Deciding what to work on is always difficult and is especially treacherous for folks working as infrastructure engineers and leaders. Infrastructure teams that solve the right problems subtilely shift their company’s trajectory upwards. Poor approaches lead toward a morass of firefighting and frustration. With so many opportunities and sometimes fuzzy metrics, planning is threading a needle between the tyranny of choice and the specter of ambiguity.
Will Larson unpacks the process of picking and prioritizing technical infrastructure work, which is rarely if ever discussed but is so essential to long-term company success. Will shares Stripe’s approach to evolving your approach to prioritizing infrastructure as your company scales, justifying—and maybe even expanding—your company’s spend on technical infrastructure, exploring the whole range of possible areas to invest into infrastructure, adapting your approach between periods of firefighting and periods of innovation, and balancing investment in supporting existing products and enabling new product development.
You’ll come away with a broad set of tools, frameworks, and ideas for plotting the future of your technical infrastructure.
Will Larson leads Stripe’s infrastructure engineering team, which provides the reliable, performant, and usable platforms and tools for Stripe’s engineers and users. At Stripe, he’s had the opportunity to be part of their development of Veneur and Sorbet and migrations to Kubernetes, Envoy, and Bazel, as well as providing the infrastructure for the launch of exciting new products like Terminal and Issuing. Previously, Will supported engineering teams at Uber and Digg.
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