Karthik Hariharan Profile picture
Jun 6 2 tweets 1 min read Read on X
It's probably past time to retire the philosophy of shipping a software MVP that makes trade offs on quality in order to collect user feedback early.

This advice made sense when there wasn't much software out there. But these days there's an explosion of software, and even tools like Google Sheets and Notion enable product workflows without building custom software. And in the age of AI, there's only going to be more software, along with LLMs that avoid the need to even use software.

So anyone building software needs to shift their mindset towards building novel software with craft and taste that is truly differentiated. A simple MVP won't cut it.

Your competition is no longer non-software solutions. It's probably existing, but sub-optimal software. Which means if you're going to compete with it, your software needs to be significantly better.
@shaneharter Definitely read some of the writings of @karrisaarinen at @linear. He speaks about the need to build with taste and quality when you are building in a mature market against incumbents.

Also @thedanigrant has talked about this as well.

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More from @hkarthik

May 7, 2023
In Big Tech companies, technical decisions are often more nuanced than many engineers realize and are not always based on pure technical merit. Here's a list of things I've actually seen and had to deal with.

"Your design is 70% similar to another team's system. Find a way to re-use theirs."

Another team built a similar system. And leaders assume that enhancing it to fit the last 30% will be more efficient than you implementing 100%.

Spoiler alert: Turns out this is not always true.
"A system was built for another product that never shipped. Find a way to re-use it."

Similar to the last one, there's an assumption of efficiency gains. But eng leaders can forget that hardening a system for production use is non-trivial and they don't always account for it.
Read 8 tweets
May 3, 2023
The lucky few tech folks who weren't laid off are starting to poke around for new jobs.

Some advice that I've shared with a few of them is to think about their careers like a Role Playing video game.
In most RPGs, there are two types of quests: the Main Quest and the Side Quests. The Main Quest takes you to the end of the game, but the Side Quests help flesh out the story more, and level up your character for the tougher parts of the Main Quest.
Careers in tech are often like that. You might have clear goals and only stick to jobs that keep you on the Main Quest.

Maybe your Main Quest is to become an executive or have a shot at upper management. Maybe it's to start your own company. Maybe it's to make a lot of money.
Read 8 tweets
Sep 23, 2022
Engineering managers in tech are going through an tough time right now with retention and hiring. A lot of long held rules are being rewritten about things like counter offers.

A quick 🧵 on my observations as a hiring manager.
Hiring freezes are decimating tech recruiting teams. Many are sitting around with only a few roles to fill. Companies doing layoffs are targeting their recruiting teams heavily as well.

This has several effects on retention at the team level.
Eng Managers are losing their recruiting partners or having to share recruiters that are stretched very thin.
They're also having their roles closed due to freezes so they have no active candidate pipelines spun up to replace people.
Read 6 tweets
Jul 9, 2022
The vibe in tech has definitely changed in the past few months. Nearly everyone I know is keeping a pulse on the job market with plans to exit their current company within 6-12 months. A quick 🧵 on why this is happening, and what managers should consider doing about it.
First, a lot of folks are finally coming up for air after 2 years of COVID. Their careers might have gone into stasis during this time period and they've been dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety.

A job change may be a good chance to mentally and emotionally reset.
Second, companies are re-evaluating work arrangements. Many are pushing people back to the office or to go hybrid. If you've arranged your life around remote work, this is a very hard transition.

In terms of productivity, hybrid is worse than fully remote or fully in-office.
Read 9 tweets
Dec 23, 2021
Software engineers around the world are all making moves to improve their compensation across the board. As I approach the end of my second decade in this industry, some thoughts I'd like to share.
In general, it's great to see pay transparency provide fruitful outcomes for engineers. Salary negotiation feels less one sided and this is great for employees.
Hiring managers working for organizations with limited budgets really need to adjust though. This is hard, and sometimes leaving your org for a richer one is not an option. It's time to get creative, and be more resourceful than you've ever been.
Read 5 tweets

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