The Best of Refactoring in 2022
A recap of everything that happened this year + a list of my best articles.
Hey 👋 this is Luca! Welcome to a new ✨ weekly edition ✨ of Refactoring.
Every week I write advice on how to become a better engineering leader, backed by my own experience, research and case studies.
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Hey everyone, Happy New Year! ✨
This is a special edition to recap everything that happened at Refactoring during 2022, to start the new year on the right foot!
If you read only one post from me this year, read this one.
🤯 25,000 Subscribers
This milestone came in just timely with the new year!
This number is insane for two reasons: 1) it is about 2x where we stood just one year ago, and 2) we are growing faster now than ever, with the last couple of months being particularly good.
I am extremely grateful to all and each of you for letting me do this for a living.
This year, for the first time, during Christmas dinner I boasted that I am a writer, in front of my extended family. It raised a few eyebrows, but it was totally worth it.
🏆 Best articles of 2022
In 2022 I wrote 52 new essays, and never skipped a week.
Here are the best ones, based on a mix of popularity and personal preference, and organized by topic:
🦠 How to Manage Technical Debt — and how to prioritize it against product features and other initiatives.
🤔 Does Scrum Make Sense in 2022? — analysis of the most common criticism, popular alternatives, and how to craft your own dev process.
✏️ Design Docs — why they are the most important tech docs, and tips and templates to create great ones.
🤖 AI & The Future of Coding — thoughts on ChatGPT, Copilot, open source, and more.
🎯 How to Create Good OKRs — outputs vs outcomes, a simple process to get started, and examples from successful companies.
✨ Product Engineers — how to foster a company culture driven by ownership and impact.
🏰 Unconventional Team Structures (Part 1, Part 2) — let's talk of hierarchies, autonomous teams, and some in-depth case studies.
🐦 Is Elon Right? — reflecting on the aftermath of the Twitter layoffs.
🚨 How to Design a Good On-call Process — everything you need to cover, plus lessons from Netflix, Dropbox, Intercom, and Google.
🚢 Do You Really Need a Staging Environment? — or does it bring more problems than it solves?
🚩 Feature Flags — the unsung heroes of continuous delivery.
🪄 How to Build Anything with No-Code — an updated round-up of my favorite tools, with plenty of case studies and insights.
🗿 Monoliths vs Microservices — all the technical and organizational tradeoffs and how to choose between them, or anything in between.
☁️ Cloud vs On-premise Infrastructure — Basecamp just left the cloud. Should you as well?
Hiring & Careers
🎒 How to Onboard Engineers — the most effective tactics to do it fast and well, backed by research and case studies.
💼 Creating a Good Hiring Process — how to plan for your team's growth and source candidates effectively.
🪜 Career Frameworks (Part 1, Part 2) — what they are useful for, how to use them, and the various styles and examples
⏱️ How to Manage Your Time — tactics and tools to tame the mess, plan reliably and be productive.
🎭 On Founders, Creators, and Employees — thoughts and learnings about the various professional experiences I have had so far.
🚣♂️ Taste vs Skills — a simple mental model that can help you navigate your career.
☀️ Expectations vs Happiness — some personal reflections before the end of the year.
🏛️ New Library
This year I bet the house on the Library. I collected tons of feedback and revamped it completely.
The reason is simple: by now, I have written 120+ articles on Refactoring. If you only read what comes out every week, you are missing out on a ton of great content that is already available.
In fact, if you have some challenge at work, chances are I have already written about it in some fashion in the past.
The Library is a way to make this body of work available in an easy way for you and for your team. Moving forward, it will stand more and more at the center of the Refactoring experience.
For the community, 2022 was the year of maturity.
Here are some highlights:
📈 We grew! — the community now includes almost 400 people, who engage in thoughtful conversations on a daily basis.
👑 Head of Community — we brought in Jasvir 👋 who is behind many of the recent initiatives and made this place 10x better.
🥇 Ambassadors — Michael, Daniele, and Chiamaka joined as ambassadors, to spearhead the Refactoring spirit and drive good conversations across the board.
🎟️ Events — we had 46 events in 2022, almost one every week! I am proud we constantly brought high-quality external guests, and also created special community gatherings, like open Q&As, drink & chill, and game nights.
So, if you are looking for a place where to share your challenges, give and receive help, or simply make friends in the engineering space, this is for you!
The Community is now open to all paid subscribers. Learn more about it below.
🏅 Talent Club
2022 was a tough year for tech workers. Hiring freezes and layoffs hit many big companies, and things do not seem to be recovering soon.
The Talent Club is my shot at creating a trusted hiring marketplace between high-quality tech companies and skilled professionals open to work, by leveraging the Refactoring community.
I review all applications manually — both sides. If you are looking for a new gig, join to get personalized opportunities. It is free for all subscribers and you can opt out anytime.
Or, if you are hiring, join to get bi-monthly drops of curated engineering talent, open to new opportunities.
And that’s it for this week! I wish you a Happy New Year and see you next Monday!
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