The Outcome of a Successful Strategy

30 April 2020

Vjeux in “Make the game easy”:

[About building software] When I see people doing very visible and consequential actions, I find myself thinking that they are doing a “hero shot” and it must mean that they got “out of position” for the past few shots and now the only option that they have left is unsatisfying but there’s no other choice.

On the other hand, I see people appearing to somehow always be in easy projects where everything just works out fine and they deliver a lot of impact. I used to think that they were lucky, now I think that they are pro players and are able to plan multiple shots in advance and able to execute on their strategy.

It's like the "sysadmin paradox".1

A great sysadmin is someone who seems to do almost nothing: the stack is functioning as expected, there's no outage (or really short ones), the software is updated, developers are autonomous, and all the processes and deployements are automated and painless2. This sysadmin is never too busy, answers quickly and acts fast. There's nothing extraordinary happening: it just… works. Almost too easy?

A bad sysadmin will always be on the rush. Though… they do look busy.3

  1. Actually, this applies to many jobs, but I find it egregiously visible on support ones.

  2. Tools, tools, and tools!

  3. Don't get me wrong — they are some times and/or jobs where you have no other choice than working a lot. It's the attitude that matters.