Writing an engineering strategy.

published on 2023/02/20

Once you become an engineering executive, an invisible timer starts ticking in the background. Tick tick tick. At some point that timer will go off, at which point someone will rush up to you demanding an engineering strategy. It won’t be clear what they mean, but they will want it, really, really badly. If we just had an engineering strategy, their eyes will implore you, things would be okay. For a long time, those imploring eyes haunted me, because I simply didn’t know what to give them: what is an engineering strategy?

From Magnitudes of exploration, which described Stripe’s aspirational approach to balancing between technical standardization and exploration, to Staff Engineer’s Writing engineering strategy (which I rewrote four times from scratch), I kept iterating on my definition.