Master the techniques used by top software engineers to maximize their impact and make a meaningful difference.

You've read The Effective Engineer. And you've started to focus your limited time and energy on high-leverage activities.

Ready to accelerate your growth even further?

The most effective engineers don't just try to figure out things on their own. They know to shortcut years of trial and error by learning from others.

Since launching the book, I've been running one-on-one coaching sessions, office hours, workshops, and seminars with hundreds of engineers and leaders — including ones at Google, Pinterest, Facebook, Amazon, and more. I'll teach you the most powerful techniques I've shared from those sessions to maximize your chances for career success.

Introducing Master Effective Engineering — a program designed specifically to equip readers of The Effective Engineer with high-leverage strategies and tools to accelerate their growth to the next level.

Haven't read the book? Get it here.

Watch video lessons of advanced tactics that I normally only teach in private workshops and seminars. Listen to a vault of in-depth interviews with engineering leaders at top technology companies — hear stories directly from people who've worked at Google, Facebook, Dropbox, Instagram, Stripe, and more about the key investments they've made in themselves and their teams.

Plus, get a step-by-step Effort to Impact guide on how to build a system to increase your impact week-over-week and The Tactical Toolkit packed with questions and checklists to help you excel in common engineering activities.

Develop the frameworks and the confidence to chart your way forward.

“I hope more people embrace Edmond's philosophy and techniques to make their companies and careers more successful.” Bret Taylor, CEO of Quip & Former CTO of Facebook
“Edmond provided a great framework for our engineers to dramatically improve their learning and the value of their activities. Attending Edmond's seminar was the highest-leverage activity I've performed in a while.” Chris Cholette, Director of Engineering at Sunrun
“Your book has helped me coach my engineers who are always asking about how to become great engineers. I can begin coaching at a higher level. The concept of leverage anchors those discussions.” Eric Sowa, VP of Engineering, Matrix at Salesforce

Have you ever poured your heart into a project with the best of intentions, only to discover that it had a much smaller impact than you had hoped?

Maybe no one used what you had built. Maybe the project was canceled before it even launched because it got too complex, ran over-budget, or failed to meet customer requirements. Maybe it was just “de-prioritized,” but you knew deep down that the project was unlikely to be revisited.

When that happens, it's easy to start wondering: “Why did I even bother to do all that hard work?”

The interactions and behaviors that you had so carefully tweaked — did they actually matter? The thousands of lines of code you had written and meticulously tested — was all that effort wasted? The difficult conversations where you asked your manager for more time and the late nights you had pulled to address launch-blocking issues — what had been the point?

It's natural to feel frustrated — but you're not alone in facing these challenges. And I'd like to help.

Get the mentorship and guidance you need to succeed

Imagine if you had a mentor who's worked with over 200 engineers and leaders at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Palantir, Pinterest, and other top technology companies. Now imagine if this mentor shared with you the most common and toughest challenges your like-minded peers faced — problems that you likely face as well — along with recommendations and frameworks for dealing with each challenge.

How much more would you be able to achieve?

Since launching the book, I've been doing 1-on-1 coaching sessions, office hours, workshops, and seminars with CTO's, directors of engineering, tech leads, and both junior and senior engineers. And I've culled through over a hundred hours of conversation and research so I could distill the most powerful decision-making frameworks into 12 focused videos that would be most helpful for you.

After watching the videos, you'll be able to:

Get ready for some life-changing lessons:

“There are some real technical pain points I face at Pinterest: improving the mobile app speed, reducing UI latency, improving/defining core metrics, detecting memory leaks, etc. The workshop's been very beneficial. It’s like a friend sharing what he has experienced and learned from others. Most importantly, it taught me to pause from my daily work and think about how to work effectively. I try to spend 10 minutes every morning to plan my daily work. That allows me to spend time to prioritize tasks and only work on high leverage tasks.” Lin Wang, Engineer at Pinterest
“Technical books can become out of date quickly and often just sit on my shelf because they aren't useful in my day-to-day life. However, the insight to focus my efforts on creating leverage changed my life. It cut through the noise on everything I could be doing and gave me a framework to decide how I spend my time… I now keep track of new topics to learn and regularly prioritize them. In the past year I taught myself iOS development, switched to a team where I could do it full time and started speaking at iOS conferences… I would recommend this book to any software engineer I know regardless of their experience level.” Veronica Ray, Engineer at LinkedIn
“The biggest change in my life was focusing on learning experiences. The book gave me the courage to quit my cushy job at Microsoft for an opportunity to be a part of an awesome team building a huge, complex product from scratch. I've already learned more in 4 months here than the past 3 years at Microsoft and it's paying off in huge ways. I'm writing better code and making better decisions which is leading to better results and more recognition. When I tried to focus on the end results alone @ MSFT, I floundered without an effective framework.” Drew Tyler, Former Engineer at Microsoft
“I was doubting whether I was working on the right things in my life. I had co-founded a startup called Peerby 4 years ago. It essentially enables you to rent every day items from your neighbors so that you won't have to buy and own them. Your 'leverage formula' struck me because it gives me a tool to measure and direct my choices in life... You are given a fixed amount of time, so in that sense, your leverage == the impact you produce... At that point I realised that Peerby is exactly the thing I should be working on right now. If it succeeds on a global scale (it already does in the Netherlands), it's my best shot at producing impact on one of the biggest problems we face as a human race: how to make sure we can inhabit and thrive on this planet without ruining it.” Eelke Boezeman, Co-Founder & CTO at Peerby

Hi! I'm Edmond Lau. For the past decade, I've worked as a software engineer in Silicon Valley, at technology companies including Google, Ooyala, Quora, and Quip.

During that time, I've interviewed 500+ engineering candidates, spoken at companies about building great engineering cultures, and built onboarding and mentoring programs to train dozens of new engineering hires.

You may have seen some of my engineering and career advice featured on:

As I was writing The Effective Engineer, I embarked on a 2-year quest to answer a key question:

How do the most effective engineers make their efforts, their teams, and their careers more successful?

As part of that journey, I interviewed and had conversations with engineering VPs, directors, managers, and other leaders at top software companies: established, household names like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn; rapidly growing mid-sized companies like Dropbox, Square, Box, Airbnb, and Etsy; and startups like Reddit, Stripe, Instagram, and Lyft.

I collected stories from leaders all around Silicon Valley, stories about the most valuable insights they've learned and the most common and costly mistakes that they've seen engineers — sometimes themselves — make.

I spent nearly two years compiling and researching this material because I knew that it could be a valuable resource. It certainly would have saved me a lot of time and effort earlier in my career.

The book is filled with great stories, but there's still a trove of valuable insights and advice that I wasn't able to fit in. As part of Master Effective Engineering, I've hand-selected 5 hours of the most insightful conversations I had with engineering leaders during my nearly 2 years of research. By hearing their stories, you can pick up hard-earned lessons about what worked and what didn't, lessons that would take years to stumble upon through trial and error.

Get access to interviews with:

Mike Krieger

Mike Krieger
Co-founder and CTO of Instagram

Tamar Bercovici

Tamar Bercovici
Senior Engineering Manager at Box

Bobby Johnson

Bobby Johnson
CTO of Interana & Former Director of Engineering at Facebook

Sam Schillace

Sam Schillace
Senior VP of Engineering at Box & Creator of Google Docs

Nimrod Hoofien

Nimrod Hoofien
Director of Engineering at Facebook & Former SVP of Engineering at Ooyala

Kartik Ayyar

Kartik Ayyar
Former Studio CTO of Zynga

Dan McKinley

Dan McKinley
Former Principal Engineer at Etsy

Albert Ni

Albert Ni
5th engineer at Dropbox

These are just a small sampling of the hard questions I posed to them:

  • What engineering qualities correlate with future success?
  • Out of everything you've done, what has paid off the highest returns?
  • What separates the most effective engineers you've worked with from everyone else?
  • What's the most valuable lesson your team has learned in the past year?
  • What advice do you give to new engineers on your team?

Everyone's story is different, but many of the lessons share common themes.

You'll get to hear all about these stories and subsequent lessons, stories like:

  • How did Instagram's team of 13 employees, only 5 of whom were engineers, build and support a service that grew to over 40 million users by the time the company was acquired?
  • How did the team behind Google Docs become the fastest acquisition to rewrite its software to run on Google's infrastructure?
  • How does Etsy use continuous experimentation to design features that are guaranteed to increase revenue at launch?
  • How does Box ensure that teams shipping new features are aware of and address any performance issues prior to launch?
  • How did Facebook's early infrastructure team operate thousands of database servers with only a single engineer?
  • How did a single unit test convince a team of 50 at Zynga that they ought to adopt a stronger culture of testing?
  • How did Dropbox transform its hiring culture and go from barely hiring any new engineers to nearly tripling its team size year-over-year?

It's largely because of these stories that engineering leaders have started making The Effective Engineer required reading for their teams:

“Thank you so much for this book. It is a great articulation of many lessons I've learned in my career, and it's going to become mandatory reading for developers on our team. I've got copies for everyone on my team, and we are having our first book club meeting on it next Wednesday.” Luke Closs, Founder & CTO at Recollect
“I've assigned it as the second book on my new hires' onboarding list. My teams now host a book club for The Effective Engineer during work hours. All of my technical lead engineers are using leverage points and more carefully selecting and measuring their work. My leads are working on refactoring our interview process, producing guides on how to use our tools, demos and presentations, and getting first-hand experience with our customers.” Sameer Doshi, Senior DevOps Engineering Manager at kCura
“I had the great fortune of working with Edmond when I was fresh out of school... Our work interactions were always peppered with useful tidbits from him about how to think about my work and projects, and how to be more effective as an engineer...— things I didn't know I didn't know, but which tremendously accelerated my learning and career development. I’ve continuously relayed Edmond’s advice to my teammates throughout the years, but I’m glad that I can do so in book form, without the lossiness of my transmission.” Tracy Chou, Tech Lead and Engineer at Pinterest
“I'm always skeptical of books that profess to teach a meta-skill since they can come off as too theoretical... After reading through The Effective Engineer, I was impressed with both the thoroughness of its coverage but more importantly with the way it tied everything... into a unified whole. I also immediately put into use some of the insights around increasing iteration speed and optimizing for leverage in my day-to-day practices... [I] suggest we give a copy to every new engineer who joins Dropbox.” Alex Allain, Platform & Libraries Lead at Dropbox

My Guarantee: Try Master Effective Engineering for a Full 30-Days, 100% Risk-Free

Watch the video lessons. Listen to the interviews. Read the companion guides. If you don't find them helpful, I want you to have 100% of your money back. My mission centers around effectiveness, and the last thing I would want to do is waste your time or your money.

Here's why I'm offering this guarantee.

In the past ten years, I've read hundreds of books on self-help, productivity, behavioral psychology, and business, all so that I could glean some lessons that I could apply to my career. Very few of them were written specifically for software engineers or shared stories from engineering, however, so I ended up having to translate what I read to engineering situations and experiment with the lessons to see what actually applied.

I'm passionate about helping people grow into better engineers. And when I coached and mentored other engineers, I wished that there were more targeted resources that I could point them to.

That's why I took almost an entire year away from work — and burned through my own savings — to interview some of the best engineering leaders and distill the hundreds of actionable techniques and proven habits you find in the book. And that's why I continue to invest my time in building more resources for engineers.

I've validated the materials with hundreds of engineers to make sure they're relevant and actionable. Fresh college graduates. Senior engineers. Tech leads. Managers. VPs. Startup founders.

And that's why I guarantee Master Effective Engineering.

If you feel like your time would've been better spent doing something else, just email me and show me that you're not getting any results with the techniques in the videos, the interviews, and the guides. I'll refund 100% of your money. I'm extending the guarantee for a full 30 days.

The reason I'm asking you to show me that you've tried out the techniques is because I really do want to help you become a more effective engineer. I definitely don't want your money if you're not satisfied, but I do want you to make an effort.

Which option is right for you?

An online course could easily cost thousands of dollars. And even though I took nearly a year off without pay to build these resources, I'm making these products affordably priced so that the value you'll reap will easily outweigh the costs.

Note: Some companies give employees an allowance for their professional growth, so be sure to check with your manager if you can get reimbursed.

The Master Package

$219

Designed for the most dedicated achievers who want to maximize their impact and excel in their engineering careers. You know that time is your most limited and critical resource. You want to stop wasting it on things that don't matter, focus it on the things that do, and get the guidance you need to bridge that gap.

Buy Today & Get

  • 12 Master Effective Engineering video lessons with Edmond. Each lesson has been carefully drawn from one-on-one coaching sessions, office hours, private workshops, and seminars that I've done with over 200 engineers and leaders at Pinterest, Google, Facebook, Palantir, Amazon, and other top companies. The lessons fast-track you through the most common and pressing challenges your like-minded peers have faced day-to-day, and they'll equip you with powerful frameworks and mindsets so you don't have to stumble through the same problems. That means less of your time spent re-inventing the wheel, and more time spent on the unique challenges of your career.

  • In-depth podcast interviews with 7 top engineering leaders. They contain over 5 hours of the most insightful conversations I had with leaders at top tech companies, conversations that were hand-selected from my nearly 2 years of research. The book is filled with great stories, but there's still a trove of valuable insights and advice that I wasn't able to fit in. Each interview condenses hard-earned lessons that would take years to stumble upon through trial and error. You'll get interviews with:
    • Mike Krieger, Co-founder and CTO of Instagram
    • Nimrod Hoofien, Engineering Director at Facebook
    • Tamar Bercovici, Engineering Director at Box
    • Kartik Ayyar, Former Studio CTO of Zynga
    • Albert Ni, 5th Engineer at Dropbox
    • Dan McKinley, Engineer at Stripe and Former Principal Engineer at Etsy
    • Bobby Johnson, CTO of Interana and Former Engineering Director at Facebook
  • Effort to Impact, a companion guide on how to implement a system to continuously improve your leverage. In this 16-page, step-by-step guide, I break down the exact process you can take to systematically increase your leverage week-over-week. We walk through how to establish quarterly goals, how to prioritize the highest-leverage activities to achieve those goals every week, and how to ensure you're making daily progress.
  • The tactical toolkit, to significantly increase your leverage in common engineering activities. The detailed questions and checklists in this 15-page toolkit give you the tactics you need to excel at common day-to-day activities you do as an engineer. Amplify your effectiveness when you're designing and building new features, debugging and verifying your code, running and attending meetings, proposing new designs or ideas to your team, or learning and mastering new skills.
  • BONUS: Exclusive 26-minute video interview with Sam Schillace, the VP of Engineering at Box. Prior to Box, Sam directed all of Google Apps and built the initial version of Google Docs. In this interview, Sam shares the costliest mistake that he's seen engineers make, one that can save you months of time if you avoid it. We talk about non-obvious mindsets that more engineers and engineering leaders ought to know. And we discuss the intricacies of how to use data and metrics effectively to make decisions.

If you have any questions or concerns, email me at support@effectiveengineer.com. I'm happy to help.

The Pro Package

$79

Designed for engineers looking for an extra boost beyond the book to fast-track their professional growth. Get the resources you need to make your career and your team more successful.

Buy Today & Get

  • In-depth podcast interviews with 7 top engineering leaders. They contain over 5 hours of the most insightful conversations I had with leaders at top tech companies, conversations that were hand-selected from my nearly 2 years of research. The book is filled with great stories, but there's still a trove of valuable insights and advice that I wasn't able to fit in. Each interview condenses hard-earned lessons that would take years to stumble upon through trial and error. You'll get interviews with:
    • Mike Krieger, Co-founder and CTO of Instagram
    • Nimrod Hoofien, Engineering Director at Facebook
    • Tamar Bercovici, Engineering Director at Box
    • Kartik Ayyar, Former Studio CTO of Zynga
    • Albert Ni, 5th Engineer at Dropbox
    • Dan McKinley, Engineer at Stripe and Former Principal Engineer at Etsy
    • Bobby Johnson, CTO of Interana and Former Engineering Director at Facebook
  • Effort to Impact, a companion guide on how to implement a system to continuously improve your leverage. In this 16-page, step-by-step guide, I break down the exact process you can take to systematically increase your leverage week-over-week. We walk through how to establish quarterly goals, how to prioritize the highest-leverage activities to achieve those goals every week, and how to ensure you're making daily progress.
  • The tactical toolkit, to significantly increase your leverage in common engineering activities. The detailed questions and checklists in this 15-page toolkit give you the tactics you need to excel at common day-to-day activities you do as an engineer. Amplify your effectiveness when you're designing and building new features, debugging and verifying your code, running and attending meetings, proposing new designs or ideas to your team, or learning and mastering new skills.

If you have any questions or concerns, email me at support@effectiveengineer.com. I'm happy to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will this help me if I'm a product manager or a designer or someone else who works with software engineers?

Yes. If you work with software engineers — for example, if you're a product manager, a designer, or a less technical manager — the materials can be a valuable way to gain insight into engineering mindsets. It'll give you the language you need to communicate how the team can be more effective.

Will this help me if I'm an engineer who doesn't work in software?

All the stories I've gathered are from software engineers, and I've targeted the video lessons specifically toward a software engineering audience. There is a limited amount of software jargon. That said, if you've enjoyed my book and work in another field that doesn't have a similar resource, it's likely that you can generalize some of the lessons as well.

Will I get anything out of these materials if I've already built up decades of experience?

I've made sure to go in-depth into the tips and habits I provide, so that even if you're already an experienced engineer, there'd still be something for you to learn. Plus, many of the stories you won't find anywhere else.

Will this help me if I work at a startup or mid-sized company?

Absolutely. I've worked at startups for the past 7 years. The smaller the company, the more critical it is to the team's success that everyone's focusing on the highest-leverage activities. Being more effective means that you can work more reasonable hours and avoid burnout.

Will this help me if I'm working a 9-5 job at a more established company?

Yes. I've worked at Google and Microsoft, and I know what it's like to work a big company. I've also tested the material with engineers at Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other established tech companies. Getting a promotion and climbing the career ladder require that you produce a meaningful impact on your users, your business, and your team, and the materials will help you maximize the impact of your time.

Will there be any code in the videos?

No. There are plenty of online courses that can teach you technical programming skills, but at some point, you'll find that technical proficiency is insufficient for success. The engineers with the strongest technical skills don't always build the best products or the best teams. The video lessons focus on key meta-skills that you can use to get your work done.

Ready to take the next big step in your career?

The Effective Engineer is a seamless blend of insight, personal revelations, and stories drawn from distinguished practitioners. Read this book, and learn from its author and contributing storytellers how to turn effective habits into common practice. Xiao Yu, Engineer at Tsumobi and Early Engineer at Meraki (acquired by Cisco)
“Despite having over a decade of professional experience, I was humbled to discover how much more effective I could be with some small tweaks. Had I followed Edmond's advice to work on the riskiest part first (the data model) and to ask for frequent feedback when working on a school administration tool I built last year, I would've cut my implementation time by at least 7 weeks. I wish had this book two years ago, and I really wish I had it ten years ago. Leo Polovets, Partner at Susa Ventures & 2nd engineering hire at LinkedIn
“I'd always thought that good engineers were born of long, hard experience. But in fact, Edmond managed to distill his decade of engineering experience into crystal-clear best practices. The Effective Engineer makes recommendations that can be readily applied to any engineering team. I would highly recommend it for engineers and their managers. There is a world of difference between a great engineering team and good engineering team, and this book will help you bridge that gap.” Daniel Peng, Senior Staff Engineer at Google

Master Package

$219
  • 7 podcast interviews with engineering leaders.
  • Effort to Impact companion guide.
  • The Tactical Toolkit.
  • 12 Advanced Mastery video lessons with Edmond.
  • Exclusive video interview with Sam Schillace.

Pro Package

$79
  • 7 podcast interviews with engineering leaders.
  • Effort to Impact companion guide.
  • The Tactical Toolkit.