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Showing posts from September, 2016

Finishing what you started

A quality of a good Startup engineer is "Finishing what you started". I value finishers more than people who talk good theory and start many things but don’t finish most of them. Most of the time people get excited and start many things concurrently but leave them in limbo or they finish 95% of the thing.  Over 7 years at my current Startup I have observed that in many projects doing first 95% may take you X units of time but its the remaining 5% that demands 10x cognitive effort and time from you. Its this last 5% where people either burnout or give up. Its the finishers who keep the compass pointing to North star, never give up and do what ever it takes to Finish( in indian mythology saam, daam, dand, bhed).

Recently One of my respected colleague "Sachin" left for a sabbatical. He was one of the Finishers whom I would hire any day on my team or would choose as a buddy to watch your back.  "Sachin" has a zeal like a Rhino or Triceratops to Finish what he…

What a rocky start to labor day weekend

Woke up by earthquake at 7:00 AM in morning and then couldn't get to sleep. I took a bath, made my tea and started checking emails and saw that after last night deployment three storage node out of 100s of nodes were running into Full GC. What was special about the 3 nodes was that each one was in a different Data centre but it was named same app02.  This got me curious I asked the node to be taken out of rotation and take a heap dump.  Yesterday night a new release has happened and I had upgraded spymemcached library version as new relic now natively supports instrumentation on it so it was a suspect. And the hunch was a bullseye, the heap dump clearly showed it taking 1.3G and full GCs were taking 6 sec but not claiming anything.



I have a quartz job in each jvm that takes a thread dump every 5 minutes and saves last 300 of them, checking few of them quickly showed a common thread among all 3 data centres. It seems there was a long running job that was trying to replicate pending…

Hanging on to old things

I have seen my Kid grow from 0 to 6 year and one startup growing from 20 to 150 employees and another growing from 5 to 300+ employees.  A common trend I seen is hanging on to old things.  Not sure if its due to sentimental value attached to things or inability to make hard choices.  My Kid still has his toys that he used to play when he was 1 year old. He wouldn’t let us throw them or give it to someone, I am recently working with him to let go of old things.  Problem with old things is that they are a drag, they just sit around the house and are a clutter. Its the same with old books, I have many of them and one day I need to go and clean them once I read a book,  I rarely read them again so why not donate them to library.

A common observation with Startups I have worked is feature bloat due to holding on to old features. Features that are not maintained but are in use by a handful of customers causes drag. Recently I wanted to refactor folder listing code to not load additional ver…