Patience and Pacing

Recently I had the good fortune of connecting with Dušan Omerčević, VP of Engineering for Zemanta who visited NYC from their engineering center in Slovenia.

Dušan wrote a terrific post inspired by our conversation here, and it is worth a read.

We talked a lot about how important patience and pacing are in an engineering organization, especially when building yours from scratch or pivoting an existing one with new hires, new processes, and new focus. Our tendency as engineers is to fix what we can fast and get things moving. We want to focus on code, and through code right everything and release fast. But there is a discipline to learn around letting some things run their course while very precisely controlling others. In mentoring team members, for example, it is often essential to stand on the sidelines and allow some hard but harmless lessons to be learned, while at other times one has to steer a less experienced developer away from failure with words and examples.

It was fascinating to compare engineering cultures and practices, and I came away feeling once again that common sense, a foundation in solid engineering process, and indeed patience are the basic ingredients for a winning productive development team. No matter what it’s size or location.

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