After 2 years in my current role, I started considering what my next steps should be. I could (without any guarantee that I could achieve them except the first):
- continue in the current role
- switch to an IC role in a different field/team
- switch to a more senior IC role (staff+) at another company
- switch to a manager role either here or at another company
Ideally, I would have defined my career north star and planned my next move. But I couldn’t figure out what my north star is and, thus, couldn’t decide what to do.
In the last week’s mentoring session, my mentor suggested I instead focus on the next 2-5 years. That timeframe was far more manageable. I looked back at what I enjoyed in my career. After some deliberation, I’ve set a 5-year goal to lead an engineering org at a startup. I will start pursuing the fourth option.
Software Engineering ⚙️
Introducing WebContainers: Run Node.js natively in your browser
During the last week’s Google I/O, a company called StackBlitz introduced a new way to run Node.js using WebAssembly in a browser. This approach has a couple of benefits over running Node.js locally or in the cloud:
- The server is much faster to boot up as we don’t have to wait for provisioning.
- The server is accessible even without internet access.
- NPM installations are much faster with its customized npm client.
This demo video does a good job introducing the concept.
Typescript Performance Tips
In my project, I have an 80k-line-long autogenerated Typescript file that makes my editor crawl to a halt whenever I open it. I’ve learned recently that simple tweaks in Typescript definitions could result in a big performance gain. So I started learning how to improve a Typescript project’s performance.
Docusaurus V2 is in Beta
Docusaurus, one of the most popular doc site generators, has announced its V2 beta 3 years after the initial conception. With V2, Docusaurus switched its positioning from a documentation site generator to a doc-site focused single-page application site generator. People are already adopting the tool in droves.
Addressing the challenges of partially distributed engineering teams
Come September, and my org will start operating in a partially distributed fashion. Some will be in the office, and others, including me, will be remote. We’ve been able to operate well in a fully distributed setting. But we will need to step up the effort to a whole new level; we need to change how we run meetings, share context, and provide visibility.
A fun anecdote: when a colleague joined a meeting from the office, he found out that the meeting room device neither shows “hand raises” nor opens links shared on the chats. He had a harder time in the meeting as the only onsite employee than the others.
Hiring vs nurturing managers
As I prepare to become a manager again, it sometimes frustrates me that the internal opportunities are few and far between. This article explains the tradeoff between outside hires and internal promotions from the org’s perspective.
Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces and Why We Gon’ Be Alright
I learned this new idea called a brave space. A brave space is a space for learning and accountability. It is a step beyond a safe space in that some amount of discomfort will be encouraged to be honest and learn from.
Whenever a sensitive topic comes up at work, I am terrified that I will say the wrong thing and be judged forever without a chance to redeem myself. Can I be more open to sharing in such a space if discomfort is expected?
Coinbase is launching a media arm
Companies realize that they do not need to go through the press to speak to their customers and fans anymore. Politicians learned that a while ago, and companies are catching up.