Snapfix is a fast growth company and the structure of our technical teams evolve as our business and technical requirements continue to scale. In order to maintain efficiency I have adopted some key principles and philosophies that guide our organizational choices.

I’ve reviewed what has worked best for fast growth companies in the recent past and I’ve delved into the business and academic podcasts, conference talks and literature to adopt best practices for distributed, fast growth companies such as ours.

Conway’s Law, or the Mirroring Hypothesis as it’s referred to in organizational circles is a core principle I follow when considering how complex organizations should be structured when managing communication channels and technological architectures. I’ve found the information systems, computer science and organizational literature as well as technical and business podcasts to be a rich source of high quality guidance from the industry leaders within Stripe, Netflix, Facebook, Google and many smaller but highly successful SaaS companies.

This series of blogs gives an insight into my understanding of how organizations adopt cloud computing. I’ve drawn on the Mirroring Hypothesis and demonstrated its potential as a recommendation and prediction tool for SaaS companies such as Snapfix. I’ve reviewed the engineering and organizational aspects of organizations creation and adoption of cloud services, drawing on about 50 case studies authored by notable technologists. Our experiences within Snapfix has resulted in us veering towards a mirrored organizational to technology structure as we’ve developed and adopted new cloud services. We have experienced exceptions though. When we’ve transitioned a project from a single to multi-team structure, such as our data analytics project, we experienced some breakdowns in mirroring. When we’ve adopted and iterated on open-source libraries we’ve also seen drops in how well our teams mirror the technological architecture.

I’ve expanded on this in the blog posts that are contained in this section.

Next: Teams That Mirror Our Technology