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Tech Lead Journal

162 EpisodesProduced by Henry SuryawirawanWebsite

Great technical leadership requires more than just great coding skills. It requires a variety of other skills that are not well-defined, and they are not something that we can fully learn in any school or book. Hear from experienced technical leaders sharing their journey and philosophy for building… read more


#60 - Software Tradeoffs and How to Make Good Programming Decisions - Tomasz Lelek

“Software engineering involves a lot of decisions, and that decision has some trade-offs. We have pros and cons. It’s not like one decision is always better than the other."

Tomasz Lelek is the author of “Software Mistakes and Tradeoffs”. In this episode, Tomasz shared what led him to write his book and one of the past software mistakes from his career experience. He also gave advice on how software developers should approach the potential software mistakes and explained some typical trade-offs when making software engineering design decisions, such as code duplication vs flexibility, premature optimization vs optimizing hot-path, data locality and memory, and finally delivery semantics in distributed systems.

Listen out for:

  • Career Journey - [00:05:00]
  • Why Write about Software Mistakes and Trade-offs - [00:07:42]
  • Software Mistake Experience - [00:10:16]
  • Tips for Software Developers - [00:13:08]
  • Trade-off 1: Code Duplication vs Flexibility - [00:15:24]
  • Trade-off 2: Premature Optimization vs Optimizing Hot-Path - [00:20:08]
  • Trade-off 3: Data Locality and Memory - [00:25:02]
  • Trade-off 4: Delivery Semantics in Distributed Systems - [00:33:01]
  • 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:40:28]


Tomasz Lelek’s Bio
Tomasz currently works at Datastax, building products around one of the world’s favorite distributed databases - Cassandra. He contributes to Java-Driver, Cassandra-Quarkus, Cassandra-Kafka connector, and Stargate. He previously worked at Allegro, an e-commerce website in Poland, working on streaming, batch, and online systems serving millions of users. He is also a published author of “Software Mistakes and Tradeoffs: Making good programming decisions” that is focusing on real-world problems you may encounter in your production systems.

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