Future of Work 2020: Engineers should work in chaos to create great outcomes, says Sequoia Capital's Anandamoy Roychowdhary
According to Anandamoy Roychowdhary, Director of Technology at Sequoia Capital, the best engineering is done in chaos. He expounded the importance of applying chaos in a startup’s engineering efforts by embracing the unknown to produce extraordinary results.
He was speaking at YourStory’s Future of Work, India’s largest product-tech-design conference, on Saturday in Bengaluru.
"One has to create the butterfly effect with tech. Look at Byju's, which became so big in five years, with a small engineering team when compared to any IT Services company. The engineers in Byju's are different from the ones at IT Services engineering. In the future, a small number of engineers can create exponential impact," Anandamoy said, during his talk, titled The Different Type of Superpowers You Want in Your First 10 Engineers/Product Managers.
"When you work in teams and harness the power of chaos, great things are possible. The future of work is about outcomes and not for working for salaries. One needs to work for higher principles and that always is the truth. The industry is mature but we need a philosophy behind what is driving you," Anandamoy added.
He took the example of the mythology of Thor and his hammer to the young engineers in the room. Explaining that the most powerful stories can be built by people with simple tools, Anandamoy said engineering teams need to come together in times of chaos for great outcomes.
"The simple hammer in the hands of a superhero can make you build great things. Teams have to come together to build important stuff," he added.
So, how does an engineer solve for developer productivity?
Anandamoy advocated engineers ask the following two questions in their journey of building great products:
- Does design scale? Can we build things that can make us productive. Ten years ago, computing was expensive and you had to learn how to scale. Today, software is everywhere. “However, there aren't many developers to build more products and solutions. The world is fighting coronavirus by crunching data and it is software and a bunch of biomedical teams fighting with time to find a cure,” Anandamoy said.
- How to be productive? One must figure out how to deploy a large number of engineers to solve a problem. Here speed and simplicity are key. Teams that move faster and experiment more and put features out fastest actually win. “Swiggy and Zomato building better products than their global counterparts. A lot of us come from an older ‘services mindset’. The new world is about agility in the era of products,” Anandamoy said.
The world today or in a decade will be very different and it's engineers who will shape changes, he added.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)