Engineering Excellence



Updated August 7, 2023

It takes persistence, determination, and many years in order to perfect a craft, but in the case of Jiro Ono, a sushi chef made famous by the documentary film Jiro Dreams of Sushi, he spent his entire life in pursuit of perfection.

Always looking to improve, Jiro worked hard every day to improve all aspects of his craft, from sourcing better ingredients, to preparing his dishes, to delighting his customers with the highest quality sushi. He was so determined to deliver the best experience possible that he fixated on every aspect of the meal, even changing the orientation of the sushi on the plate if the customer was right- or left-handed.

These small improvements compounded over the years, and Jiro’s small 10-seat restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station, Sukiyabashi Jiro, became the first sushi restaurant in the world to receive three Michelin stars.

Although programming requires a very different set of skills than making sushi, writing software is also viewed as a craft, and as programmers, we are always looking to improve our coding skills.

Engineering excellence is a means to an end, not an end goal in itself. It is the relentless pursuit to raise the bar in terms of the quality of our software and the speed at which we can deliver it to users. Senior engineers continuously strive towards engineering excellence to improve the processes by which their team delivers software. They identify barriers and obstacles that prevent themselves and their team from doing their best work, and then work to remove those barriers in order to unlock higher quality and greater throughput for the team as a whole. In doing so, the goal is to delight users with the best experience possible.

Team-First Approach

There’s a lot that has been written about teamwork, and for good reason. When you have a group of people all working towards a common goal, you can achieve great things. Each individual member on the team brings with them a unique set of skills, and when a team is able to leverage the skills from one of their team members, everyone benefits.

Senior software engineers recognize that shipping software is a team sport. While programming may feel like an individual activity when you’re deep in the code, developers rely on one another to review their code, answer questions, share knowledge, and teach each other.

When software developers work together, they can achieve so much more than what each individual could accomplish on their own. When they build off each other’s work, fix each other’s bugs, and share their knowledge, a team becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

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