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Monday 3-2-1 — zombie scrum, cattle vs pets, hiring for diversity
Hey, Luca here — welcome to the Monday 3-2-1 💡
Every Monday I will send you an email like this with 3 short ideas about:
🎽 Engineering Management
🔨 Technical Strategy
🎒 Hiring & Onboarding
I also send an original long-form article every Thursday, like the last one:
To receive all the full articles and support Refactoring, consider subscribing 👇
1) 🎽 Zombie Scrum
Whatever methods and processes you use for work, it is healthy to tweak them and make them suit your team better.
For example, many smart teams take Scrum and use only ~60% of it, adapting the rest to their workflow. I call it Zombie Scrum.
Some common tweaks are:
Replace daily scrum with something lighter / async. We did this ourselves.
Release work continuously instead of only at the end of the Sprint.
Have fewer retrospectives — e.g. every month / quarter instead than every Sprint.
I wrote more about Scrum in a previous article 👇
2) 🔨 Treat your servers like cattle, not pets
In a presentation around 2011, Randy Bias famously said: treat your servers like cattle, not pets.
Here is an excerpt from Randy himself:
In the old way of doing things, we treat our servers like pets, for example Bob the mail server. If Bob goes down, it’s all hands on deck. The CEO can’t get his email and it’s the end of the world. In the new way, servers are numbered, like cattle in a heard. For Example, www001 to www100. When one server goes down, it’s taken out back, shot, and replaced on the line.
The metaphor is clear. Pets are expensive, fragile, and require bespoke work. Cattle is homogeneous, their maintenance is standard and each individual can be replaced (sorry, cows! 🐄).
It is a beautiful picture that applies to much more than infrastructure.
The essence of engineering is turning pets into cattle.
3) 🎒 Hire for diversity early on
The best way to bring in women and underrepresented minorities in your team is to do it very early on.
Other than making your team better, this creates a virtuous cycle where you become a magnet for that kind of talent.
Doing it early is critical because it becomes very hard to bring in diverse talent after you have already amassed a big gender / cultural imbalance in your company.
I covered more hiring strategies here 👇
And that’s it for today — I wish you a great week! 🚀 If you liked the article, consider doing any of these:
1) ❤️ Share it — Refactoring lives thanks to word of mouth. Share the article with your team or with someone to whom it might be useful!
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