Scaling Developer Teams: Rich Archbold (Senior Director of Engineering at Intercom)
Software companies often grow quickly, which means developer teams often suffer to manage scaling at the pace of growth and necessary workload. We sat down with Rich Archbold to pick his brain on how they scaled developer teams at Amazon, Facebook and Intercom.
In this episode we’ll be covering:
-Biggest challenges when scaling a developer team
-How he overcame these challenges
-First steps to scaling teams
-How to get hiring right
Excerpt from the interview:
Common mistakes when scaling engineering teams...
"I would say the biggest one is not putting enough emphasis on hiring for behavior and attitude. It’s the most expensive one too. Understand the team you're hiring for, and what's the balance you need to have in there.
The mistake we made in the past is hiring too many juniors. Unless you've got two seniors to match every eight juniors, you don't have a viable team. I call it guns and bullets. There's no point having a lot of bullets, if you don't have any guns to fire them, or the other way around.
Hiring 10 junior engineers can reduce the capacity in your organization, because your best people who were executing at a high rate, now have to mentor juniors. It takes a lot of their time for about six to nine months, and the overall capacity takes a hit. Make sure you understand the balance of strengths in your organization, and you're not just thinking about adding people, but strengthening the team."