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Effective Engineer Notes

Some great reference notes from a highly recommended 👍 book for engineers looking to reach the next level in their careers.

By Edmond Lau

What’s an Effective Engineer?

Adopt the Right Mindsets

Focus on High Leverage Activities

Optimize for Learning

Prioritize Regularly

Invest in Iteration Speed

Measure What You Want to Improve

✔ Measure your progress. Carefully choose your top-level metric. Instrument your system. Know your numbers. Prioritize data integrity.

Validate Your Ideas Early and Often.

Improve Project Estimation Skills.

Balance Quality with Pragmatism

Manage Complexity Through Abstraction

Automate Testing

Repay Technical Debt

Reduce Operational Complexity

Fail Fast

Relentlessly Automate

Invest in Your Team’s Growth

🔆 “Leverage is the lens through which effective engineers view their activities. ” 🔆

10 Books to read:

theeffectiveengineer.com. The Effective Engineer is the personal blog of Edmond Lau, the author of the book where these notes are from. He writes about engineering habits, productivity tips, leadership, and culture.

kalzumeus.com. Patrick McKenzie runs his own software business and has written many excellent long-form articles on career advice, consulting, SEO, and software sales.

katemats.com. Kate Matsudaira, who has worked at large companies like Microsoft and Amazon as well as at startups, shares advice about tech, leadership, and life on her blog.

randsinrepose.com. Michael Lopp has worked for many years in leadership positions at Netscape, Apple, Palantir, and Pinterest, and writes about tech life and engineering management.

softwareleadweekly.com. Oren Ellenbogen curates a high-quality weekly newsletter on engineering leadership and culture.

calnewport.com. Cal Newport, an assistant professor of computer science at Georgetown, focuses on evidence-based advice for building a successful and fulfilling life.

joelonsoftware.com. Joel Spolsky, the co-founder of Stack Exchange, provides all sorts of programming pearls of wisdom on his blog.

martinfowler.com. Martin Fowler, author of the book Refactoring, writes about how to maximize the productivity of software teams and provides detailed write-ups of common programming patterns.

pgbovine.net. Philip Guo, a computer science professor, has written extensively and openly about his graduate school and work experiences.

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