Giving your engineers ownership
A quick case study: Netflix. The streaming giant is known for giving engineers autonomy— one of their core philosophies is “Freedom and Responsibility”, with an emphasis on people over process. Software engineering teams are fully autonomous; so they make sure to hire strong developers who are capable of managing their code from the planning stage all the way to deployment and operations. Individual teams are fully responsible for the code they write, and maintaining it in production. With this best practice, developers have more ownership and feel more empowered to build great products. They have fewer blockers from external teams as they bear the responsibility for their projects. They can hone in and focus on what they’re truly passionate about at work, building software.
Industry Standards in Security and Compliance
Even companies in their early stages are concerned about adopting industry standards for compliance. Whether it’s using SSH certificates over keys for managing production access or being SOC2 compliant in order to close more enterprise customers— following the latest industry standards improve your engineering quality of life. Rather than being in tech debt and having to implement industry standards later on—which is notorious difficult in large organizations—implementing (or at the least, moving in the direction of) these standards before you begin to scale will save your organization a lot of time and money.
DevEx and Engineering Velocity
Good developer experience means better engineering productivity and developer happiness. Engineers are expensive, and in order to retain talent, you want to make their life easier. Every company should be interested in trying to maximize the productivity of their engineers. This is a problem with older companies, they tend to be working with outdated practices and have lots of tech debt. Make sure your developers have a great DevEx by providing them the tools necessary to make their work simpler.
Visibility and Collaboration
Every organization, especially enterprises, use a multitude of third party tools. Standardizing or at least encouraging a relatively small number of vetted tools can help improve engineering consistency. It can also help engineers move and work across teams. With remote asynchronous work becoming more and more popular, it’s important to develop standardization in your engineering practices and have all of your work and data in one single source of truth. This improves communication and allows for more data-driven decisions so your organization can make better investments.
Having a standardized engineering culture from day 1 empowers your engineers with a great developer experience. It allows your engineering organization to react quickly when things do go wrong, and most importantly – allows your developers to move fast without breaking things.