Peter Minev on scaling tech: “There is no silver bullet”

In October, Peter Minev, head of platform engineering at Careem will be speaking at Leaders in Tech | Berlin. His talk “Scaling tech: planning for uncertainty”, will draw from Peter’s experience starting Careem’s engineering office in Berlin which grew from 0 to 130 in less than two years, attracting talent and growing technical teams when no one knew the company. He’ll offer insight into how he approached this challenge, and how he developed a strategy that took uncertainty into account.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
 
Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you came to be where you are now.
I started my career long ago, probably too long ago, as an engineer. In the early days, I held different engineering positions: C++ engineer, Java engineer, later on architect. At some point, I switched to management roles. I worked in big companies and small startups in various domains. I spent six years in automotive, managing different teams in different geographies. In my work at VMware where I spent also 6 years, I was managing teams in India, in the US, and in Europe. 
 
Was there a point in your career when you concretely decided to go from engineering into management?
I don’t think that there was a strict point where I said, this is really what I want to do. It happened gradually, so from an engineer to an architect to a project manager, and then into engineering management. One day when I woke up, I realized I was managing teams in different continents and different geographies. 
It’s not only when you switch from engineering to management that you need new skills, but also when you broaden your responsibilities.  Bigger teams, remote teams, managing and building remote teams, several teams, different cultures, different geographies, etc. This requires new skills, building on top of your existing capabilities. Many of these are not strictly related to engineering. You need to know a little bit of finance, a little bit of business management, business strategy. All this, the learning process, I find very fascinating. 
 
What are the biggest challenges you faced in growing Careem?
When I convinced the founders of Careem to open an office in Berlin, it was quite an exciting journey. Careem was not a popular brand in Germany at all. Nobody knew Careem, and that was the first big challenge that I had to overcome. Whenever I and our recruitment team approached candidates, the first question was, „What is Careem?“ We had to explain what Careem is in the first place before even talking about the specific positions. Building the engineering brand of Careem here in Europe and in Berlin was a big challenge. 
The second challenge: in all my career so far, I was joining established companies and established offices, where I was building engineering teams. Here, we didn’t have a company in Germany at all. I needed to do a lot of other things before I even hired the first engineer. You need to establish the company, to find offices, to find and establish the HR team, the recruitment team, the finance team, the legal team, office management – you need to have all this before hiring the first engineer. 
You cannot hire an engineer if you don’t have a company or an office. It was exciting – you have this tension, you don’t have the patience to wait. You want to hire the teams, you want to form the projects and you want to jump into this initial phase as quickly as possible.
Then, an even bigger challenge was how to grow so fast, from 0 to 130 people in Berlin in two years while keeping healthy engineering teams at the same time. There are many books that tell you, if you grow more than 2x per year, it is suicide. Teams will be destroyed, they will not be productive or efficient, you will have high attrition. 
Is it possible to quickly build a large team of super strong engineers without lowering the bar, but at the same time make these teams extremely productive, efficient, and healthy? This was an extremely big challenge. I think in the end, it was successful, and I am very happy about this journey because I accumulated a lot of learnings along the way.
 
I would have also said growing a team from 0 to 130 in two years is a terrible idea. How did you develop a successful strategy to make this happen?

There is no silver bullet. This was a series of actions which I took, hoping that they would make it successful in the end. I don’t believe that you can start such activity without any strategy at all. You should, even if you have a lot of uncertainties, list your best guesses, list your most probable hypotheses, and then start with this. I needed to have an initial strategy, but also continuously, all the time, I needed to improve the strategy. 
I have a very simple rule for this. In every single moment, I need to know the top three problems for my team, for my company – the top three. Not the top 30. Not the top 300. The top three. 
You’ll be surprised that this gives you a lot of focus because there might be thousands of problems. But what are your top three problems?  As a company evolves, especially so fast, very often these top three problems will change completely. Six months from now, you will have completely different problems from your top three now. In every given moment you have to have these top three problems. When you resolve these three problems, basically what you are doing, is evolving your strategy.
These top three problems are not what you think that are problems. You have to have data, real data that shows you that these are real problems, not only problems that you think in your head. 
It’s a combination between starting with the best that you can, your best shot, and then always evolving this strategy by knowing your top three problems. 
 
Are there any other thoughts you’d like to include for people considering coming to the talk?
From what I saw of previous events there are many people who are quite experienced.  I don’t see this event as me only sharing my experiences. What I’d rather do is to share what I’ve learned, but I also would be very happy for people to share their experiences, more like a discussion. I can contribute what we did here with Careem in Berlin.
I don’t see it like a playbook: that this is what we did in Careem, and this is the one golden rule, go and apply it by the book in your companies. I see it as some key learnings that I applied in some specific situations. If people can take these learnings, think through them, and apply them in their context, I think this will be super useful for many people.
To learn more about scaling technology teams and planning for uncertainty from Peter, join Leaders in Tech | Berlin on Wednesday October 23rd, 2019: 
To join contact [email protected]

finleap’s CTO Tim Duckett breaks down team dynamics with humor for Leaders in Tech | Berlin

What kind of coworker are you? Do you use your power and influence in the workplace like King Joffrey (Game of Thrones) or more like the Russian president? In August, a full house of technology leaders in Berlin convened for the second time this year at MHPLab for Leaders in Tech to explore these questions and their more serious counterparts. This time, the attendees came for Tim Duckett’s talk: “Hacking Power and Politics – A Tech Leader’s Framework” and to hear how other managers, CTOs, department heads, and engineering leads grapple with the challenges of organizing teams. Tim is the CTO at finleap, a fintech company builder, and brings years of experience as an engineer and a manager working in a variety of organizations to the topic.

Austin Fraser organizes Leaders in Tech to bring together CTOs, CIOs, VPs, heads of IT and other senior technology leaders to explore important issues in business and technology, and to build connections between people facing similar challenges. Often hosted by key companies in a city’s startup and technology ecosystem, the meetups attract all kinds of technology leaders. Stephanie Persigehl, senior professional at MHPLab, cited the quality of the leadership talks and the great community as two of the reasons they like to host the Leaders in Tech talks. She also said, “At MHP, we’re delighted to be part of this network and want to foster its continuous growth.”

And network was definitely the word! As everyone entered the building, the team at the reception welcomed each attendee and gave out nametag. Then they had to brave the crowd gathered at the snacks and drinks in the main room. The whole space was buzzing with people introducing themselves to each other and reconnecting with familiar faces from previous events. There were people perched on every space, from the picnic tables in the middle, benches throughout the room, as well as office chairs along the sides for late-comers and those who didn’t want to stand.

Anjo Gaul, community manager for Austin Fraser, officially kicked off the program, introducing both the event hosts and Tim Duckett, the evening’s speaker. You can catch some of Tim’s talk “Hacking Power and Politics – A Tech Leader’s Framework” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Acr7Ve23Kw

The talk was both funny and insightful, starting out with a framework for the different kinds of power and the types of people who wield it. Daniil Pavliuchkov, Chief Product Officer at VAI, commented “I really enjoyed the sarcastic tone and the humour of the talk. It is great when a speaker can connect with the audience and explain complex things in a playful manner that is not childish. All the references and the quirky names really gave me a good laugh.” During the talk, Tim interspersed his slides with anecdotes from his experience working in many different companies. If you’d like to read more about Tim Duckett, check out the interview with him on the Austin Fraser blog, “Sometimes you get a team of people who seem to be all square edges and corners.”
Dmitry Galkin, a DevOps consultant currently working at HERE, decided to attend this Leaders in Tech meetup because he was intrigued by the topic and the speaker’s background. He said it was an interesting presentation, and that he could relate to a lot of the stories from his past experiences. It also didn’t hurt that the surprise of the evening was the burger truck parked right outside the building next to the Spree!

 
As everyone lined up to get a burger and fries, the conversations spilled out into the picturesque outdoor space. Attendees chatted about the talk, how they’d seen the personas and situations that Tim shared play out in their own professional lives. A number of people were continuing to share their experiences and connecting with other attendees out on the patio as the sun started to slip below the horizon. Well after the official program had concluded, people were happy to keep chatting and sharing — thanks to Austin Fraser and MHPLab for a great event!

 
 

Real life at Austin Fraser (part one)

A lot of organisations talk the talk. But, at Austin Fraser, we also walk the walk. In other words, when we say life’s good at our business, it’s not just sales blurb – we’ve got facts and figures to prove it – and that’s why we’ve won ‘OpenCompany’ status from recruitment website, Glassdoor. We’re sharing this in a two-part blog, so you can get an insight about what life is like at Austin Fraser.
Let’s start with something fairly basic and fundamental: your pay.
If you compare us to similar businesses, you’ll find our salaries are pretty competitive. We keep an eye on the rest of the industry and review them regularly. What’s more, they come with a range of benefits that are the equivalent of up to 35% extra value on top of your pay.
And speaking of our international offices, there are seven in total – which you could transfer to thanks to our relocation package. You’ll find us in Reading, UK; Hamburg, Munich and Berlin, Germany; and Austin, Denver and Dallas in the USA. Excitingly, there are two more sites coming soon: San Diego (October 2019) and LA (2020). Each site is in a great location in the heart of the city. Go inside, and you’ll find an attractive, modern environment, with great facilities. We’re talking open spaces for collaboration and state of the art tech with dedicated break-out zones. Everything you need to excel and achieve on your terms.

Working remotely is also a reality, thanks to our hi-spec technology. Everyone has a MacBook, whatever their level of seniority. We’re always looking at ways to improve the kit we provide too. As tech evolves, we’re investing in new developments that benefit our staff. 
However, there’s no point in helping people perform at their best if there’s no way for them to progress. We take your development as seriously as you do and make sure you know how you can advance. That’s why our career paths are as clear-cut and transparent as they get. You can see how your role can evolve – and how much you can earn – right from your very first day. Plus, we’ll make sure you have the Learning & Development to build your skills so you can get yourself promoted. This is an aspect of life at Austin Fraser that stands out in the industry. We believe in giving people the support to get where they want along with the freedom to plan their journey. Our end to end training includes modules for new starters, managers and senior managers. What’s more, learning is simply a part of our culture, so it’s considered perfectly normal to take time out for training.
So that’s the important, practical stuff. But life here is about so much more than that. Stay tuned for the second part of this blog, where we’ll tell you why people like working here so much – the warm and fuzzy stuff!

Axel Springer’s CTO shares his cultural hacks with Berlin’s tech leaders

Over fifty people crowded into MHPLab’s kitchen, on a warm summer night in Berlin for the June edition of Austin Fraser’s Leaders in Tech event series. Cold drinks were in high demand as attendees perched on benches and office chairs, and stood in small groups near the hor d’oeuvres getting to know each other as they waited for the main event of the evening, a talk by Sebastian Waschnick, CTO at Axel Springer Ideas Engineering, on hacking company culture.
Leaders in Tech brings together CTOs, CIOs, VPs, heads of IT or other senior technology leaders to engage and learn more about current topics and trends. The talks cover a broad range of topics within the technical, management, and innovation spheres, and draw a diverse crowd of technology leaders. On this particular evening at MHPLab, the audience varied widely in age; many in the crowd were dressed down for the heat (or just in normal startup casual); and based on the chatter, the assembled attendees had come to technology from a variety of different starting points.
After everyone had arrived, grabbed some food and something to drink, the evening officially kicked off with a brief welcomes from Anjo Gaul, community manager for Austin Fraser and from the event host. Then it was time for Sebastian Waschnick’s talk, “You can’t manage culture: Cultural Hacks to try for yourself,” which you can watch here

During the talk, Waschi outlined what he’d discovered about company culture during his career, and how he’d put these lessons into practice at Axel Springer Ideas Engineering by using individual “hacks.” Many of his stories about the different hacks his team tried got members of the audience really excited and curious, they couldn’t help but call out questions. Waschi was happy to engage, and it made the session much more interactive. In fact, even after the talk and the Q&A session ended and people spread out, a circle formed around Waschi to keep the discussion going.
You can review Waschi’s slides by clicking here.
After Sebastian’s talk and the Q&A segment, Austin Fraser community manager Anjo Gaul revealed the surprise he’d teased earlier that day: he’d invited Brewer’s Tribute, a local Berlin brewery, to hold a craft beer tasting during the networking and discussion part of the evening, which spilled out onto the MHPLab’s patio along the river Spree.
One engineering lead told me that he’ll definitely be returning to the next Leaders in Tech gathering. Not only was the setting great, he also said that of all the meetups he’d been to lately, this one had the best food and refreshments. Other attendees had more cerebral (and professional) reasons to keep coming back, like Katja Paar, head of strategy & design at mediaworx. She said “I need to look at the world outside my job and office sometimes, to stay flexible and open-minded.” For her, what sets the Leaders in Tech events apart from other meetups is the “good atmosphere” and that she gets to meet fellow “professionals instead of job seekers”.

Some of the participants were just visiting Berlin, and had found out about Leaders in Tech by chance. Maciej Głowacki, head of growth at Polidea, lives in Warsaw, Poland, and had come to Berlin for a conference. While looking for other events at which to meet people working on technology in Berlin, he stumbled across Leaders In Tech. He decided to come to the meetup because he was interested in connecting with other tech leaders who are facing issues similar to the ones he’s struggling with. It was the right decision. Mac, as he prefers to be called, said “I liked the open and friendly atmosphere of the meeting, which was encouraging to start informal discussions and meet other participants. People were sharing their stories and advice on some best practices to others – you usually don’t get much of such merit-based discussions during meetups.”
As the sun set over the Spree, a surprising number of people were still lingering over their drinks and conversing on the patio. Even an hour after the main part of the event had ended, the attendees still had a lot to say to each other and connections to make — thanks to Austin Fraser and MHPLab!
 

Leaders in Tech | Baden-Württemberg: Clean Code

Leaders in Tech | Baden-Württemberg is back!
Wir hatten die Gelegenheit uns mit Sebastian Betzin zu unterhalten und konnten erfahren was uns beim ‘Clean Code | Wie erreichen sie Investitionssicherheit durch Softwarequalität’ Event erwartet.
Sebastian arbeitet seit 2001 als Chief Technology Officer bei der generic.de AG aus Karlsruhe, die auf die Entwicklung individueller Softwarelösungen mit Microsoft .NET spezialisiert ist. Er ist Experte für nachhaltige Softwareentwicklung und etablierte Clean Code Development als Unternehmensgrundsatz innerhalb der generic.de AG. Seit Beginn seiner beruflichen Laufbahn ist er als leidenschaftlicher Softwareentwickler mit unstillbarem technologischen Informationshunger aktiv. Aktuell beschäftigt er sich mit Azure Cloud Entwicklungen, Machine Learning und Blockchain Technologien.
 

Wer kann am meisten von deinem Vortrag profitieren?
Dieser Vortrag ist speziell für Entscheider entwickelt. Auf nicht technischer Ebene werden wirtschaftliche Zusammenhänge von innerer Softwarequalität und deren Auswirkungen aufgedeckt. Wer die Gründe erfahren möchte warum viele Softwareentwicklungsprojekte scheitern sollte diesen Einblick nicht verpassen.
Was sind, deiner Meinung nach, die drei interessantesten Fragen, auf die wir Antworten erwarten können?

Was ist Innere und Äußere Softwarequalität?
Was hat Bad Code für wirtschaftliche Auswirkungen auf mein Unternehmen?
Wie kann Clean Code Investitionssicherheit in Software herstellen?

Warum denkst du, dass dein Vortrag relevant für die Business Community ist?
Er hilft zu verstehen warum viele Software Projekte scheitern oder über  Zeit zu teuer werden.
Was ist deine Empfehlung für Unternehmen die darüber nachdenken in Clean Code zu investieren um langfristig eine höhere Softwarequalität zu erreichen?
Just do it!
 

 
Leaders in Tech

Leaders in Tech ist eine globale Community für CTOs, CIOs, Head of IT und andere führende Positionen in der Tech-Industrie. Gegründet in München konnten wir die Community bereits in Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Berlin und Reading etablieren. Als nächsten Schritt möchten wir die Community in den USA ausbauen.
Wenn du eine Führungskraft im Tech-Sektor bist, kannst du dich hier mit “Leaders in Tech” aus etablierten und / oder innovativen Unternehmen austauschen, um Best Practices zu besprechen, technischen und methodische Fortschritt zu diskutieren oder einfach Menschen mit den gleichen Interessen und Herausforderungen treffen.
Zu finden sind wir bei (der) generic.de software technologies AG, Zeppelinstr. 15, 76185 Karlsruhe am Donnerstag, den 29. November um 18:30 Uhr bis ca. 21 Uhr.

Is the role of CTO broken?

Are the financial benefits of becoming a tech contractor upsetting the traditional career progression and creating a shortage at the top?
This challenging question has prompted numerous conversations within our Leaders in Tech communities.
When we ask this question of engineers  –  particularly those with more experience in smaller companies  – they imagine a sort of ‘super Tech Lead’: a very senior engineer who is going to lead the technical direction of an organisation.
So what exactly does a CTO do all day?
Answers to that question from current CTOs have included:

Working with commercial stakeholders (CEO, board, investors), to identify the commercial roadmap over ‘x’ months.
Working with product owners and business analysts to develop a realistic product roadmap that supports the commercial roadmap.
Identifying a tech roadmap aligned with product and commercial roadmaps.
Negotiating when you realise the commercial or product roadmaps are unrealistic because of technical constraints. Note: negotiate, not “tell others it can’t be done”. Negotiation skills are critical.
Figuring out how to structure teams, line reporting, process and cadence within the technical team.
Getting the balance between feature development, BAU and technical debt/bug quashing right for the commercial and product culture within the business.
Keeping up to date with changes in law that have impact on technical roadmaps.
Preparation and negotiation of budgets to be spent on tech staff – salary budgets often have to be treated differently to others.
Preparation and negotiation of budgets around technical operations such as hardware, service fees (data centre, cloud, etc.), software licensing, patent licensing where appropriate, etc.
Validating all of the above with senior management and board members, mostly using the language they are most fluent in: finance. You will spend a lot of time building spreadsheets and slide decks, and you’ll ideally need to do basic interpretation of a balance sheet to keep up.
Communicating the above with shareholders and future investors whilst giving yourself enough margin to not get fired if it doesn’t pan out.
Setting cultural tone for the technical team. All of the below contribute to that, but ultimately you are going to set the example. The kind of behaviour you choose to reward is what the team will eventually value.

Notice, there isn’t much engineering going on here. Depending on what’s going on within your company, it’s unlikely you’re going to be spending too much time working on product, and it’s worth expanding on that:
In very small companies, you are going to have to work on the product directly. In larger companies you won’t have time to work on the product directly.
Leaders in Tech | Berlin
Join us on Thursday 18th October for the next instalment of Leaders in Tech | Berlin, a community for CTOs, CIOs, VPs, Heads of IT and other senior technology leaders to get together and discuss current tech trends.

Jason Franklin-Stokes – interim CTO with 30 years of successfully creating, building and growing technology start-ups in Germany, France, UK and US – will be discussing why the CTO role is dead! (or at least dying out). Are businesses demanding faster time to markets and user centricity? Is this shifting a focus from Tech to Product. Why do companies need a CTO? Or even a head of IT? If the CPO is the role that everything rotates around then surely the CTO is dead?
If you are a senior level technology leader, this is an opportunity for you to meet with fellow technology leaders from established and/or innovative businesses. To share in best practises, discuss up and coming advances in technology/methodologies & generally connect with like minded individuals with similar interests/challenges.

Austin Fraser 2018 Berlin Tech Salary Benchmark

Austin Fraser 2018 Berlin Tech Salary Benchmark
Austin Fraser, Tech recruitment leader, release its salary benchmark for Tech sector jobs in Berlin, Germany.
Do you know how much you could be making?
We recognise that salary is an important factor when choosing a new role or considering how much your talent, skill and knowledge is worth. While the market is still quite guarded about openly sharing salary information, we’re pleased to release our benchmark salaries available on the market for Junior through to Lead positions, within DevOps, Frontend, PHP and Java/Node.
Use our Berlin salary information to benchmark yourself against your peers, help compare the job market, or even use as a tool to inform pay negotiations and discover your worth.

Technology is evolving quickly and there is a big demand for skilled Tech talent to help deliver the new digital landscape. Businesses need to act fast to stay competitive and companies need the right candidates to keep growing. Technology recruitment is our specialism. We understand the market inside out and can help support your job seeking journey from start to finish.

Austin Fraser secures top 20 ranking in Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200

Austin Fraser secures top 20 ranking in Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200
Celebrations are set to take place across all Austin Fraser offices, following our second consecutive placement in the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200. 2018 sees us come in at 20th in the ninth annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table, which ranks Britain’s mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales.
 
Growing our international presence
How have we achieved this? In the qualifying two year period, we’ve seen exponential international growth, with revenue rocketing up over 115%. Global locations have doubled in the past 18 months, too, opening offices in Berlin, Denver and Dallas. And we have more ambitious plans for Europe and the US in place.
 
Strategic leadership
As many of you will have seen in the media, earlier this year, we announced a significantly expanded leadership team, with the aim to propel Austin Fraser’s organisation’s global growth. At the same time, the business has been developing deeper relationships across our specialist sectors across Technology, Automation, Aviation and Life Sciences industries
 
Strengthening our culture
International growth comes with its own set of challenges. So we were delighted to see other regional players like the Bullit Group and Westcoast in the league table.
We’re a people-led business to our core and have nurtured a culture that supports, fosters and rewards success. As a recruitment partner, our teams are genuinely motivated by a core desire to ensure both our clients’ and candidates’ success. We couldn’t be prouder of every team member for making this happen and look forward to celebrating and thanking everyone in person.

Understanding Developer Typology

Understanding Developer Typology
Ahead of the June Leaders in Tech: Baden-Württemberg held on 21st June 2018 we speak with 1&1’s Matthias Wittum, Head of the Source Center and Christian Rehn, Software Developer in 1&1’s Customer Selfcare Solutions about their highly developed frameworks and models which are specially designed to examine developer typology. Their frameworks and models are proven to support developer teams, strengthen communication and optimise design decisions.
 
Matthias Wittum explains that whilst working with Christian Rehn, they identified how different developers can be when it comes to reaching a design decision and how this has an impact on development teams. We know that developers are unique problem solvers who draw on different approaches, knowledge, cultures, experience and principles to produce software solutions. Developers naturally approach projects uniquely, and the outcome can play to a particular focus or strength. Of course within a development team this can lead to several solutions being found and so the challenge is often finding one team solution or design route.
 
There are enough personality tests out there, but no tests or frameworks based specifically on developers. We felt that some instruments were needed to enable better production efficiency and to help develop teams according to their orientation and typology, so we started filling the gap. That’s how the Design Types Model for instance, came to fruition. It sets out to define developers’ typology via a relatively straightforward base of questions for each developer to answer. The answers provided help classify their typology and then you can group them accordingly. Using this model makes it easier to gain an impression of whether the tasks, the way of working and the environment are a good fit.
 
Here are three Models which we have formulated to identify developer typology, aid better case arguments to reach design decisions more quickly and to help optimise development teams:

Design Types Model – sets out to identify why software design is individual and often leads to discussions with colleagues.
Design Cards – great interactive tool using a set of predefined cards used to aid technical discussions by using proven arguments.
Design Matrix – helps you to examine technical problems from all perspectives.

Read more about these interactive Models here.
 
Ever since the agile movement, technical decisions are increasingly discussed or reviewed within the team. Collective Code Ownership means that everyone is now jointly responsible for the software and as a result, it is important for developers to be able to argue precisely and comprehensively, to be able to put oneself into the motives of your colleagues. With our models, we want to support exactly this and strengthen communication in development teams.
 
Leaders in Tech
Thanks to those who joined us at our Leaders in Tech: Baden-Württemberg meetup held on 21st June 2018 when Matthias and Christian give a complete overview of the developer typology, as well as the Design Cards and the Design Matrix. As a start, to understand the concepts and the overall context.
 

3 Top Tips to Building a Successful Engineering Team

3 Top Tips to Building a Successful Engineering Team
 
We spoke with Florian Gamper, freelance CTO/CIO whose background is in Software Engineering from Enterprise Backend to Web and Mobile. Florian is a speaker at our June Leaders in Tech: Berlin meetup and over the years he has built numerous startups, Engineering Teams and Ventures for Companies like Dr. Oetker, BCG Digital Ventures and Columba. Resulting in projects like Coup (Electric Scooter Sharing for Bosch), Mein-Dach (Community Platform for Brass Monier) or backen.de (Oetker Digital).
 
As a Leader in Tech, we asked Florian what his 3 Top Tips are for Building a Successful Engineering Team
 
TIP 1 – Recruiting and interviewing your dream team
It starts with finding the talent. No longer do you have to wait for them to find you, now there’s a much more bi-directional process where you apply to them directly. This helps both sides engage in a deeper partnership. Be prepared to give your ideal candidate(s) an interesting story behind your company and an explanation as to how together, the projects can help take them to the next level.
Don’t ruin their first impression of your company! Before any interview takes place make sure the right people are in the room, and that you’re set up with a proper internet connection and good video chat system for remote interviews (not kidding … falling out of interviews all the time ruins your first expression … so ditch skype).
Finding and recruiting the right people to build a successful Engineering Team takes a lot of time. Don’t rush the process and if you have the funds to use freelancers for the intermediate, do it, it helps a lot. Never hire in doubt or rush.
 
Now it’s time to build your team.
 
TIP 2 – Cultivating the perfect environment
To create the perfect environment for an engineering team to thrive, the culture, supported from the top down, has to be right. To excel, you need to create a supporting culture with a welcoming and open mindset, which each member of the team needs to be a part of. To achieve this there are three simple rules: you have to build a culture that doesn‘t blame, gives fame, has no shame (it’s ok to admit a mistake) for the team to thrive. Set guidelines within which they have the freedom to experiment and thrive.
Glitches can appear if you don’t have the right processes in place to support your successful engineering team. To help track and record workflow you need to have stable processes in place such as CI/CD, Wiki, Tasks.
Listening, can help you spot the early signs that you’ve got the culture right. People will not only talk to each other about work, but also about their lives and hobbies. Bonds form and they’ll do some stuff together after work, ensure these are never siloed in the engineering team.
 
Never fear to lose the wrong people.

 
TIP 3 – The Future for Engineering Teams
Engineering Teams have to prepare to be more and more involved in production processes. Continuous deployment is a key to fast and steady delivery. In the near future teams will get more diverse in skills and topics as ML and other Cloud Technologies are going to be part of wider projects.
 
 
Leaders in Tech: Berlin
Florian explores this topic deeper at the June instalment of our Leaders in Tech: Berlin meetup, where he shares advice on what he looks for in the ideal candidate and what good teams need in order to thrive. 

Next stop, Dallas: consolidating Austin Fraser’s US presence

Next stop, Dallas: consolidating Austin Fraser’s US presence
We’re delighted to announce our next new office opening in Dallas, Texas, scheduled for October 2018. This move will anchor Austin Fraser deeper in the US market, hot on the heels of our award-winning Austin, Texas office and Denver, at the start of the year.
We’d also like to congratulate Dallas team lead, Alina Brovko, who will relocate from Munich to build the new Dallas team and roll-out our growth plans.  Alina is a brilliant example of the career pathways available at Austin Fraser and our strong ethos of fostering talent from within.
 
How we evolve on the ground
As the fourth biggest technology market in the US, outside New York, LA and Chicago, and a concentration of established Austin Fraser clients located in the city, Dallas was the obvious choice for our third US office. With its flourishing start-up ecosystem of incubators, tech meet-ups and a strong Fortune 500 presence, it holds real potential for Austin Fraser. With our Austin team just three hours away too, it will allow for deeper collaboration, ensuring our networks and talent pools are harnessed for client success.
As with previous locations, it’s important to us that we are embedded in the local community. Our approach is about adapting and integrating, while staying true to our Austin Fraser DNA. We invest heavily in communities, creating longer-term relationships while developing an exceptional pool as well as new career opportunities internally.
 
International growth
This past 18 months has seen Austin Fraser double our global locations, with offices in Berlin, Denver and Dallas.  We scale our international teams with home-grown talent, while building a strong local talent pipeline.
As Alina explains “We’re seeing a lot of our clients with hubs across the US so for this market, it makes sense for us to support as many of those as we can, as we extend Austin Fraser’s presence.  Our business is about how we can help our clients grow. Being on hand, to build real connections and relationships really means that we can specialise as well as play an active part in the tech community here.”
Further expansion plans in the UK, Europe and the US are in place and we’ll look forward to sharing these later this year.

COMMUNITY MANAGER

Community Manager, Denver

About the role
 
As Community Manager you will be responsible for growing a community of specialists with common business interests so they can make connections, share knowledge and learn stuff. You will be integral to the client and candidate experience, recruitment performance and operational excellence of Austin Fraser.
Developing and nurturing local, connected communities for sharing, learning, attracting talent and finding jobs requires a mix of creativity and tenacity. We need someone who knows what it takes to build something from the ground up, who treats the job as his or her own business, and who thrives on learning daily.
This is an excellent opportunity for a self-starter. You will deliver end to end multimedia marketing activities to your given sector and be the expert of your community, understanding the intricacies of your audience and the market.
Key responsibilities
Marketing

Owning, planning and delivering the marketing strategy for your community in line with overall business strategy
In collaboration with the regional business unit and the global marketing team, commission, curate, publish and promote content assets such as but not limited to blog posts, interviews, white papers, news articles, videos and infographics.
Responsible for all project phases from research, planning, review, publishing, evaluation and distribution.
Create meaningful local strategic partnerships with organisations & individuals that will drive revenue and brand relevance to Austin Fraser
Identify opportunities to optimise content for higher performance and measure impact. Provide reporting and analysis on results and recommendations for improvement
Identify, create, plan and execute educational, professional and personal development content marketing initiatives based on community members’ needs and requests
Evaluate new trends and tools to support content marketing and provide recommendations on how the wider marketing team can leverage for increased analysis, efficiency and enhancement.

Community building

Your goal is to prospect, build, grow and manage a community. Work closely with the entire team to meet and exceed recruitment goals.
Acquire ongoing marketplace intelligence by researching trends and best practices, reading business publications, seeking out learning and development opportunities and utilising internal resources.
Connect with local organisations and attend networking events to promote Austin Fraser, the community, identify potential members, and engage other networks into our community
Grow the community by cultivating new relationships and regularly setting up calls and meetings to promote the community and Austin Fraser.
Identify and develop relationships with potential community members and proactively gather information on their needs to identify how Austin Fraser could help them achieve their goals
Identify and execute opportunities to connect with new and existing community members and other networks
Recommend best practices to the Senior Community Manager for the benefit of the broader company related to member experience, content initiatives and events
Support the Senior Community Manager in making strategic decisions regarding the operational and financial performance and process optimisation of the location

 
Experience & Requirements

Educational and/or professional background in Business, Marketing or other related fields
Ability to operate in an agile, fast-paced environment, where risk-taking and an entrepreneurial approach is encouraged
Experience working with high-performance teams to drive explosive growth
Excellent interpersonal and networking skills
Experience and a flair for presenting to prospective businesses and individuals
The determination to pursue potential leads and build strong business relationships
Strong oral and written communication skills with the ability to distil information and communicate using brief, simple language.
Strong organisational skills with the ability to multitask projects through from start to finish
High attention to detail.
A process-oriented approach to content marketing through phases including goal setting, research, planning, commissioning, quality assurance, publishing, evaluation, and optimisation.
Excellent sense of design to direct and approve designs from the design team that fit a high level of presentation standards.
Solid understanding of web metrics, digital analytics, with the ability to generate, analyse and interpret data.
Ability to manage and oversee multiple projects across multiple lines of business.

 
To apply, please get in contact with Natasha Teskey, [email protected], +44(0)1184676113