Wondering Wanderer

Week Notes Vol 192

January 08, 2023

What a short and long year it has been at REI! When I started in January 2022 managing just two teams (and only 2 FTEs) I had ideas and expectations what was to come. A year in I am now supporting four teams, only one of them being an initial team, and nine FTEs. Most folks shy away from platform engineering since the work we do is rarely visible to the end user - that is when we do it well.

While a lot has changed in the last 12 months my objectives have always remained the same - leading from the back not from the front (a common hike leader strategy) to ensure we are heading in the right direction, together. For some teams it might require occasional stepping down to IC level to troubleshoot an issue, for some keeping them informed of other projects that might require their time or alignment, for others making a decision when opinions are divided.

In my first year I also had the opportunity to help improve processes that benefitted not just my teams but the larger engineering community at the co-op - from working on standardizing onboarding experience for engineers to being on the internal Hack Days working group.

Now that I’m off to a start - what next?


Katrin Valdre

Written by Katrin Valdre who has a permanent address in Portland, OR but does not believe in one physical location. You should follow her on Twitter