This Week I Learned: Elon Musk’s 5 Step Engineering Process [2021–09–24]

Peter Brownlow
Sep 24, 2021

Love him or loathe him, this guy has some great insights into engineering better.

  1. Your requirements are definitely dumb. Make them less dumb. Sometimes nobody even knows why you have this requirement.
  2. Try to delete a part or a process. YAGNI.
  3. Simplify or optimise. The worst mistake of smart engineers is optimising something that should not exist, so always do #1 & #2 first, then make it better.
  4. Accelerate cycle time. Now that it’s needed & simple, do your good stuff more.
  5. Automate. Now that you know how you’re doing more good stuff, you can invest in automating it with confidence.

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Peter Brownlow

Software builder, people manager, topical deep-dive enthusiast