The days after Thanksgiving are very busy for Glossier when we serve 100 times our typical traffic volume.
I recently gave a conference talk about how our team prepared for Black Friday. tl;dr: It mostly went well, except for the time when the site crashed. But it crashed in the ways we’d predicted, and we learned a ton!
Check out how we prepared for peak traffic, our surprises and lessons learned, and how we’re building ever more scalable, reliable systems to support Glossier in 2019 and beyond:
Want to help build the future of Glossier and support ever more growth? We’re hiring lots of Engineering roles!
Becoming an engineering manager can be a daunting role change with unfamiliar routines and responsibilities for many technical contributors.
We can more quickly gain experience in the art and craft of people management by learning from each other’s struggles and successes.
I wanted to share an easy technique that’s helped our team at Glossier better support new managers; and foster collaborative, effective tech leadership in the process.
It’s a biweekly meeting we call the Engineering Manager Workshop (EMW).
The EMW is a casual, safe, judgement-free space to discuss real management challenges through coaching and advice from peers.
As a participant, come with some practical questions or challenges in your work. Take turns presenting an issue, and take 5–15 minutes to discuss as a group. Clarify if you’re interested in coaching (open questions to help you figure out an answer), advice, support, or some combination. A facilitator keeps the discussion on track and ensures everyone has an opportunity to contribute. …
This is a mental exercise I’ve applied to help senior engineers better respond to unexpected requests.
As software engineers gain tenure and experience, others in the organization naturally seek their expertise. Some examples: A junior engineer asks for an introduction to an unfamiliar component. The finance team needs to know how an edge case is handled in a report. Customer support wants to highlight a bug, and ask how hard it’d be to fix.
Engineers can become stressed trying to respond quickly and thoroughly to requests from colleagues that they do not have time for other important work. …
Kickstarter recently rewrote the scripts we use to manage local development environments with a focus on improving their reliability. I want to share the benefits of that project.
The main Kickstarter app has several system dependencies. Dozens of people work in the codebase each day.
We had a
script/bootstrap that theoretically managed all the dependencies and configuration to get a working development environment. But in practice it was neglected, confusing to use, and rarely fixed the problem blocking a developer.
In my past as a sysadmin, I often installed software by running
./configure && make && sudo make install. Those familiar with this process are used to having thousands of lines of logs fly by like a Hollywood hacking montage. When the process finishes, it’s not always clear if it succeeded or if you need to scroll up to the cryptic error message you’ll need to google. …
Fret less. Write more.
Let’s get the ball rolling on some new daily habits I’d like to cultivate.
I’m writing them in public to make me more accountable to them.