Pushing through Friction

Friday, 4 October, 2019 - 11:0011:45

Dan Na, Squarespace


Things are broken. The deployment pipeline is painfully slow. Your engineering team has doubled in the last year and there's a lack of sufficient process and management. You git blame a file that's used everywhere but nobody understands it; the person who wrote it left the company five years ago.

As a senior-level engineering leader, experience tells you things could be better. You see the gaps. If only the company adopted policy A or dumped technology B, everyone would benefit. But there's so much inertia. The company has always used B. You are frustrated. Can you actually make a difference?

Yes. You are encountering organizational friction, and learning to identify, accept and push through friction is a key skill of engineering leaders. In this talk, Dan will talk about why organizational friction occurs and how to mitigate it. The ability to push through friction will distinguish you throughout your career.

Note: This talk contains language that some viewers may find objectionable.

Dan Na, Squarespace

Dan Na is a Staff Engineer and Team Lead on the Internationalization Platform team at Squarespace in NYC. Previously he was an Engineering Manager and Senior Software Engineer at Etsy. He loves learning and teaching in a collaborative environment and solving both the technical and people problems of producing software. He’s a fan of NBA basketball, iced coffee, New York City and exploring the boroughs with his wife and 1.5-year-old son.

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@conference {239512,
author = {Dan Na},
title = {Pushing through Friction},
year = {2019},
address = {Dublin},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct

Presentation Video