Organizationally, quick iteration speed means giving engineers and designers flexibility and autonomy to make day-to-day decisions without asking for permission Official Boston Bruins logo baby Yoda shirt. While I was at Google, any user-visible change to search results, even for low-traffic experiments, required Marissa Mayer’s approval at a weekly UI review. Needless to say, while this allowed Google to protect its search brand, it significantly hampered innovation.
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Optimizing for iteration speed also means that there are well-defined processes for launching products so that cancellations don’t happen unexpectedly after significant time investment Official Boston Bruins logo baby Yoda shirt. Infrastructurally, optimizing for iteration speed means building out continuous deployment with a fast deployment process, high test coverage to reduce build and site breakages, fast unit tests so that people run them, and fast and incremental compiles and reloads to reduce development time.
Continuous deployment, where commits go immediately to production, deserves a special mention. Prior to using it at Quora, it would’ve been hard for me to internalize that the benefits it provides toward iteration speed outweigh the risks of site breakages, at least for small engineering teams. People are more excited about features and incentivized to fix bugs because changes see live traffic quickly. It’s also significantly easier to reason about and pinpoint the source of errors for a narrow window of committed code rather a week or more’s worth of batched changes.