I started interviewing other engineers in my organization to understand their experience with our GraphQL implementation. I ask for a 30 min chat and come prepared with a few questions.
Among the questions, I found my last question, “Is there anything else I should have asked you?” particularly powerful. My other questions are about the things I know and care about and, thus, miss my blindspots. But this question enables the interviewees to talk about what they care about. I’ve already learned their complex authorization requirements, neighboring teams’ pushback, and the pain points around internal documentation.
When you have a chance to interview your customers or colleagues, try asking this question. You may be surprised by what you learn.
I thank my wife, Eunyoung, for sharing this question.
Software Engineering ⚙️
Surviving the organizational side request
I haven’t experienced a rabbit hole as deep as this hypothetical one. But I wholeheartedly agree that unblocking whatever’s blocked for whatever reasons is also us engineers’ job. Link
npm 7 benchmark
Ever since npm 7 came out last October, I wanted to understand how fast npm 7 was compared to npm 6 and yarn. We finally have one benchmark, and it, unfortunately, doesn’t look groundbreaking. Some improvements with cached modules but also some regressions with fresh installs. Link
Incompetent people don’t know their incompetence, or do they?
The Dunning-Kruger effect can be summarized as “incompetent people don’t know they’re unskilled.” It has been cited by many articles explaining human behaviors. But a research team found that a set of randomly generated numbers could be made to look like the effect. This effect may be an excellent case of a confirmation bias. Link
What got you here won’t get you there
This^ is an important piece of advice as you want to shift into a different role. When you become a senior engineer and aim to be an engineering manager or a staff-level engineer, getting better at coding will not let you get there. We need to re-evaluate our focus based on our new objectives and changing landscapes. Link
Google is shifting (exiting?) its game streaming
Google first announced the game streaming platform Stadia and the internal game studio in early 2019. But in less than 2 years, it is shutting down the studio. If without exclusive games, how will Stadia compete with Microsoft Cloud Gaming or Amazon Luna, especially when these companies are doubling down on exclusive content? Link
Interview with Microsoft’s Head of Cloud Gaming
There are some interesting threads in this interview:
- Games are evolving from packaged goods to services to communities.
- New SaaS/platform opportunities for games are emerging, like renting out virtual environments for games.
- Game developers are evolving from AAA studios to indies to citizen developers (think Roblox).