Head of engineering

Andrés Rodrigues

JeffApp

Q&A

Your favorite content and why

I love to dive deep in Medium, looking for not typical content about how the community is solving similar challenges.

Just for giving something more specific, in terms of engineering management I like to read the Felix Lopez (@flopezluis) (an engineering manager at event brite, ex Google) or Mark Rabkin (@mrabking) medium accounts.

From a technical point of view, I enjoy reading Martin Fowler, like almost every engineer in this world. haha

Your favorite working app

I like workflowy a lot. It’s a very simple app for doing lists, without many features, very simple, clear. I have my personal “self-management framework” that I use to manage my time, and it’s the way that I have to still sane.

Your reference leader, why and what you learnt

In terms of the ambition of the vision, I think that no one has a more romantic objective than Elon Musk, I mean, there is something more romantic than reaching the stars? But as always, we only know a small part of every “famous” leader, I don’t really know which part is real and which one is only the public figure.

I truly believe that, for evaluating a leader, you need to work next to him, in that scenario, I would say, Estanis Martin, ex Schibsted, eBay, Paypal, and currently Director of Google Customer. I was lucky to work with him and he is absolutely brilliant from all perspectives.

The #1 skill a tech leader needs to succeed

The ability to align people, when the team is big, it’s impossible to micromanage the team, that means that the most important part is how you align all the Product team with a common vision and principles to give them the ability and responsibility of decision making.

It could seem easy, but it’s the hardest part.

What you like most of being a CTO?

In fact, I’m a Head of engineering, not a CTO hehe. But I do many parts of the role, so I feel comfortable saying that, for me, the most interesting part is having the zoom out “picture”, see all the pieces, and trying to fit them properly. It’s a very abstract work, but an absolutely amazing challenge

Which is the biggest challenge you have faced as a leader?

I think that many of us faced a huge challenge this 2020 because of COVID-19. We all have plans for this year and the situation changes the who world in weeks. Restructuring teams, thinking about how everything changes, and make many crucial decisions in weeks, was something really challenging for leaders.

What is the takeaway from that experience?

As a leader, your job is to decide, whit the information that you have, at that moment, you can’t procrastinate, and many people won’t agree with your decision, but it’s your job to decide, so do it. Be honest, try to do your best, but decide.

The one single tip for aspiring CTOs

You won’t feel prepared ever, so start doing things. I love to expend part of my free time talking with people from the ecosystem, CTOs, Heads, etc. And almost everyone has the “impostor syndrome” constantly. So if you are waiting to feel prepared to be a CTO, probably you won’t feel like that ever. This is not about leaving your Job and create your startup tomorrow, bout your professional career is something that you should plan, identify what you need to improve, and start working on that a soon as possible, if you don’t, your success or not won’t be on you.

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