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6 Software Engineering Templates I Wish I Had Sooner
Design docs, postmortems and more
👋 Hi, this is Ryan with this week’s newsletter. I write about software engineering, big tech/startups and career growth. Thank you for your readership, we hit 27,000 readers this week 🙏 🎉
This week, I gathered my favorite writing templates relevant to software engineers. If you find it helpful, please share it with your friends and coworkers. Enjoy!
Writing is one of the most important skills for software engineers. A lot of it is repetitive in structure (e.g. design docs, post mortems, etc). This post captures my favorite templates that I use to structure my thoughts and save time.
How to use this post:
Bookmark this page for future reference. I will keep it up to date so it always has the best software engineering templates.
Copy the relevant template and start editing it next time you need to write for one of these common use cases.
Eng Design Doc:
Design docs are a great way to propose future engineering work and solicit feedback. Writing is great at persisting relevant details for discussion.
📝 Here’s my personal design doc template.
When systems break, thinking through how to do better next time is a necessity. I wrote about the fundamentals of postmortem reviews here.
📝 Here’s my personal postmortem review template to structure your thinking and discussions.
Diff (or PR) Summary:
After writing hundreds of diffs, I realized that all their descriptions have a similar structure.
📝 Save yourself time and structure your thinking with my personal diff summary template. I describe every code change I make starting with it.
Engineers in leadership roles often have to set the direction for the team.
📝 For any strategic initiative, I always start with my personal direction doc template. You can mold it to work for most directional discussions (e.g. major engineering initiative, team strategy, partnership alignment).
Eng Project Management:
It’s often helpful to have a project timeline (or Gantt chart) for larger initiatives with many moving parts.
📝 Here’s my simple timeline (Gantt chart) spreadsheet I always start with. You might want to add additional columns.
Writing when you have results and want to share them almost always has the same structure.
📝 Here’s my launch post template that I always start with that saves time.
If you have any favorite templates you think I should include please drop them in this feedback form. I’m always looking for ways to improve this list so it has the best software engineering templates.
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