While management is foundational to any organization, engineering management in particular presents its own set of challenges—especially in high-growth environments. How and when should your engineers pay down technical debt? How do you tackle a seemingly endless stream of migrations? How do you ensure that each engineer on your team is growing at the right pace? Will Larson’s An Elegant Puzzle explores the specific challenges of engineering management—from sizing teams to handling technical debt to developing succession planning—and provides a guide to solving complex managerial problems. Drawing on his experience at Digg, Uber, and Stripe, Larson presents a thoughtful approach to engineering management that balances structured principles with human-centric thinking. A useful primer for engineering leaders of all levels at companies of all sizes, An Elegant Puzzle lays out a road map for building organizations where engineers can thrive.
An Elegant Puzzle is a masterful study of the challenges and demands of the discipline of engineering management, viewed through the prism of systems thinking. Readers can expect an actionable template for addressing complex problems with finesse, creativity, and fairness.
distributed systems engineer and author of Distributed Systems Observability
Software engineering is evolving faster than ever before. In An Elegant Puzzle, Will Larson captures the timeless spirit of creative problem-solving that draws us to software engineering, while also providing concrete strategies for modern organizations.
host of the Software Engineering Daily podcast
Engineering managers can often feel like they are struggling to keep their heads above the water. Our technical training is missing the frameworks and tools needed to build healthy and productive teams. The insights and step-by-step approach covered in An Elegant Puzzle will become your favorite go-to resource.
VP of engineering at Forter
An Elegant Puzzle is to date the most hands-on perspective on engineering management within a high-growth, tech-first organization, that I have read. . . .[It] is not just for engineering managers: product managers and engineers working at high-growth companies will find it a good read.
Larson captures the timeless spirit of creative problem-solving that draws us to software engineering while also providing concrete strategies for modern organizations.