Level Up Your Team

Level Up Your Team

5 Common Problems Fixed by a Fractional Engineer

Jonathan Grana

Jonathan Grana

Share on TwitterDecember 2nd, 2022

Everyone wants to hire the top 1% of software engineering talent. The very best engineers want to build their own products and can only be hired on a fractional basis. Many teams who are having trouble recruiting and maintaining the most talented employees are turning to fractional engineers, which are engineers that can join the company on a part-time basis.

What would it be like to have these problems solved within your organization? By hiring a fractional engineer, your team will experience a significant reduction in the time it takes to identify a solution to that resource being operational and ready to ship. Your team will also level up by working with an engineer with over a decade of experience leading engineering.

Below are the most common issues facing our fractional engineers and how we help to connect you to top professionals with extensive industry knowledge.

Not Shipping Features Fast Enough and Not Planning Ahead

Having an experienced engineer to spec out work could save months of development time. By having them plan out the next few sprints, they can help prioritize what needs to be done and make sure everything is in scope.

Planning out the upfront work will reduce the risk of building things that don’t fit, and by having an engineer who has solved the same problem several times already plan it out, you will have a higher chance of success. The team will be better able to build the correct thing in the right way, all within a timely manner, once everyone on the team has a clear understanding of the problem. Gotta Go Fast engineers have implemented dozens of RFC processes (Request for Comments). This memorandum helps align the entire team on how the new features will work with the existing system.

Not only can a Gotta Go Fast engineer implement this process. They can also quickly grok the entire system to build these documents. Having this process can will save months of engineering time and reduce the risk of throwaway code. Throwaway work can happen to anyone and can happen quite easily at a fast-paced company.

By hiring through Gotta Go Fast, you can ship faster and educate your team by bringing on an engineer who best understands what to build next as a high-level strategy to align the team and start shipping faster.


Inefficient or Missing Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment

An expert engineer can provide your company a quick win by instrumenting even just the basic benefits of Continuous Integration. To build a dynamic process of integrating and providing the product to the market, Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery rank among the most important processes.

To some engineers, adding CI may seem like too much work; this may have been the case back when we were all responsible for hosting and maintaining our own Jenkins Instance. However, Basic CI configuration now takes less than 5 minutes using the currently available tools.

This extra step isn’t considered audacious or over-the-top by any means to the engineers at Gotta Go Fast. It’s necessary to ensure that your code's build is developed correctly. At GGF, CI is necessary for our engineer's quality assurance procedures. Continuous Integration relies heavily on automated testing of its software. When new changes are merged into the master branch, you can use this to determine if anything has broken.

With Continuous Deployment, the goal is to automate the process of deploying resources into your systems. Typically, this entails an automatic deployment into development, followed by a manual decision to send that resource to later stages, and eventually a deployment to production. Continuous Deployment takes this a step further by eliminating these tedious decisions. This automatic process is a terrific method to shorten the time it takes to hear back from clients and speed up the feedback loop so that the engineer can launch faster.

To establish cohesion between CI and CD, creating a productive git workflow is crucial. This is especially true when working with a large, geographically dispersed team. With several developers and dozens of changes being made daily, things can quickly spiral out of hand.


Scaling and Performance Issues

The saying "do things that don't scale" is effective advice... until it isn't. When that happens, it's time to start investing in a real foundation. We get it, you’ve built a solid foundation for your bottom line and have developed a great Minimum Viable Product (MVP). But it’s time to take the next step and to re-engineer your system to provide a bigger product to handle your customers at scale. When you take the leap to hire a fractional engineer with Gotta Go Fast, you will spend less on maintenance, improve the user experience, and boost your company’s flexibility by enabling your team to respond to trends faster than your competitors.

When you have your first "large" customer and realize you need to redesign your systems to accommodate them, working with an engineer who has done it before is a tremendous asset. However, the successful solutions for the smaller teams that made up your early customers will not produce the same results for your large enterprise customers.

Filling this role with the right fit the first time is well worth the investment. To give you the best working experience possible, Gotta Go Fast only works with accomplished engineers who have significant track records with start-ups and a passion for building companies fast.

Additionally, The client services and sales teams, who depend on performance to tell your story, can benefit from fine-tuning your API endpoints that have been timing out or taking too long to respond.

Frequent outages and bugs

The era of "move fast and break things" is over. You have paying customers, a 7 figure marketing budget, and outages and bugs are causing quantifiable damage to your business.

Our engineers have worked with companies with over a $100 million marketing budget and even larger revenue. Your QA processes and test coverage should be aligned to protect these.

This includes building processes from scratch. Adding automated testing to our CI/CD pipeline and utilizing tools to make sure any outage is quickly recognized and resolved.

Even if you’re not spending millions a month on marketing. There are some simple QA processes our engineers can help you implement so you can build trust with your users.

We aren't planning on achieving full code coverage in the short term. Several testing and monitoring services are available, some of which are more appropriate than others depending on the development stage of your business.

However, it is vital to the success of your product that the software engineer you hire through GGF has a proven strategy for implementing a quality assurance process to test and analyze bugs in your product. An experienced engineer should be able to complete their QA process between 2-6 weeks, where they will analyze potential risks and develop a risk mitigation plan.

To prevent frequent outages and bugs from creeping through your code, it’s imperative to add integration tests to critical flows, add automated tests to the CI/CD pipeline to speed up the testing process, and configure tooling to catch errors by using an end-user monitoring system such as Pingdom.

Missing analytics and tracking KPIs

"You can't improve what you don't measure"

Adding analytics is usually an afterthought when building a new feature. Even if you're just building an MVP, when you need to add analytics you'll always wish you added them earlier. Implementing analytics can be done very quickly and the services at the early stage are free and scale with you.

You need to know where your customers are coming from, where in the funnel they are getting stuck, and how new features are improving your KPIs. There are dozens of different analytic tools out there, and our engineers can help you choose the ones that are right for you.

Outside of product analytics, there are also business intelligence tools for bigger organizations that need to gather data from multiple sources to get a source of truth for different business metrics such as financials and marketing attribution. We've set up data stacks to provide businesses with dashboards to see how different marketing campaigns are impacting their business and how operations are performing.

In order to properly measure your product, you need a team member with the correct credentials and experience that understands how to measure your product and business. At Gotta Go Fast, we can provide you with a CTO with viable experience that can measure where your code needs to be in order to deliver a robust, well-rounded product for your customer.

In a perfect world, you have the team you need when you need it for the price you prefer. In the meantime, GottaGoFast.com can assist you in locating the candidate your company needs to fill in the gaps. We have provided fundamental engineering support for scaling startups, instrumented team hiring procedures for venture companies, and built alongside the top startups in the country. Reach out if you're interested in having these or other engineering issues fixed.



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