The Effective Engineer

书名:The Effective EngineerHowtoLeverageYourEffortsinSoftwareEngineeringtoMakeaDisproportionateandMeaningfulImpact
豆瓣评分: 9.1


The most effective engineers — the ones who have risen to become distinguished engineers and leaders at their companies — can produce 10 times the impact of other engineers, but they're not working 10 times the hours. They've internalized a mindset that took me years of trial and error to figure out. I'm going to share that mindset with you — along with hundreds of actionable techniques and proven habits — so you can shortcut those years. Introducing The Effective Engineer — the only book designed specifically for today's software engineers, based on extensive interviews with engineering leaders at top tech companies, and packed with hundreds of techniques to accelerate your career. For two years, I embarked on a quest seeking an answer to one question: How do the most effective engineers make their efforts, their teams, and their careers more successful? I interviewed and collected stories from engineering VPs, directors, managers, and other leaders at today's top software companies: established, household names like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn; rapidly growing mid-sized companies like Dropbox, Square, Box, Airbnb, and Etsy; and startups like Reddit, Stripe, Instagram, and Lyft. These leaders shared stories about the most valuable insights they've learned and the most common and costly mistakes that they've seen engineers — sometimes themselves — make. This is just a small sampling of the hard questions I posed to them: What engineering qualities correlate with future success? What have you done that has paid off the highest returns? What separates the most effective engineers you've worked with from everyone else? What's the most valuable lesson your team has learned in the past year? What advice do you give to new engineers on your team? Everyone's story is different, but many of the lessons share common themes. You'll get to hear stories like: How did Instagram's team of 5 engineers build and support a service that grew to over 40 million users by the time the company was acquired? How and why did Quora deploy code to production 40 to 50 times per day? How did the team behind Google Docs become the fastest acquisition to rewrite its software to run on Google's infrastructure? How does Etsy use continuous experimentation to design features that are guaranteed to increase revenue at launch? How did Facebook's small infrastructure team effectively operate thousands of database servers? How did Dropbox go from barely hiring any new engineers to nearly tripling its team size year-over-year? What's more, I've distilled their stories into actionable habits and lessons that you can follow step-by-step to make your career and your team more successful. The skills used by effective engineers are all learnable. And I'll teach them to you. With The Effective Engineer, I'll teach you a unifying framework called leverage — the value produced per unit of time invested — that you can use to identify the activities that produce disproportionate results. Here's a sneak peek at some of the lessons you'll learn. You'll learn how to: Prioritize the right projects and tasks to increase your impact. Earn more leeway from your peers and managers on your projects. Spend less time maintaining and fixing software and more time building and shipping new features. Produce more accurate software estimates. Validate your ideas cheaply to reduce wasted work. Navigate organizational and people-related bottlenecks. Find the appropriate level of code reviews, testing, abstraction, and technical debt to balance speed and quality. Shorten your debugging workflow to increase your iteration speed. Use metrics to quantify your impact and consistently make progress.


For the past decade, Edmond Lau has worked as a software engineer in some of the top technology companies in Silicon Valley, including Google, Ooyala, Quora, and Quip.

He's passionate about building great engineering teams. He's interviewed over 500+ engineering candidates throughout his career as well as spoken to teams across the country on how to build great engineering cultures. At Quora, he built out the onboarding and mentoring programs used to train dozens of new engineering hires and helped grow the team from 12 to over 70.

His engineering and career advice has been featured on Forbes, Time, Slate, Inc., and Fortune. He's also guest lectured at both MIT and Stanford on software design.

He holds a Bachelor's and Master's in Computer Science from MIT.


@ yang1fan2 对new grad很重要,讲了很多成长秘籍 @ 。 @ Kan A good read for any engineers interested in Startup jobs. Always think of leverage of what you are doing, and tools first development mindset. @ xindoo 非常好的一本书,内容涉及研发效率、个人成长、团队管理,可惜没有中文版。 @ [已注销] 没有学到太多新的内容 所以我应该把读这本书的时间用在更高leverage的活动上 @ 泰坦帕斯卡 真搞不懂大家为什么吹这本书的彩虹屁🌈,明明就是很传统的效率鸡汤书啊?? @ yang1fan2 对new grad很重要,讲了很多成长秘籍 @ 。 @ softtwilight 写得挺好的 @ Bach Mindset, focus on high leverage projects. Prioritize frequently

Foreword ix Introduction 1
Part 1: Adopt the Right Mindsets 7
1. Focus on High-Leverage Activities 9
2. Optimize for Learning 19
3. Prioritize Regularly 41
Part 2: Execute, Execute, Execute 61
4. Invest in Iteration Speed 63
5. Measure What You Want to Improve 83
6. Validate Your Ideas Early and Often 107
7. Improve Your Project Estimation Skills 127
Part 3: Build Long-Term Value 153
8. Balance Quality with Pragmatism 155
9. Minimize Operational Burden 173
10. Invest in Your Team's Growth 193
Epilogue 215
Appendix 217 Acknowledgments 221 Notes 223 About the Author 247
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