The struggle of drama free launches posted on 22 April 2024

If you work on infrastructure and do a good job, your launches are likely drama free – they do not result in outages, in customer escalations or in visible breakages. People who look only at product metrics (e.g. product revenue) basically do not see the impact (positive or negative) of your work.

This means that you could save the company millions of dollars (in infrastructure cost, in engineering time etc.) but no one would know. Worst, people would know only when your infrastructure is broken. I often joke with coworkers that if they do not hear about me, it’s probably a good thing since there are no ongoing privacy incidents.

With that being said, this is something you can help correct:

  • Make sure you have metrics to demonstrate your progress and impact – tie them back to the business (e.g. what % of revenue does your new framework support, how much machine costs you saved etc.)
  • Celebrate and talk about your accomplishments – send announcements, give tech talks at all hands about your work etc.
  • Raise awareness about risks that you/your team cannot tackle yet (e.g. for prioritization reasons) – this will help people understand that if something breaks, it wasn’t your fault. It also reminds people that these risks exist and need resources (e.g. staffing). Once in a while they’ll also remember that even though all these risks were present, none of them actually happened because of your team.

Last but not least, infrastructure (in broad terms, including privacy/security) is critical for the long term success of every company – one reason Google is immensely successful is because they have one of the best infrastructure in the world. So don’t shy away from rolling out quality infrastructure improvements!

LinkedIn post