Nicholas Tietz-Sokolsky
Runner. Coffee nerd. Software engineer.

Don't Disrupt Things; Fix Them

People talk about disrupting industries when those industries appear to be in a stable but inefficient state. For example, the taxicab industry: there was little innovation going on in it, and it was stable, but it seemed like it was far from ideal. Along came Uber, intent to disrupt the industry - and disrupt it they did.

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Even bad estimates are valuable if you use them right

Estimating software projects is hard, if not impossible. This seems likely to be fundamental to the work, because we’re inventing new things and invention doesn’t happen on a fixed schedule. And yet, many teams still estimate how long their tasks will take to finish. Why should you do this, if you can’t do it accurately? You do it because it can help you reach your real goal of solving a problem as quickly as possible. But when you do it, you need to have really solid processes around estimating, or the estimates will be used and abused and can kill your team.

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Topologies of Remote Teams

When you’re building or scaling a software engineering team, you naturally run into a choice at some point: will we all be in the same office, or will we do this “remote work” thing? There are a lot of factors that go into whether or not remote work will work for your team, like if you know how to work remote. Another consideration, to make it more complicated, is which form of remote work you want to consider.

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How I Work Remotely

I’ve been working remote since September 2016. There are a lot of engineers who have worked remote longer than I have; there are others who have more insight into how they work than I do; and there are plenty of people who simply don’t work in the same way I do. My intention in this post is to share how I work, the reasons why I work that way, and what I think others should try while finding the process that works best for them and their teams.

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The bittersweet end of a year of independence

Just over a year ago, I left the startup I was working for and started my own business. My intention was to do freelance work (“consulting”, to all my clients) until I was able to launch my first product, and then shift into being a product company. My ambitions and confidence were very high. In this last year, I have accomplished a great deal and have a lot of pride in the work I did, as well as what I have learned. Nothing took the path I expected it to, but I wouldn’t change that at all. With that in mind, sadly, I am winding down my consulting work and taking on a new full-time job. I’ll explain why at the end, but first I want to share some a little bit about what I have experienced in the last year and why it was valuable.

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