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Technical specs

How two Lyft engineers structure technical specs

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Workflowy

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About this Template

The technical spec serves as a bedrock document for specifying exactly what needs to be done, what the goals of the project are, and how you plan to measure the performance.

Clearly written technical specs help you to avoid some of the most common issues when dealing with the chaos of managing a project or feature to completion. Issues such as feature bloat, building something using outdated specs, building upon deprecated services, etc.

One key piece of advice the template authors provide is to make sure it's clear what the purpose of the technical spec is. "A tech spec without a purpose? It’s a waste of time." they note.

So take a moment to consider the following before you dive into writing:

  • What is the purpose of the document (to inform, to convince, to explore)
  • What level of detail you should go into, or not go into (high-level , low-level)
  • Who will be reading the tech spec (other engineers, stakeholders, QA)

This template is adapted from a post from the Lyft engineering blog. The original article can be found at the Lyft engineering blog.

How to use the template

The bullet journal template has two main sections, the calendar, and the monthly '⏳ Future' sections.

The calendar - A long list of months with each month containing the days for that month. You'll add your tasks, notes and events under each day.

The future logs - Each month has a '⏳ Future' section that serves as a placeholder for activities that should be completed during that month but do not yet have a specific date.

The monthly log allows you to view all the events for a given month. You create this view by clicking on the bullet for the current month and then clicking on the star ⭐️ to save that view in the left hand sidebar.

The daily log allows you to quickly jump to today and work on the day's tasks and events, and add notes. You create this view by searching for 'Today' in the menu bar and then clicking on the star ⭐️ to save that view in the left hand sidebar.

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