[Oldletter #26] 10X organizations, the non-obvious importance of speed and Product vs Feature teams

Every Friday, I’m sharing a short list of evergreen articles/resources broadly related to software engineering that wouldn’t typically get shared in most tech newsletters or social media feeds.


  • How 10X Organizations use the cloud to focus on customers — and nothing else (2017) by Joe Emison. A worldview that I fully resonate with on how the most effective software delivery teams should be kept small (with no DBAs, sysadmins, network admins, other IT operations staff) and how the cloud (in particular serverless technologies) enables this.

    People bring inertia to organizations… The core principle is really quite simple: put as few people as possible between the development of software and its deploymentPreferably zero.

  • Speed matters: Why working quickly is more important than it seems (2015) by James Somers. A seemingly obvious assertion but contains some very interesting observations about non-obvious outcomes that speed (or lack thereof) precipitates.

    if there’s something you want to do a lot of and get good at—like write, or fix bugs—you should try to do it faster.

  • Product vs Feature Teams (2019) by Marty Cagan. Interesting piece on the distinction between truly empowered product teams and “feature teams” who receive instructions/roadmap from “the business”.

    The purpose of a product team in this sense is to solve problems in ways our customers love, yet work for our business. As much as I might wish otherwise, I know that only a small percentage of teams out there are product teams in this sense. Much more often than not, the teams are not empowered at all.  In contrast, they are there to serve the business.


Submitting your recommendations

If you’d like to share an evergreen article/book which has significantly influenced your thinking or practice around software delivery, please email it through to me and I’ll add it to my backlog for sharing in future editions.

Have a great weekend!

— Paul

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