A great talk with John Weers of Micron Semiconductors. I think I interviewed about 2 dozen people for the book; John made more impact than anyone else. I owe John greatly – one of his emails ended up being the conclusion of my hero character’s story in the book!
The Micron story intrigued me because it’s not an “easy get” – fab facilities come with some unique constraints, including absurdly long lead times and absurdly expensive hardware, stringent security requirements, and a vast amount of legacy and technical debt to pay down. Micron is a $48B company with 36,000 employees; it simply doesn’t pivot like a startup pure software company can, and leadership has to be judicious with the bets they make.
Not just anyone can successfully maintain momentum with that kind of environment; John’s one of the best in the industry at engaging with software teams at their level and working cooperatively to meet goals. If you learn half as much as I did from our talk, you’ll find this hour of time to be very valuable.
Here’s some of the topics we cover:
- What John’s personal rendezvous with fate taught him about creating change and delivering on what really matters.
- Balancing autonomy versus cohesion – how do we align without blindly enforcing rules?
- How long does a good KPI last at Micron? What does John do to reset things when the numbers stop working?
- Reputation is key – and that’s all based on how we treat people.
- “If it comes easy, it doesn’t stick.”
I think you’ll love this discussion, which explores some of the topics we covered in his interview in Achieving DevOps! A link to the interview is here – and it’s on the podcast platform of your choice. Apple, Google, Spotify, blah blah…. We’re on all the major platforms now, including Anchor, Apple, Google, Spotify, PocketCasts, and RadioPublic.
References and Links
LinkedIn: Link up with John
My original interview with John can be found here
A nice short article on the cost of doing it right by JW
John reads more than anyone else I know. Here’s a great and very thoughtful article inspired in part by the excellent “Making Work Visible” book.