Blog of Rob Galanakis (@robgalanakis)

Reflections on over-engineering: Cozy

The Good We were processing over $100m/mo in rent at Cozy, nearly all of that on the 1st of the month. We were able to do that in a Ruby monolith by maintaining a disciplined programming team, with thorough automated tests and monitoring. Every time we had a performance...

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Reflections on over-engineering

My entire career has been spent replacing other people’s applications. The closest I’ve come to greenfielding was spending 3 months rebuilding MilkRun and then migrating data from the old system to the new (none of the code or schema was kept). I think I’ve been pretty successful at replacing...

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“Professional services” for pre-revenue startups

Something I’m beginning to explore is what a services business providing programming and long-term technical guidance and mentorships for startups would look like. A business that takes the things I know I am good at — mentorship, programming, product management — and provide it to companies who need it...

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Feature team models that work

Along with a number of “monolith to microservice” transitions, I’ve been a party to many “functional team to cross-functional team” transitions. I think there are some patterns and rules of thumbs that are widely applicable. The place these transitions fall down is where the definition of “cross functional” is...

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Let’s not fix venture capital. Let’s replace it.

There’s a lot of talk in Portland and other secondary markets about how difficult it is to raise early money compared to places like San Francisco and Seattle. I believe this is true. But I don’t think it really comes down to anything except, there are a lot of...

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Please reuse your database servers

I’ve been part of a number of “monolith to microservice” transitions and something that I’ve seen a few times is engineering orgs creating separate database servers per-team or even per-service. Please don’t do this. Please start with a production server, and an “everything else” server, until you outgrow one...

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18 months of wandering

In January 2018, I left as CTO of Cozy under difficult circumstances. Those of you that know me know the story. Those of you that don’t are free to buy me a coffee or beer to hear it. I joined Cozy in 2014 as Engineering Manager, and rebuilt and...

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Jim Crow is hiding in Silicon Valley’s hiring

What do Silicon Valley interview processes have in common with Jim Crow literacy tests? A surprising amount!

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And now, some terrible advice

In a previous post, I talked about the most important advice I’d ever gotten. Now, lest you think some people are really wise and just dispense good advice constantly, I’ll tell you about how the same individual also gave some terrible advice.† The advice can be distilled down to...

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How the Zapier interview process is making me rethink my own

Over the last two months of looking for a new job, I’ve applied to over a couple dozen companies and interviewed with about a quarter of them. The process that stood out the most was Zapier’s. Their interview process is non-typical from start to finish. They have a great...

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