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Optimizing for developer happiness

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Keynote at Railsconf 2011. Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22EECFEk9Xs

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Optimizing for developer happiness

  1. Optimizing for developer happiness Chad Dickerson CTO, Etsy chad@etsy.com @chaddickerson Video of talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22EECFEk9Xs
  2. We deploy code to production 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 for developer 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 it easy 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.  The first time I came to Etsy there was a quilt over the room where the engineers sat, it said "We [heart] engineers." - Bill Massie, Software Engineer
  32. Peter Drucker
  33. the traditional assembly line "deprives the worker of satisfaction. . . 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, they should try to impart a sense of meaning—not just through vision statements but by allowing employees to feel a sense of completion and ensuring that a job well done 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 as important as its economic function as an efficient producer.”
  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. steve 2. mike 3. rachel 4. ross 5. bill
  45. “intricate ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts which miraculously reinforce each other and compose an orderly whole.” Jane Jacobs
  46. Community
  47. The fact that the IRC and communication channels are as entertaining as they are 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 street support when the chips are down.”
  51. Dev and ops cooperation. This can never be overstated.. . . . So many engineers watching each others backs. --Mike Brittain, Software Engineer
  52. Your team is your community.
  53. Help them finish things.
  54. Give them a voice.
  55. There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling 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 real human order to emerge to get things done
  58. and great things will happen.
  59. Optimize for the happiness of people.
  60. Thank you.
  61. Photo credits • Fred Wilson deploying: http://www.flickr.com/photos/allspaw/5436215259/ • Eatsy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zsqr0000/5594193193/ • Coding and guitar: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zsqr0000/5181883749/ • Milo pushing deploy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zsqr0000/5269002895/ • Eating at desk: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jshiell/2498464557/ • Just ship tshirt: http://www.etsy.com/listing/70249006/just-ship-knuckle-tattoo-tshirt • Women on assembly line: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/fsa1992000956/PP/ • B-25 bomber: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/fsa1992001167/PP/  • Planes lined up: http://www.flickr.com/photos/llarsonphotography/2434063007/ • Jane Jacobs: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c37838
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Keynote at Railsconf 2011. Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22EECFEk9Xs

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