Chad McElligott

  • @chadxz
  • Principal Software Engineer, Sangoma
  • He/Him
  • Huntsville, Alabama, USA
Principal Software Engineer. DevOps enthusiast....  
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2021

Oct 07, 2021
Oct 07, 2021
Finished reading a book
This past weekend I finished reading the book Team Topologies. I've always felt that the organization and communication patterns within and between teams played a large role in overall effectiveness, so reading this book was enlightening and encouraging.

Of particular interest to me was the definition of the platform team and how it interacts with the other team types.

I definitely recommend this book! 👍 The companion website has a lot of good content as well: https://teamtopologies.com
Aug 23, 2021
Aug 23, 2021
Published a blog post
Lately, I've been in heavy collaboration with colleagues from a newly acquired company, Star2Star. We have been working on some projects to integrate our systems and I am reminded just how important communication is to effective collaboration. Today I am publishing a blog post that shows how important good communication skills are to being an effective software engineer.

https://chadxz.dev/communication/
Jul 18, 2021
Jul 18, 2021
Finished reading a book
Finished listening to an audiobook
Professional Development
+ 1
Normally I am an extraordinarily slow reader, plodding along a few pages at a time. I will sometimes jump between different books too, as my interests shift.

But in the past couple of weeks, I finished reading 3 books! 

  • The Manager's Path by Camille Fournier. This book expanded my understanding of the role of a manager, from line manager all the way to CTO. By characterizing the manager's path, this book helped me to develop a clear mental picture around how I want my own career to progress, and when management may be a good fit for me. It also helped me realize that, for now and at the company I currently work at, staying on an individual contributor's career path is the best fit for me. 🗺

  • Designing Data-Intensive Applications by Martin Kleppmann. This book is phenomenal! I listened to it on Audible, but decided to purchase a physical copy of the book for long-term reference. By diving deep on storage technologies, architectures, and scaling strategies, this book builds a firm foundation upon which to understand the entire data landscape. I wish I had read this years ago 😅

  • Fundamentals of Software Architecture by Mark Richards and Neal Ford. I found this book eye-opening. Many of the architectures in this book were foreign to me, so it highlighted a big gap in my knowledge that I am going to be working to fill over the next few years. I also really appreciated the tour through the authors' expectations of what it takes to be a solid architect. My main key takeaway: architecture is a skill learned primarily by doing. It naturally takes a long time to develop, because system architecture is not something we get the opportunity to practice often. The book recommends architecture katas as a way to practice, which is something I'll be looking into!

Reading technical books has been an excellent way for me to break out of my bubble to learn skills, techniques, and wisdom I would not otherwise have access to in my day-to-day life. I'm grateful to these excellent writers for sharing their knowledge and experiences.
Jul 02, 2021
Jul 02, 2021
Mentored someone
Gave a presentation
Documented a backend system
+ 1
I spent part of my last week and a half researching a legacy internal system we use as part of our company's phones offering. I wrote up an in-depth analysis on our internal company wiki, detailing the context within which this system operates, how our customer-facing products consume it, the technology and the inner workings of the code.

Today I gave a presentation on this content to the internal team responsible for maintaining it (and other interested internal software engineers), to help them develop their own mental model of this system. As a team, they will be able to use the knowledge conveyed both in the documentation and the recording to guide their decision making as they look to improve its maintainability, stability, and security - some of the important architectural qualities needed in long-lived software.

After the presentation, I facilitated a discussion where each attendee shared their thoughts on how to improve the system along these "-ilities". Sessions like these help the team members understand how each other thinks, gives them a chance to learn from each others' ideas, and surfaces the best ideas. This collaboration leads to the team feeling more ownership over the outcome of their work, which improves engagement and overall work happiness. It also gives team members a chance to step up and demonstrate leadership skills and knowledge, opening them up to new opportunities within the team.
Principal Software Engineer, Sangoma
Jun 24, 2021
Jun 24, 2021
Attended an industry event
Passed certification exam
Professional Development
+ 1
Attended Pagerduty Summit 2021 Virtual Conference. My primary interests were around DevOps, DevSecOps, Runbooks and Automation.  My favorite talk was the introduction to DevSecOps by Quintessence Anx... Loved how she blended storytelling, interactivity with Slido, and solid tips for improving collaboration with Security teams.

I also really enjoyed the Incident Responder Certification Workshop. I attended two certification workshops and passed the associated certifications: Pagerduty API Practitioner and Certified Incident Responder! 🥳
Jun 16, 2021
Jun 16, 2021
Finished listening to an audiobook
Professional Development
I finished listening to Project to Product by Mik Kersten. It is a fantastic book linking devops and agile practices to business outcomes. Listening to this book helped my develop a frame within which to think about how specific practices like CI/CD, visible work, and cross team collaboration connect back to value for the business. Now I want to pickup the print book to read it more slowly and sit with the concepts 😁
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