John Isdell is the Director of Platform Engineering at Red Ventures. You may not know of Red Ventures by name, but you’re virtually guaranteed to have been on one of their sites like BankRate.com, Reviews.com, and CreditCards.com. They’re a digital portfolio company with a huge consumer web footprint, and with that footprint comes challenges of scale, legacy code, constant iteration, and evolving staffing needs. John discusses organizing large teams to tackle these challenges, how to hire to handle pretty much every technology, and how to prioritize your organization-wide backlog.
Lee Warrick wasn’t satisfied with the standard storyline regarding junior developers. A career-changing bootcamp graduate himself, Lee heard the same tired explanations over and over again about how hiring juniors was rife with the expense, risks, and headaches that from his experience just weren’t true. Along the way, Lee developed a compelling framework to help employers understand how to get high ROI out of recruiting, employing, and retaining junior developers.
Ubiquitous web technology like Wordpress opens up a world of opportunities for entrepreneurs in every conceivable sector, yet even user-friendly tools require implementation and customization assistance from qualified developers. Arian Mirzarafie Ahi, a biologist, and e-learning entrepreneur discusses the difficulties of finding a great developer as a non-technical founder. Arian talks through the challenges, and a socratic approach he took to overcome them so he could focus on growing his content business.
Is recruiting engineering talent similar to courting professional athletes? That’s been our experience at Gun.io, and Steve Bayette agrees. After traveling the world as a digital nomad, and successfully navigating two big-name exits, Steve now advises startups on how to hire world-class engineers and build industry-leading products. He’s also an investor in early-stage technology and product companies. Steve discusses how to make yourself indispensable in your job and your company, and how to make sure you’re solving the problem you were really hired to solve. Hint: it’s probably not about the code.
No stranger to screens big (very big) and small, David Shapendonk was the Director of Technical Ops for IMAX before flexing his entrepreneurial muscles. He's now the CTO of Maestro Games, a startup helping to build technologies that incorporate music therapy with VR gaming to help people with anxiety, PTSD, autism, and other stress-related ailments. David discusses the differences in scaling organizations that are big or small, having a F.A.I.L. mindset (first attempt in learning), and utilizing a “trust and verify” approach to technical staffing.
Tyler Shambora was the Director of Technology at BVA. He recently founded Pack Digital, an e-commerce agency focused on innovation and conversion. Tyler's role at BVA encompassed a mixed bag of workflow, DevOps, standards, and automation. While attempting a personal study in those areas, he realized that virtually no one talks about how to scale DevOps, delivery, and standards for high-growth agencies. Tyler discusses onboarding, training, and just how far technical leaders can take the plug-and-play concept with devs when the only thing team members have in common is that they're all in the same building working on different client projects.
“Engineers want to win,” says Steve Prosser, VP of Software Development at Guaranteed Rate, one of the largest retail mortgage lenders in the US, responsible for more than $20B in annual loan volume. Steve walks us through how their organization has gone all-in on engineer autonomy, where each and every dev manages their own communication needs all the way to direct executive team collaboration. We learn about the organization’s language choices, as well as their intense investment in learning and development to support them while building a robust recruiting pipeline.
Alan Spadoni is the Director of Engineering at Buildout. He's was an engineering leader at Groupon for six years prior to his current post. Alan shares some awesome insights on making your engineering culture attractive from a recruiting perspective in a highly constrained hiring environment, especially when you're recruiting for talent on technologies that are no longer at the peak of their hype cycle. Two key areas: make sure candidates have a great experience and make sure your interview process is highly focused on problems that are relevant to the work.