Martin Fowler, DAN, CTO discussed on Code Story

Code Story


The process they are responsible for. So in terms of the overall company, I think it's really the team that we've built a really strong engineering team with great engineering culture, and that is a small amount me and a lot of the teams efforts to find the right people and to build the right cultures. So I'm pretty proud about that as well. Well, let's flip the script a little bit. So tell me about a mistake you made and how you and your team responded to it. A lot of mistakes that I come to mind. And I think that you're never going to get everything right, especially not the first time as an engineer as a leader as a person in general. So there's a lot of mistakes that I had made in architecture and code and hiring even the key to me about how your team responds to when you do make mistakes as a leader is that you have to take ownership of the mistakes and be transparent with the team and then come with the plan to resolve it. You know, as the leader, the team is looking for you to set out a course to resolve whatever the issue is. They're not looking for you to be perfect, but they do want you to be authentic and I found that as long as I'm upfront and I say, you know, I made this mistake or I made this decision and it was not the right decision. The team is supportive and will help develop a plan to fix it. Well, what does the future look like for the product and for your team? Yeah, we're growing really quickly. We've more than doubled the product and engineering team in the last year. We expect to see growth across the whole organization this year. Today, we're supporting shopping for insurance, plan discovery, and administration of policies, which is actually pretty big surface area to cover. So a lot of the expansion for the company is just in more of these integrations, deeper integrations, supporting more functionality within those integrations. But one area in particular that we're pretty excited about is insights into usage of a user's policy. So this is knowing how much is left on your deductible and being able to surface that through different tools that a user might interact with or someday maybe a little further down the line claims and the status of different claims. So some pretty interesting user experiences that our customers can ultimately build on top of that kind of data. Let's switch to you, Dan. Who influences the way that you work? You name a CEO, CTO and Arctic really any person that you look up to and why? From an engineering perspective, there are sort of the usual suspects, the Martin Fowler's Kent becks kind of of the world that I've spent fair amount of time reading what they write and use that to influence kind of design. But from the real world perspective, I think my biggest influence is the CTO group that peer group through a company called then wise, it's based in New York. Never really great program where we meet every other week anywhere between 6 and ten CTOs in similar stage companies and you just kind of talk about problems you're having, get advice from peers. One of the things in any sort of leadership position that's challenging is you don't always have a peer inside your organization to bounce ideas off of people are looking to you for the answers. It's a great way to get feedback and get ideas from people who are in a simpler situation. So, okay, we talked about a mistake, right? But a little bit different spin. If you could go back to the beginning, what would you do differently? Or where would you consider taking a different approach? From a product perspective, there's not one big obvious thing that stands out. To me, there are lots of little things that we double down on the wrong feature at the wrong, the wrong time or it wasn't the right feature to begin with. There's a lot of little stuff like that. But I think the bigger change I would make is in the way we approach product marketing early on. We were very technology focused and the thing that I've learned in building very Cred is that the way you talk about the technology is just about as important as how well it works. So I think we would have focused more heavily on product marketing sales enablement earlier in the company's journey. Okay, Dan, last question. So you're getting on a plane and you're sitting next to a young entrepreneur who's built the next big thing. The jazz about it, they can't wait to show it off to the world. Can't wait to show it off to you right there on the plane. What advice do you give that person, having gone down this road a bit? For someone just getting started, I think the best advice is to stay really close to your potential customers so you can really understand what their pain points are and what the problem that you're solving is. Because they won't always be able to tell you exactly what it is and you learn a lot by observing them. And trying to get to the underlying issue without necessarily doing exactly what they've asked for. And I think that's trying to do that as far into the growth of the company as you can. At some point, it becomes harder and harder as a company gets bigger, you get more customers, it's hard to spend a lot of time with each individual one. But try to retain some of that because really.

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