2017 Year In Review

I hope that posting a year in review will help me get back to writing, especially given the adventure that my family recently started.

What Went Well

  1. I built an amazing team at Bypass
  2. That team built an amazing platform that weathered an entire NCAA + NFL football season without major mishap
  3. I relocated my family to the Netherlands

I’m tremendously proud of the stability of the platform we put together. The previous 18 months were very, very difficult for the company as we added major venues that often generated the traffic of some of the entire leagues we were serving previously. We took the Site Reliability Engineering philosophy to heart and really turned the screws on proposed changes to the system to ensure that, first and foremost, they would improve reliability. We nixed or significantly altered large numbers of projects that posed threats to our infrastructure by, for instance, using databases as shared resource pools or by not being able to measure their effects on the system at large.

You can have all the coolest features on the block, but if you can’t stay Green, they may as well not exist.

What Went Poorly

  1. The aforementioned team largely disbanded by attrition after my departure
  2. The move to the Netherlands was, and continues to be, very difficult for the family
  3. Delivering a product with peak traffic on weekends and evenings destroyed my work-life balance

How to Improve

I’m still pondering, specifically regarding my team disbanding after my departure. I feel like I contributed greatly to the personal and professional development of everyone on the team, which contributed to this exodus: a number of team members found great jobs at much bigger, more well funded, and more technically interesting companies. They took big steps up.

I feel like I probably could have contributed more to the culture above and adjacent to our team to help create a better overall workplace, which would have made them less likely to consider moving to other opportunities.

Considering we’re still in the midst of settling in from the relocation (which happened at the end of the year), I may have to punt a retrospective on that for next year. However, if all goes well, the relocation and job change will solve the work-life balance issue noted above.