Diego Ballona
Hi there, I'm

Diego Ballona

. I'm a software engineering leader and I work at Spotify. I write here a bit about my views on engineering management, software engineering and product development.

Latest Articles

Trust is antifragile

A note on how trustworthy relationships can get better through unavoidable volatility, randomness, disorder and stressors.Read more→

Platform patterns #1: Consolidation

Platform patterns is a series about how to use patterns for building platforms. The consolidation pattern consists of merging scattered capabilities into a platform team.Read more→

Managing engineering teams outside your technical expertise

Managing teams which you lack technical understanding can be challenging. In this article I talk a bit about what has worked for me before.Read more→

Performance enablement

Performance management is the means to plan, review, and reward people for their contributions. In this article I explain why my take is it's more about enablement rather than control.Read more→

Alignment across organisations

Finding alignment across organisations is an invaluable skill. Here are a few ways to get to a shared understanding, and frame disagreement to find alignment.Read more→

Three simple principles for delegation

Delegation is a cornerstone in leadership. I've tried to synthesise what I believe to be good delegation into three simple principles.Read more→

Composition for teams, platform and application pattern

Similarly to software, teams can benefit from composition. A common org design pattern is defining a platform team and leveraging it through many application teams.Read more→

System Design: Capacity Planning basics

Capacity planning is an underemphasized subject in system design. Approaching it as part of the design process can be tremendously helpful. Here are some of the basics.Read more→

What I have learned in 2020

This year I moved overseas and had to learn many things, both professionally and personally. Here I share some of my key learnings.Read more→

Reorganising teams through experimentation

Engineering teams can grow in unexpected ways like systems do. Utilising experimentation concepts can help on such scenarios.Read more→

Calibrations for software engineering interviews

Assessing who is the best candidate for a role is not in any means a straightforward task. Here are some of my takes on this subject.Read more→

Posture in system design interviews

Some ideas on how to perform better in the behavioural and subjective bits of my favourite technical interview type: system design.Read more→

Review: The Making of a Manager

My favourite concepts from "The Making of a Manager", a book written by Facebook's former VP Design, Julie Zhuo.Read more→

Language as a tool for engineering teams

A take on how to overcome problems engineering and product development teams face with stakeholders, goals and metrics through language.Read more→

Review: Radical Candor

Three reflections after reading Kim Scott's book "Radical Candor" around caring personally and challenging directly.Read more→