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"Diving Into The Lake" with Ben Stiefel from Measurabl

"Diving Into The Lake" powered by DevLake features the stories and experiences of engineering leaders and experts. Ben Stiefel, Director of Engineering at Measurabl, shares in the interview on leading successful teams, adopting data-driven techniques, decision making, asssesing team health, DORA metrics and much more

Feel free to give it a read, as this has been specially handpicked for you! This would undoubtedly illuminate practicality and provide deeper insights into Engineering.

Diving Into The Lake with Ben Stiefel

Question #1: "In your opinion, what is the value of taking a data driven approach to engineering?"

I'm assuming you're asking in the context of DORA metrics and others. I think they're valuable in context - they can and should be used to:

  1. Validate or invalidate perceptions, assumptions, and hypotheses
  2. "Start the conversation" - by which I mean one can use the data as a starting point to inquire about root causes of issues, or (preferably) sustained high performance

Question #2: "When you think about using data to make better decisions, what advice would you give somebody?"

Data never provides the whole picture, but it can't lie to you. Remember to make sure you're asking the right questions and collecting the best data you can. The data can skew perceptions if it's not collected or displayed correctly (example: violent crime in the US is up sharply since 2014, but still much lower than the 1980s, per capita and total). So always question whether or not you've got the best data you can get, and if you're analyzing it properly.

Question #3: "If you had to pick one metric to assess the health or strength of an engineering process or organization, what would you pick, and why?"

That's a tough one! per Question #2, I don't know that any one metric could be the best indicator, but if I HAD to pick, I'd say Cycle Time is a good leading indicator. We use developer metrics like DORA and SPACE to give us an idea of the general health of the engineering teams, and to find places where there might be efficiencies or room for improvement.

Question #4: "If you were starting out in your engineering career again, what advice would you share with yourself?"

Wow... great question... I would probably tell myself to be far more aware and avoidant of toxic workplaces and work cultures. You will grow much more quickly at a healthy company. How we can measure that would be a great question to answer!

Thanks for taking your time and reading through this. Do share your thoughts and comments in our slack community. You can also nominate your favorite leader from the community for the upcoming editions of "Diving Into The Lake".

Happy DevLaking!