Engineering Without Dogma: When to Ignore the Best Practices

Be agile! Hold retrospectives at least once per month! Have a weekly 1:1 meeting! Shoot for 99% unit test coverage! Automate everything! Centralize your monitoring and logs! Containers everywhere!

It’s hard to read a tech blog or go to a tech conference without being inundated with advice about software engineering best practices. This guidance is usually great – in some circumstances. But, like everything else in software engineering, there are tradeoffs.

In this talk, Sam will share his experiences at Empower, a small political tech nonprofit, and how his team managed to have a great culture and a big impact even without following a lot of “best practices.”



Sam King

Director of Engineering, Organizing Empowerment Project

Sam King is the Director of Engineering at the Organizing Empowerment Project. Before Empower, he worked on the fix-it team, at