WTF is an API?

"API" is a ubiquitous term in modern application development. Technically, it stands for "Application Programming Interface," but nobody calls it that. It's a broad term, but it basically defines how one system communications with another system. I'll divide it into two subcategories: third party APIs and internal APIs. Third Party APIs You probably hear about … Continue reading WTF is an API?

Why do engineers worry about scaling?

If you're a CEO or other business type, when you think "scaling" you think "I'm excited to increase our userbase and revenue by orders of magnitude!" If you're a backend engineer, when you think "scaling" you think "oh shit. What's going to happen to my platform when it grows by orders of magnitude?" As a … Continue reading Why do engineers worry about scaling?

WTF is technical debt?

Your engineer keeps saying her team really needs to dedicate some time to reducing technical debt. WTF does that mean? Why can’t they just focus on building features like they’re supposed to? Did I hire crappy engineers? Not necessarily. I’ve never worked at a company whose engineers - including myself - thought their codebase was just … Continue reading WTF is technical debt?

I wrote the SQL query in 5 mins. Why does my engineer say it will take a month?

So you’re a woke MBA who learned HTML last weekend, took a class in SQL, or even audited a 6-week Rails bootcamp. That’s wonderful! Learning some aspects of coding is a great way to build cred among your engineers, communicate with them more efficiently, and reduce some of the burden of your overworked engineering team. … Continue reading I wrote the SQL query in 5 mins. Why does my engineer say it will take a month?

WTF is this blog?

This blog is for non-engineers who work with software engineers. Throughout my career, I’ve seen a lot of misunderstanding, frustration, and downright animosity between these two groups. Some of it is normal workplace bickering, but part of it stems from the fact the engineers just think differently than other people. That’s unfortunate, because people in … Continue reading WTF is this blog?