matsumoto, aka “Matz”
  15. Connect engineers to their work
  16. by making iteasy to ship
  17. with the support of a community.
  18. Etsy operates internally like an online community: chaotic, irreverent,self-regulating and self-sustaining. -- Noah Sussman, Software Engineer
  19. The way we do things shouldn’t work.
  20. It does.
  21. Constant progress
  22. powered by
  23. radical decentralization of authority
  24. we trust people.
  25. (and dogs)Dottie Milo “Dogs are part of the team, and are expected to commit code.”
  26. Ari JM Diego Eric Seth
  27. Fred
  28. Milo
  29. Code going out to our servers Milo Progress bar
  30. Milo
  31. Etsy respects the trade of engineering.  Code as Craft.  Thefirst time I came to Etsy there was a quilt over the roomwhere the engineers sat, it said "We [heart] engineers." - Bill Massie, Software Engineer
  32. Peter Drucker
  33. the traditional assembly line "deprives the worker ofsatisfaction. . . by the confinement of the worker to one manipulation repeated endlessly which denies the satisfaction of finishing a job."
  34. If companies really want their workers to produce, theyshould try to impart a sense of meaning—not justthrough vision statements but by allowing employees tofeel a sense of completion and ensuring that a job welldone is acknowledged. -- Dan Ariely, The Upside of Irrationality (2010)
  35. Easy deploys =developer happiness
  36. Complete.At Etsy, this cycle takes an average of 21 minutes.
  37. Peter Drucker
  38. “[the corporation’s] social function as a community is asimportant as its economic function as an efficientproducer.”
  39. We use it about 25x a day
  40. The “Push Train”
  41. Ross Snyder
  42. IRC Topic
  43. 20:11 -!- ross changed the topic of #push to: steve | mike | rachel | bill | ross
  44. 1. steve2. mike 3. rachel 4. ross 5. bill
  45. “intricate ballet in which the individualdancers and ensembles all havedistinctive parts which miraculouslyreinforce each other and compose anorderly whole.” Jane Jacobs
  46. Community
  47. The fact that the IRC and communication channels are as entertaining as theyare useful is great. It makes newcomers feel comfortable and supported. --Justin Donato, Software Engineer
  48. We use tools
  49. to build happy communities
  50. “. . . . unconscious assumption of general streetsupport when the chips are down.”
  51. Dev and ops cooperation. This can never be overstated.. . . . So manyengineers watching each others backs. --Mike Brittain, Software Engineer
  52. Your team isyour community.
  53. Help them finish things.
  54. Give them a voice.
  55. There is a quality even meaner than outrightugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality isthe dishonest mask of pretended order, achievedby ignoring or suppressing the real order that isstruggling to exist and to be served. Jane Jacobs The Death and Life of Great American Cities 1961
  56. Build a community
  57. where you allow realhuman order to emerge to get things done
  58. and great things will happen.
  59. Optimize for thehappiness of people.
  60. Thank you.
  61. Photo credits• Fred Wilson deploying:• Eatsy:• Coding and guitar:• Milo pushing deploy:• Eating at desk:• Just ship tshirt:• Women on assembly line:• B-25 bomber: • Planes lined up:• Jane Jacobs: