Post-Mortems at HubSpot: What I Learned From 250 Whys

Post-Mortems at HubSpot: What I Learned From 250 Whys:

This is a somewhat specific detail, but it comes up a lot, so I wanted to pull it out. If you run a bunch of 5 Whys, you’ll find that a lot of times, the developer who made the first-order mistake (forgot to copy configs from QA to Prod, or deployed two apps out of order, or whatever), will say “Look, this was totally my fault, I screwed up, that’s the whole story. I’ll be more careful next time.”

The very short summary of which is: We’re going to fix this problem by being less stupid in the future.

Which, well, you can guess how that’s going to turn out.

Why do some developers at strong companies like Google consider Agile development to be nonsense?

Why do some developers at strong companies like Google consider Agile development to be nonsense? Most points resonate — particularly this one:

10. Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential. – Most teams simply don’t spend enough time on this. A sense of urgency often overrides careful planning. The problem here is careful planning makes things get done faster. During the planning stage it feels like you’re not getting anywhere, but you are setting up for a quick sprint. This setup is often overlooked, and we end up with not only complicated software, but complicated development habits, complicated code, and generally poor software design. This slows down maintenance and new development, as we try to fit into poorly designed structures that become ingrained and impossible to improve.

Amsterdam, day three: Ava’s first birthday

Today was a very special occasion — Ava’s first birthday. To celebrate, we: ate homemade crepes with banana and nutella for breakfast, took a walk to the Bloemenmarkt, dozed peacefully with a two hour nap, played in ball pit and slide at TunFun, and had delicious takeaway Vietnamese from The Taste of Vietnam for dinner.


Ava and her momma

Ava in the ball pit


Amsterdam, day one and two

The flight over wasn’t awful. I can’t think of any highlights from flying nine hours with an almost one year old, but we survived and we’re here.

Ava checks out the boarding passengers

We had a failed plan (proposed by me) where I would sleep 3-4 hours on Unisom, then take over and Leah would sleep 3-4 hours. I took my pill, then attempted to sleep for a couple of hours while Leah dealt with an often-screaming Ava. She hadn’t taken her morning nap, so she was already a wreck by the time we were on the plane. Not much sleep for me. Then, later, Leah took half of a pill, got an hour and change of downtime while Ava napped in the Ergo, and then had to groggily help me take care of Ava. But, on a positive note, we all slept roughly an hour at the very end of the flight.

Yesterday, we landed at about 9 am, then took the train to our accommodations. It’s a lovely flat in the Jordaan district we found on Airbnb. The owner is the Dutch ambassador to Sudan, and their place is filled with trinkets and pictures of their travels — the perfect place for us.

Leah and Ava look out the window

After a quick two and a half hour nap, we took off for a walk, some lunch, and grocery shopping.

Bob stroller is the best thing ever

Our lunch was at Pane & Olio, a welcome departure from all of the tourist cafes nearby. Ava had quiche, Leah a prosciutto sandwich, and I a slice of salami pizza. The lunch special, some sort of macaroni dish, looked quite good.

For dinner, I cooked up chicken with sweet potatoes, onions and brussel sprouts. What I love most about Airbnb is that travel accommodation can easily become a home away from home. For us, home-cooked meals are a key ingredient.

Last night wasn’t too bad. We all woke up for a couple of hours around midnight. Ava got to sleep in our bed because we didn’t want her crying to wake up the neighbors. Ava and I woke up around 6:30 am, and Leah slept in until 8 or so.

Leah’s time for the laptop!

Today we: walked to the Van Gogh museum in the morning, came home for naps (me one hour, Leah an hour and a half, and Ava two hours), and went on a canal tour in the afternoon. Dinner was SushiMe — not quite as good as Ichiban 😊

Classic Amsterdam homes

Goofing off on the boat