PWL #57: Full-Stack Teams, not Engineers

Papers We Love @ Seattle
Papers We Love @ Seattle
Public group

Every 1st Thursday of the month

Location image of event venue


• What we'll do
Main Event: Trevor Lalish-Menagh
will be presenting "Full-Stack Teams, not Engineers" (
"Randy is a full-stack engineer. He knows the company’s software
better than anyone else. He has experience with all aspects of the
company’s production services: literally “from chips to CSS.” He
writes server code and front-end code, makes user-interface decisions, administers the database, configures the CI/CD system, and
handles outages. For all this he is paid handsomely.
There are two things that Randy doesn’t know. First, he’s about to
burn out. Nobody can sustain his level of stress for long. His health
is starting to suffer, and he can’t figure out why working more hours
doesn’t enable him to stay ahead of all the projects that need to be
completed. He hasn’t had a vacation in years.
The second thing Randy doesn’t know is that he’s becoming a bottleneck who is hurting the company. He has so much responsibility
that nearly every project depends on him; therefore, nearly every
project stalls while waiting for him. The teams’ frustration is palpable.
Randy’s manager knows this. The company has tried to hire an
additional full-stack engineer for two years but have failed. Full-stack
engineers are as rare as hen’s teeth. In the rare cases where they do
exist, it is an unhealthy situation for themselves and the company.
Finding Randy was a lucky accident. Now, he’s a single point of failure. The company is one bicycle accident or winning lottery ticket
away from disaster.
So what is a company to do?"

• Important to know

Big ups to Glympse for hosting this month!

As a chapter of Papers We Love we abide by and enforce the PWL Code of Conduct ( at our events. Please give it a read, plan on acting like an adult, and involve one of the organizers if you need help.

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If you have a paper you'd like to present, or even just a mini, please hit up one of the organizers :) We're always looking for more presenters.