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Discussion on: The Three Rules of Snakes: A Management Metaphor from Netscape's James Barksdale

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Zane Milakovic

Working at enterprises TOU kind of see two opposite viewpoints. I think a lot of it is tied to experience and where the person is in their career.

The first is, you have people and teams that focus on making sure no animals make it in, snakes includes. The spend a lot of time planning solutions to simple problems. Multiple meetings are set up. Multiple departments are called in. You small simple issue or problem is now a full blown war again the species of future snakes that may never come.

You then have people that are afraid of snakes and don’t tackle the actual problems. They do there Jira ticket when it’s put in front of them. They avoid the hard and complex things. They like to show progress and meet timelines, and don’t want to solve something that takes effort.

These are by far extreamly different examples. And I see them in different times in a developers career. The former is typically with some experience. Either someone who is new to a architecture role. The later is typically someone who is a year or two into the field and starting to “float on by”.

The more experience people may have conversations of the issues and the risks. And then make a decision, understanding the trade offs and how a zombie snake my bite them back in the future. These are best had with the team and transparently with business. Because it is a trade off. Progress now, or possible instability and interruptions later.