People– May 2019
- The Product and Engineering was about 50 people
- Offices in Chicago HQ, Baltimore and a couple remote WFH
- Most Engineering Managers had over 10-14 engineers to serve
- Our focus and weight of Engineers was on the Consumer side (B2C)
- Our Operator Tribe was deeply lacking humans, and leadership for both Engineering and Product. The Company had burnt through multiple iterations of people in the Operator Tribe – too much work, too few people
- It was not easy to know what was going on in other Tribes and squads
- Most Engineers did not know what was next in their careers
- Interviewing was extremely subjective
- Did not have a training budget or 401K Match
- We were leveraging Rent the Runway for our own career ladders
People – May 2020
My Approaches/Perspectives – Be curious and non judgmental. Be approachable and accessible. Humans are not resources, no one wants to be just a resource. Find the right humans, let them do their job, but also verify they are doing it. Be vulnerable and learn faster. Help people grow. Do what is right, not easy.
Where did we get to?
- We hired 40 additional Engineers in 9 months (Totaling 80), whilst adding much more diversity at all levels. Product almost doubled with 9 extra people. (We had to rearrange seating three times!)
- Met all the engineers at least twice a year – once through skip levels as individual and once the whole squad.
- Really invested in our Operator Tribe (B2B Team). Literary doubled the number of people working in it. Broke into several squads
- Advocated for stronger benefits and training budget
- Brought in a new generation of Engineering Leaders (6). Worked towards 8 people per leader. Coaching and mentoring to increase leadership capabilities
- Regular day meetings for all engineering leaders – to solve, share and learn together
- Established new interview review process by evolving take-home rubrics and introducing pair coding exercises
- Established new Career Ladders for over 8 roles and increased range (8 Ranks) adding both entry level (Rank 1) and up to Principal (Rank 8)
- Introduced new Squad Lead role and training program (working with our first as we speak)