What kills a developer’s productivity?

Over engineering, for sure.

You read tech blogs from companies which are massively bigger than you. And make technical decisions trying to understand copy their style and architecture.

You are missing the point!

A good presentation is like a good story to be told. A story in which they fight an obstacle. Most people think that the same obstacle is going to bite them in future.

And a good presenter stated that this decision has “worked well for us”. It means that it will not be fit for everybody but they have happened to benefit from it.

A good engineering team start lean and simple to their current architecture. And that should be the goal of any technical decision.

Have your own story to tell

If you go and ask any good company what made them successful (depends on your definition) they will never say because we copied that other company.

Instead most of the time they will have their unique recipe.

It will be very hard to have your distinctive path without starting simple.

When you hit any roadblock with this approach at least it will be satisfying to know that the simplest solutions don’t work. Even in that situation though, you should look for a solution which is again simple.

I am sure if you start with this, pretty soon you will have your unique tech stack or maybe not so unique, which can scale easily to serve your needs.

Case Study

Let’s keep the name of the company till the end. But in 2016 they were serving this:

  • 42 Billion messages / day
  • 1.6 Billion pictures / day
  • 250 million videos / day

They must have grown since then.

Their tech stack looks like this.

  • Erlang (Programming Language)
  • FreeBSD (Operating System)
  • SoftLayer (Hosting)

If you see their tech stack is a little unconventional. And this is what I am trying to say through this blog. Don’t pick things because some shining-looking company have done it. Do what is right for you. And to find what is right for you, start simple!

The company is WhatsApp by the way.