The Full Circle on Developer Productivity with Steve Yegge

Steve Yegge is a talented writer and has provided some rather candid views into big tech companies (Google and Amazon) in the past. This article is a nice summary:

A few takeaways:

  • engineers should be spending some time talking to customers
  • good development tools matter
  • open is important

You can get ahead of your competition by breaking out from what everyone else is doing. For example: invest in engineers meeting with customers. Let’s say they do this two weeks every year. Sure, they’ll take a productivity hit, but they’ll build up empathy for customers. The problem starts to become how we’re not good at measuring intangible results such as these.

Sourcegraph is surprisingly open. Their model isn’t that different from that of DataStax or similar companies. It’s open source with an enterprise SaaS model.

Where Sourcegraph takes the part of being open a lot further than any other company is how they’re open about their corporate practices and their philosophies and values. A lot of these are spelled out in great detail in their handbook - which is also in the open. This handbook contains things that most other companies would consider proprietary and confidential.

Because of this open nature, we’re able to talk in the open about our planning process, thought process, and even strategic processes. Other companies might go, “Oh gosh, what if somebody fast-follows my strategy first and we lose?” At Sourcegraph, we don’t worry about this because we’re in it for the long game. We know that by being open, we’re going to win, and we’ll win partially because of this openness.

More of Steve’s content: