Alliance framework

Last week I finished reading The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age. I really liked the book and it helped me better understand my own views and ideas on growing teams and developers. The book is small-ish and talks about several processes that are used at Linkedin. They also have online materials and tools at The Alliance Framework website.

When I was suggested to read this book I remember that I crused through the reviews and I noticed that several bad reviews had a common theme: they said that the ideas were good and interesting, but that they wouldn’t be possible to implement in a corporate company. That hinted that this book would bring out of the box ideas and naturally I was very interested.

So what were my key take aways from the book? The concepts of tours of duty and the alliance relationship.

Postmortem culture

Things go wrong. This is something that we can try to control, anticipate an plan for. But ultimately we will fail and we won’t be prepared for it. If we consider the amount of interactions we have, the amount of changes by so many people, and the limited amount of resources we have, it should be clear that if we don’t hit some bumps, we’re just going too slow.

One thing that we can do though, is to better handle problems after they happen with a good postmortem culture.

Common project usage: Makefile API

It’s common for me to jump around between projects. For example, I may be working on a backend service and need to jump to a frontend SPA to help the team on some deadline or other specific goal.

But cloning a new project always gives me bad memories. Not being able to run the tests (or not having tests at all), not knowing how to start/run the project (it may have docs for it if I’m lucky). And the worst part: not knowing how to deploy/publish a new version.