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Posts tagged ‘Leadership’

Leading Snowflakes – Inspiration codified in a book

Oren Ellenbogen taught me so much along the years. He was my manager/team lead for a year, and I’ve learned from and worked with him on several other occaisions. I would love to co-found a startup with him one day.

Engineering management has been his passion and dedication for years. Finally – he achieved his dream and codified his passion into an eBook & package: Leading Snowflakes, The Engineering Manager Handbook. I highly recommend it for anyone wishing to increase their leadership abilities.

If you don’t want to commit or don’t have the time right now, you can start by subscribing to his weekly newsletter – Software Lead Weekly – it’s one of the most known newsletter that investigates and teaches engineering management.

What is a Feature Owner

Several years ago, back at Delver (Sears Israel nowadays), I learned from the great Moti Karmona the term Feature Owner (I think it was him, could have been Oren Ellenbogen as well, memory is fuzzy). One useful term I learned for Feature Owner. We’re using this quite extensively in Mastercoin, and I’d like to elaborate what this means.

A Feature Owner is just what it sounds – one person that owns a particular feature. The same can be extended to Product Owner, Release Owner, Domain Owner etc., but I’ll focus on Feature Owner in this post.

Features need love and attention to grow. They start off as an idea, and then go through some process of development, going through brainstorming, spec, implementation, debugging, deployment etc.

For progress on a feature to happen, someone needs to push that feature onward through the above stages. There are various walls to tackle – some of them are technical (how do we scale this to 1 billion people), some of them are political (how do we get head of Ops to approve it), and there are other types. The point is there has to be someone that cares enough about the feature to make it happen.

In Mastercoin, everything is done via Feature Owners. Sometimes they elect themselves in order to win a bounty. Other times, we actively seek out someone to own a particular feature. Even if a coding contest is not happening, you can just create your own feature and own it. In Mastercoin and other DACs, you can just decide on a feature, get approval for its funding if needed, and get paid when you deliver.