Principles for good engineering leadership

In our recent post about how we do engineering leadership here at HubSpot, we shared our philosophy about what engineering leaders should focus on. 

We encourage our engineering leaders to be primarily product-focused (and, to a somewhat lesser degree, people-focused) rather than spending most of their time driving a process or managing people. This kind of leadership stands in stark contrast to the kinds of leaders who primarily care about administering and health-checking teams, or are on the hook for making sure their employees did the things they were supposed to do. 

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Why our engineering leaders focus on product over process

Who was the best manager you ever had?
 
Even though all of us have different people in mind, those people probably have a lot in common. Maybe he really cared about you as a person. Maybe she was a brilliant visionary who always knew how to push you to be better. Maybe their leadership styles were different but I’d wager that their philosophies were the same.
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Infrastructure as Code: Getting the best of both worlds with AWS and Google Cloud Platform

HubSpot has been an Amazon Web Services (or AWS) customer for ten years now. Our footprint includes almost 2,500 EC2 instances, many petabytes of data on EBS and S3, and over a petabyte of web traffic flowing through over a hundred different ELBs each month. AWS’s offerings have been a huge driver of our growth because it has allowed us to easily scale up or down our infrastructure as our needs have changed. Furthermore, running our infrastructure in the cloud allows our engineers to focus on building HubSpot instead of building a data center.

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How to gain widespread adoption of your design system

Using documentation to cultivate co-ownership between design and development

This post is the second in a series about HubSpot Canvas, our new Design Language. Read the first here. 

I came to HubSpot as a software engineering co-op just as a movement was growing. The design team had, over the previous months, created a gorgeous set of new typography, colors, and basic components that would become the cornerstone of a major redesign of our entire platform.

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How we gave SSL to all our customers in 5 days, for free

 I regularly talk about the HubSpot Product Team's culture – both internally and externally – and I always start my discussions on our culture with the following idea:

We believe that if you give a team a compelling mission, the autonomy to attack the mission the way they see fit, and the support to accomplish this, magic happens.

This is, in essence, my management philosophy. The bulk of what we do on the leadership team here involves setting up situations where that magic can happen.

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Gatekeepers and Gardeners

Balance is an integral part of every job. We have to balance our priorities at work and our lives outside of work. We need to balance the time we spend building with the time we spend maintaining. We need to balance the needs of our teams with the varied needs of the rest of the organization. And that’s just the start of it.

Never does this become more apparent than for new tech leads - we see it all the time at HubSpot. When they step into the role, they usually find themselves with new (sometimes competing) priorities. I often hear that they're not sure if they're spending their time as well as they could. And when new tech leads lack balance, they might end up losing sight of what success for themselves and their teams should look like.

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