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Always an Engineer

Technology Podcasts

Whether you’re a seasoned software engineer or climbing up the corporate ladder, you’re always going to have questions. Asim Razzaq, founder and CEO of Yotascale and former head of platform engineering at PayPal and eBay, has lived them, survived them, and is here to share his insights to help you get where you want to go. Once an engineer, always an engineer... even when you’re a CEO.


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Whether you’re a seasoned software engineer or climbing up the corporate ladder, you’re always going to have questions. Asim Razzaq, founder and CEO of Yotascale and former head of platform engineering at PayPal and eBay, has lived them, survived them, and is here to share his insights to help you get where you want to go. Once an engineer, always an engineer... even when you’re a CEO.




Ep. 27: 5X your Developer Productivity with Generative AI

In today's episode, Asim sits down with Umair Akeel, a startup founder, passionate engineer, former distinguished engineer at Twilio Inc, and former VP of Engineering at Oracle. They discuss how to 5X your productivity with generative AI, the future of software development, and advice to engineers on using generative AI. [00:00] Introduction [02:05] Umair’s New Startup [03:09] The Future of Software Development [06:09] How Generative AI is Changing Code Development [08:31] Software Developers Using Generative AI [10:27] Productivity and Building Software Faster [12:00] How to Increase Your Speed and Efficacy of Writing Code [14:40] Rapid Iteration and Testing [17:10] Technology is Changing Too Fast [20:03] Advice to Early Career Engineers on Generative AI [24:44] Advice For Mid-Career and Late-Career Engineers [28:42] Where to Start with Generative AI [30:46] Parting Thoughts How to 5X Your Developer Productivity Using Generative AI Are you a developer looking to supercharge your productivity? Then you’re in luck. Generative AI can be your new best friend. Tools like GPT-3 can help streamline your development process by writing code snippets, creating documentation, and even assisting in debugging. According to Umair, generative AI is like a friend that generates code templates based on your description. This can save you valuable time to become more productive. However, like all productivity tools, generative AI can take some getting used to. Plus, these tools are sometimes only useful for getting outcomes for known problems. For example, they only know how to produce code that they have seen in the past. Links and Resources: Umar LinkedIn Umar on Twitter --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 26: Radical Engineering Transformation through Inner Sourcing

In today's episode, Asim sits down with Arnold Goldberg, the VP/GM of Payments at Google. Over the last 30 years, Arnold has worked with four notable high-growth companies – PayPal, Box, LinkedIn, and eBay, primarily focusing on scaling people, processes, and technology. They discuss the what, why, and how of inner sourcing. They cover the inner source approach to engineering, how to get the most out of it, the mistakes to watch out for, and much more. [00:00] Introduction [02:29] What is Inner Sourcing? [04:55] Changing Company Culture to an Inner Sourcing Culture [08:14] Engineers Control Their Own Destiny [12:10] Who is the True Owner of an Inner Source? [14:23] Inner Sourcing in Giant Companies Like PayPal [16:27] Engagement Models For Team Success [19:08] Talent Retention and Executive Buy-In [22:23] How Arnold Pilots and Scales Inner Sourcing in Teams [23:20] Mistakes to Watch Out For with Inner Sourcing [25:41] Where to Find an Inner Sourcing Community [26:19] Teams and Organizations Where Inner Sourcing Cannot Work [28:05] Parting Thoughts What is Inner Sourcing? Inner Sourcing is a software development strategy where companies adopt an open-source engineering culture that teams can use to collaborate more effectively. This growing trend is often found in high-performing teams. Engineers and developers create proprietary software and open the work internally so everyone can contribute to the source code. According to Arnold, the best engineers use inner sourcing to build better software, faster. But how big or small should the organization be for an innersource to be effective? He explains that the strategy is effective for organizations of all types and sizes. As businesses grow and differentiate their products, they quickly realize that traditional development methods no longer work. The slow hierarchical practice of gathering information, holding daily meetings, and developing in silos is not what drives success for technology companies today. Arnold believes inner sourcing is the only way companies can keep pace with customer demands and guarantee speed, reliability, and functionality. Links and Resources: Arnold's LinkedIn Adopting InnerSource by Danese Cooper and Klaas-Jan Stol --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 25: Sometimes the problem is to discover what the problem is

In today's episode, Asim sits down with Joe Lynch, an experienced engineering leader and the VP of Engineering at Twilio. Joe boasts comprehensive experience in bringing scalable SaaS products and platforms to market and leading world-class Engineering organizations, with a focus on quality, efficiency, rapid delivery, and continuous improvement. They discuss the best way to frame an engineering problem, how to overcome the solutions-based way of thinking, and effective ways to highlight a problem statement. [00:00] Introduction [01:45] Joe's Passion For Solving Problems [04:47] The Foundational Elements of Problem Framing [09:15] What is Prescriptive Problem-Solving? [10:30] How to Stop Reacting to Problems [14:11] Ways to Effectively Frame a Problem Statement [19:03] Analysis Paralysis When Solving Problems [22:13] Defining Problems is Subjective, Not Objective [25:50] Human Bias When Solving Problems [28:18] Parting Thoughts The Critical Value of a Well-Framed Problem As engineers, we often talk about the solution space, but unfortunately, we don't spend as much time talking about the problem space and alternative ways of defining a problem. You see, the critical value of a well-defined problem cannot be understated. Because if you don't frame the problem properly, the solution will only be as good as the thinking that went into it. We are taught to tackle problems by looking at the idea of there being an implicit problem statement. And that the requirements document given to us by the product manager is somehow perfect. According to Joe, it's better to spend some time exploring the problem space. The problem space is essential because it defines the problem that needs solving. It also helps to identify the scope of the problem and the constraints that need to be considered while solving it. This saves time and makes it possible for engineers to solve customer pain points, desires, jobs to be done, and needs. Links and Resources: Joe Lynch's LinkedIn Just Enough Software Architecture: A Risk-Driven Approach by George H. Fairbanks --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 24: Seven habits of highly effective engineering teams with Mark Interrante

In today's episode, Asim sits down with Mark Interrante, a technology leader who builds engineering and product development teams for companies ranging in size from startups to Fortune 100. He also enjoys getting involved in new technologies when they're going from early adoption to mainstream. They break down the seven habits of highly effective teams - and the outcomes you can expect from implementing these habits. [00:00] Introduction [03:01] Building Habits in Engineering Teams [05:23] How to Deal with Distractions [08:40] Shutdown Habits and Why They're Important [10:58] Starting with the End in Mind [14:21] Behavior Prompts [15:52] Why You Need to Make Doable Commitments [21:00] The Power of Having Clarity in Your Work [23:56] The Habit of Continuous Improvement [27:03] Essentials of an Effective Task Decomposition [29:43] How to Get into a Flow State Effortlessly [33:10] Seek to Understand Before Being Understood [35:10] How to Find Anchors That Slow Down Your Day [38:29] Parting Thoughts Habits in Engineering Teams Habits are the building blocks of success for any engineering team. To create highly effective engineering teams, you must develop a culture of good habits. These habits range from effective communication to having clarity in tasks. Mark believes highly effective engineering teams also prioritize continuous learning and improvement. They are open to feedback, embrace change, and seek opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills. Mark explains that habits are essential because they allow us to automate actions and behaviors, freeing up mental energy for other tasks. By establishing good habits, we create consistent patterns of behavior that enable us to achieve our goals and improve our overall well-being. Habits also help us to develop discipline, which is crucial for success in any area of life. When engineers commit to good habits, they are more likely to make small, incremental improvements over time, leading to significant progress in the long run. Links and Resources: Mark's LinkedIn Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything by BJ Fogg PhD Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 23: Prioritizing prioritization with Harry Max

In today's episode, Asim sits down with Harry Max, an executive player-coach, consultant, and hands-on product design leader with vision and a solid grasp on operations. His experience includes being a founder/CEO, operational leader, and consultant with start-ups, innovators, and global brands, including Apple, Adobe, DreamWorks, Google, and PayPal. They discuss ways to make prioritization a habit, why Harry's Morning Boot Routine is so effective, and the fruits of proper prioritization. [00:00] Introduction [01:40] Who is Harry Max? [03:00] Why Harry Chose to Write a Book on Prioritization [04:28] How to Make Prioritization a Habit [07:44] The Expected Outcome of Proper Prioritization [09:29] Why Prioritization is Important in an Organization [11:45] Steps You Can Take Today to Become Better at Prioritizing [13:34] Examples of People Prioritizing Effectively [15:53] The Morning Boot Routine [19:37] Prioritization Hygiene and the Cost of Delay [21:21] Why Some People Fail at Prioritizing [23:45] The Benefits of Having an Accountability Partner [25:26] Parting Thoughts How to Make Prioritization a Habit We all know prioritization is important. The challenge is when people think of prioritizing, they immediately confuse it with personal productivity or time management. The easiest way to differentiate between the three is to remember that prioritization is not a one-and-done event. It's an ongoing process that demands regular updates and adjustments. As your tasks and deadlines change, so should your priorities. Making prioritization a habit is a matter of discipline and mindset. Firstly, it's important to understand what matters most to you and what you want to achieve in the short and long term. This can be done by developing a daily routine that includes time for reviewing tasks and adjusting priorities as necessary. It's also important to avoid distractions and focus on the task at hand. Always prioritize your highest-priority work around your most productive and high-energy hours. You are more likely to complete high-priority items when you have the most energy and focus. Links and Resources: Harry's LinkedIn --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 22: The power of a technical insight with Ashmeet Sidana

In today's episode, Asim sits down with Ashmeet Sidana, the Founder and Chief Engineer at Engineering Capital. His experience includes managing venture capital funds, serving on multiple Boards of Directors, and helping build industry-leading products such as VMware ESX Server and WebFORCE. Before becoming a venture capitalist, Ashmeet was an executive with hands-on operating experience as a CEO and Entrepreneur. They discuss the incredible power of technical insights in engineering and how business opportunities form the core of engineering excellence. [00:00] Introduction [01:35] Ashmeet's Journey to Engineering [02:57] What are Technical Insights in Engineering? [05:38] You Don't Need a Ph.D. to Come up with Technical Insights [08:01] Things That Make vFunction a Unique Cloud Modernization Platform [12:20] How the Most Interesting Companies Come About [16:20] Why Engineers Should Interact with Customers From Day One [18:02] Business Insights Versus Technical Insights [21:10] People Operate in These Two Basic Modes [24:27] How to Assemble and Build Your First Founding Team [28:10] The Best Way to Build a Successful Engineering Company [29:54] Parting Thoughts What are Technical Insights and Why are They Important? A technical insight is an idea that if you tell a good engineer what you are doing, they wouldn't know how to do it. In other words, there is something unique about how you solve problems. If it's a very large technical insight, people will surely be surprised. For example, when Google started, there existed hundreds of search engines worldwide. But what made Google unique was its algorithm's ability to rank web pages. Revolutionary companies are created when people think about existing problems that could be solved better with technology. This is only possible when engineers work backward from a problem before coming up with a solution. However, it's not enough just to have technical insights. You have to spend enough time thinking about business problems that can be solved with technical insights. Only then can you start thinking about starting a company. And if you can find a big enough, interesting enough business problem, you can build a massive company. Links and Resources: Ashmeet's LinkedIn Follow Ashmeet on Twitter --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 21: Authentic leadership with Troy Toman

In today's episode, Asim sits down with Troy Toman, the Vice President of Engineering at Planet. He is a technology and services executive with an extensive background in systems and infrastructure solutions. His most recent focus is on agile development, continuous delivery, web-scale infrastructure, cloud computing and OpenStack. They discuss why authentic leadership matters and ways engineering leaders can build a more authentic leadership style based on trust. [00:38] Introduction [02:10] How Myers-Briggs Personality Test Shaped Troy's Leadership [04:42] Troy's Leadership Journey and Developing a Leadership Style [07:03] What Society Views as Great Leadership [10:14] Figuring Out Who You Really Are as a Leader [13:45] The Basics of Authentic Leadership [15:09] Spending Your Energy More Intentionally [16:42] Becoming More Comfortable with Not Having All the Answers [20:20] Why Vulnerability is the Key to Authentic Leadership [21:45] How to Motivate Your Team to be More Authentic [24:09] Improving the Entire Organization Starts with You [27:40] Parting Thoughts Authentic Leadership and Why It's Important Success in leadership starts with authenticity. Great leaders do their jobs without compromising on values and beliefs. Why is this important? Well, because people trust leaders when they are true to themselves - and that trust is the easiest path to getting things done. If you are a leader and would like to develop authentic leadership, you first need to develop a healthy alignment between your internal values and external behavior. This stems from finding your way of leading and making decisions that reflect your values, ethics, and personality. According to Troy, a great aspect of authentic leadership is asking for and giving feedback. Great leaders create a feedback-rich environment with a strong foundation of safety and trust. It's clear that work environments would be a much better place if we were all authentic and treated each other as humans. Links and Resources: Troy's LinkedIn Gallup CliftonStrengths Myers Briggs Personality Type The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 20: The rude awakening of engineering management with Ron Lichty

In today’s episode, Asim sits down with Ron Lichty to discuss the rude awakening of engineering management. Ron is a software engineering leader and product development consultant with a passion for making software developers and leaders thrive. They break down ways managers and aspiring managers can make engineering leadership predictable and reliable. [00:38] Introduction [02:07] Ron’s Back and Forth Movement from Engineering to Management [07:03] Misconceptions About Engineering Management [10:28] How to Feel Accomplished as a Manager [11:32] Why Conflict is a Necessary Part of Management [13:00] Good Managers are Not the Smartest People in the Room [17:45] Learning How to Delegate [20:46] How to Overcome the Fear of Delegation [22:03] Recruiting and Why It’s the Most Important Role of a Manager [26:15] The Role of Mentors in Becoming a Better Manager [29:50] Parting Thoughts How to Succeed as a Software Engineering Manager Like in most industries, engineering managers are often promoted because they are good at software development. However, being a great manager is not the same as being a great engineer. The latter requires a drastic change of focus and a completely different way of doing things. So, if you would like to become a leader in engineering, there is a set of expectations to consider before making that leap into the deep end. The best management practice you can learn is to put together a team of people who can work together toward a shared vision. This means not necessarily being the smartest person in the room and learning how to delegate. Links and Resources: Ron’s LinkedIn Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams by Mickey Mantle and Ron Lichty --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 19: DevOps burnout is real with Luca Galante

For today’s episode, Asim is joined by Luca Galante to discuss the spectrum of DevOps and platform engineering. Luca is a product manager at Humanitec, and has been on the development line of work for almost 6 years. He joins Asim to break down platform engineering and its community, goals, career, and history. [00:51] Introduction of Luca Galante [01:50] Backstory of Platform Engineering Community [04:01] Defining Platform Engineering [06:00] Examples of Coder Pads [10:12] Balancing on Opinionated and Unopinionated [12:49] Standards for Platform Products [15:09] Brown-field Enterprise Setup [19:04] DevOps Side [22:30] Platform Engineering as Just DevOps [26:24] Where to Learn More About Platform Engineering About Platform Engineering Platform engineers are the soul to most product applications that customers use nowadays for day-to-day and leisure activities. Learning about how the community works and understanding the operational side of how the workers under this career can shed light into some misconceptions or facts about how they deliver their work, particularly their essential and organizational structure. You’ll be able to take on a personal journey of an engineer who experienced a lot of need-to-improve systems in this career within organizations, as well as defining some key areas of work around the job as a platform engineer. External Resources: --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 18: Thriving after a tech layoff

For today’s episode, Asim takes on the situation of tech employees going through layoffs. In recent months, there have been many layoffs in the tech industry, and people are either flustered or placed at their lowest points going through this predicament. Asim takes on a guide that can help those who have been laid off and those who are trying to avoid the situation. [00:38] Introduction to Tech Layoffs [01:16] Tips for Laid Off and Recent Grads [01:20] Due to Downsizing [02:20] Understanding Your First Downturn [03:27] What Can We do? [03:34] Networking In the Field Of Interest [05:29] Seeking Part Time Roles [05:58] Structure and Discipline [06:35] Starting Your Own Company [07:12] Avoid Companies of People Who Complain [07:38] Habit of Reading [08:44] Summary Nowhere to Go But Up In the position of being laid off, employees would often over analyze why they were let go or what they will do after being released. It’s important to have a quick understanding of the situation. Taking a scan of what could have been done or what can be done. In the event that this does happen to an individual, the mindset of being resourceful on how else you can build your career will be an essential tool. In the field of tech, there are many opportunities out there. While it is still valid to let out how you feel in private, what’s important is that you know how to get back up on your feet and you make a plan on how to do it. Reading Materials So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport Deep Work by Cal Newport Mindset by Carol Dweck --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 17: Progressive software delivery with Adam Zimman

For today’s episode, Asim is joined by Adam Zimman, a recovering entrepreneur and an engineer who’s spent years developing software in the enterprise domains focused on infrastructure and engineering. He joins today’s show to talk about progressive software delivery to consumers and the key structure to help it roll-out efficiently. [00:34] Introduction of Adam Zimman [01:34] What Motivates Adam [03:13] How Adam Applies to the Business World [07:36] Feature Flagging Interplay [09:15] Other Aspects of Feature Flagging [14:48] Tooling Behind Continuous Delivery [19:08] Key Aspect to the Roll-Out [20:14] Companies That Adapt This Implementation [23:18] Advice on Where to Pilot Software Delivery [26:26] Where to Follow Adam’s Work Progressive Software Delivery Adam talks about the importance of progressive software delivery based on how companies can create products and tools that can be easily used by consumers from various generations. The tech industry is rapidly growing, paving way for more innovative ideas to run systems online or through various tech products. Companies now face the pressure to create softwares that can be easily accessible or user-friendly to all types of consumers. Adam talks about how companies can efficiently deploy a software product and ensure that consumers can still work around it. He backs this process by adding key driving factors that make a software roll out successful, as well as how the enterprise can adopt these practices in order to keep their customers loyal to their products. How to Connect with Adam Adam’s LinkedIn Progressive Delivery website --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 16: Empathy-driven software development with Andrea Goulet

For today’s episode, Asim is joined by Andrea Goulet, who has spent more than 20 years in the tech industry. She joins Asim as she tells her journey in the tech industry and how the idea of empathy has helped her develop some soft skills that may be productive for software engineers in the field. [00:39] Introduction of Andrea [2:00] About Empathy [04:56] Andrea’s Journey in Software [07:47] Frameworks on Empathy [10:27] Applications of Framework to Engineers [14:45] Taking Actions with Empathy [20:10] Tangible Benefits of Empathy [26:21] Task and Relationship Conflicts [28:59] How to Reach Andrea Defining Empathy Empathy is the moment an individual experiences when they have the power to make decisions and then act upon it. It is that moment when one’s thought process can read the feelings or foresee the consequences of the actions they are about to do. In the world of software and tech, empathy is not the main highlight to the work system, however, this underlying skill can be the butterfly effect that can change the course of productivity and outputs of software engineers. Essential Soft Skills Empathy is a soft skill that can be harnessed as a metaphor to create a better working environment not just for yourself, but for your co-workers as well. Rooting back to the decision-making moments, there comes a time where you have to consider factors such as rational or logical thinking, setting up boundaries, and proper communications, these are the trigger points where empathy plays a big role in creating a good working environment. The soft skill has worked on many software developers in terms of better work productivity as well as healthier and professional working relationships with colleagues. How to Connect with Andrea and Other References: Andrea’s Linkedin Heartware’s Website Corgibytes Website Empathy in Tech --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 15: The art of influence with Tim Chou

For today’s episode, Asim Razzaq is joined by Tim Chou, an entrepreneur and engineer-at-heart who’s had great career success at Oracle and speaking engagement in universities. Tim shares insights on the art of influence, a way to sell yourself and your ideas to clients. He crafts a unique process to let engineers become their very own entrepreneur. [00:46] Introduction of Tim Chou [02:45] The Art of Selling Ideas [06:10] About Insight [07:50] Selling the “Not” [10:58] Strategizing Sales as Individuals [13:29] Disadvantages of Staying [15:34] Importance of Storytelling [18:18] Other Analysis of Approach [20:19] Building Your “Tribe” and Language [27:39] Summary and Resources Creating Your Story If you are trying to sell yourself, crafting a story is one of the important elements to convince customers that your services and products resonate to their wants and needs. Simple descriptions are the basic foundations to any product or services, but the story behind them is what captures buyers to hook on to them. Storytelling can stem from factors such as background or personal history, insights from customers, breaking the status quo, and many other factors. Crafting the Language Influencing your customers is also gauging their language and niche. They say that it takes one to know one, and for influencing, sellers need to really grasp the idea that customers need to understand your language. Conversing with customers can impact the dynamic of influencing others. The butterfly effect of creating a community of dedicated customers or the sphere of influence of knowing who your crowd are and if they understand you can be beneficial for long term transactions. Recommended Resources: The Challenger Sale by Brent Adamson and Mather Dixon --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 14: Interviewing candidates is a skill – don’t wing it

For today’s episode, Asim Razzaq takes on the skills of interviewing candidates. It’s one thing to be interviewed, and it’s another to be the one asking the questions. When it comes to interviewing software engineers, there are many points to remember when interviewing a candidate. The process should be beneficial for both the candidate and the interviewer. [01:01] Interviewing as a Skill [01:58] Beneficial Strategies of Interviewing [02:21] Approaching as a Collaborator [03:31] Ensuring a Skilled Interviewer and Bar Raisers [05:10] Structured and Written Feedbacks Pre-Interview [05:59] Informal Settings With The Candidates [07:06] Ensure Back Channel References [08:04] Check Their 90-Day Plan [08:57] Feedbacks on Interview Skills [09:35] Situation: Declined Offer [10:40] Attention to Candidate’s Behavior [12:55] Being Human to Candidates [13:33] Schedule Interview Briefing Earlier [14:30] Summary Knowing Your Candidate Many companies from all over the world make the error of interviewing a candidate for the sake of just checking if they qualify for the job. While yes, having the proper skillset is an alluring factor to hiring an individual, but there’s more to the interview process than just knowing what the candidate can do. It’s also important to know who your candidate is. While you can be good at your work, attitude will come a long way. There are other non-traditional ways to get to know your candidate, which some companies are trying for nowadays. This allows employers to be immersed with their respective candidate and finally gets a full character profile on who they really are and how they will behave as a worker. --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 13: The path to being a 10X software engineer

In this episode, Asim responds to listener questions about how they can build a successful and fulfilling career as a software engineer. There is a lot of information out there regarding tips and tricks, but ultimately it boils down to developing rare and valuable skills that set you apart from others. You have to be deliberate and disciplined about it. The reward is worth the effort. You must invest time and energy into honing your craft before the real passion and enjoyment comes. It can be a struggle before that. How do you hone in your craft? You must practice every single day. Additional resources: Deep WorkSo Good They Can’t Ignore YouMindset --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 12: Ignoring Conway’s Law will sabotage your software architecture

In this episode, Asim Razzaq explains Conway’s Law, which states that “Any organization that designs a system, will inevitably produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communication structure.” Applied to software development, this means that your software architecture will mimic your team, organization, and communication structure. Conway’s law is the most critical principle in software design. You can have the best manifesto and intentions, but your architecture and design will always follow how the team and the company is structured. No amount of agile/scrum/lean software development can fix this problem. Structure teams from their inception for the most efficient and elegant software design. --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 11: Clearing the confusion: AI vs Machine Learning vs Deep Learning

On today’s episode, Asim Razzaq elaborates on the misconceptions between artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, and data science. While many might not be able to see the difference in the 4 fields, experts are still advised to know how each of these work, and the outcomes and process are definitely not the same. [00:57] The Misconceptions of AI, ML, DL, and DS [01:57] How They Are Related [02:01] Artificial Intelligence [04:06] Machine Learning [06:50] Deep Learning [07:48] Data Science [08:09] In Application [09:27] Summary Need-to-Know In an age where AI and ML are progressively developing, engineers are advised to recognize the difference between the four categories of artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, and data science. It is crucial and important for experts in the field that despite being an expert in a certain sector, you will either be indirectly or directly exposed to one or all of these elements down the line. Related But Different Functions All four categories are related, but each field has a specific function that defines them for that particular category. While AI is the general domain, ML, DL, and DS bring a different type of tool into the spectrum. It is important to know what sets these domains apart from one another by looking at the methods and processes on how they run, as well as the ultimate contribution to the solution. --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 10: Antifragile software: The next frontier

Join Asim Razzaq as he introduces the concept of antifragile software systems. This concept aims to demonstrate what happens during catastrophic scenarios inside the system. For today’s episode, he will highlight key principles that can lead to antifragile teams, processes, and code. [01:11] What is Antifragile [02:14] Modern Resilient Software [03:17] Antifragile System [03:51] Building the Software System [04:11] Techniques for Antifragile System [05:34] What Leads to Antifragility [06:39] Summary Thriving Not Surviving Most software nowadays is rapidly adapting to more efficient use due to advanced machine learning capabilities. Developers, and even consumers, are keen to find ways to make their software products thrive rather than just surviving, which leads to the concept of the antifragile system. While it’s great that software can survive even the most dire of situations, consumers are also inclined to a system that can self-learn from these issues then provide its own solution to adapt moving forward. Additional Resources Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb Chaos Engineering --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 9: Deliver customer value, not just code

On today’s show, Asim Razzaq focuses on the importance of customer-centric software engineering. Software engineers should always be creating meaningful value for customers, and other stakeholders as well, not just writing code. [01:03] Wasted Software Features [01:25] Envisioning Success for Customers [02:23] Misplaced Customer-Centric Service [07:20] Ways to Be Part of the Conversation [12:42] Summary Always Put the Needs of Customers First A fundamental for software engineers is that you always need to put the customer first. Many times, engineers fall into the trap of following only the directives coming from the product or internal teams. In a crowded marketplace, a lot of solutions are built in order to keep up with what competitors are doing. But what problem does the customer need to solve? What is the use case? Software usage, customer satisfaction, and even product reviews can be hit-or-miss if you don't deliver real value for users. Communication is Key Just like any other healthy working environment, having open dialogues can lead to great success and development stories. For software engineers, it is advised to always have an open mind and discussion with the internal teams on what they can contribute from a professional’s point-of-view. The thought process of knowing what the customer wants can trigger engineers to give plenty of recommendations on how their services can be more efficient. This would also allow them to build a meaningful and more established working environment with different stakeholders while keeping the customer satisfied on a steady to upward scale. Got questions or suggestions for future episodes? Just visit --- Send in a voice message:


Ep. 8: Confused about Platform Engineering, SRE, DevOps?

In this episode of Always an Engineer, Asim Razzaq breaks down four different types of engineering roles: platform engineering, site reliability engineering, development operations (DevOps), and application engineering. It’s important to know the difference to avoid confusion in tasks and improve overall productivity. [01:11] Platform Engineering [02:45] Site Reliability Engineering [06:34] Development Operations [09:11] Application Engineering [10:10] Summary Knowing Your Function and Expertise As engineers, it’s important to know your strengths and forte in the field. Due to the nature of engineering having a wide net of work, you need to establish which particular field you are inclined to work for. Identify if you lean towards being a foundation of tools, goal-oriented for problem-solving types of work, hands on development procedures, or specialized field tasks. The main objective here is to set a boundary of tasks that you can work on in order to increase the productivity and better the quality of services or products for customers. Got questions or suggestions for future episodes? Just visit --- Send in a voice message: