Developing Leadership
Developing Leadership
Creating Alignment in Superstar Engineering Teams with Phil Calçado

Creating Alignment in Superstar Engineering Teams with Phil Calçado

Phil Calçado is the Global CTO at PicPay, one the largest engineering orgs in Latin America. He joins the podcast to re-tell his war stories as an engineering leader at SoundCloud, Digital Ocean, SeatGeek, MeetUp, and more celebrity-tier tech companies.

Here are a few of our favorite moments from the conversation

It's very easy for you to end up with ten different companies inside one, each little silo doing its own thing. Sometimes even against each other. One tool I like a lot for aligning everybody is OKRs. I don’t know why they get such a bad rep.

I don't think you're an actual nerd unless you love an esoteric language for all of its beauty and warts, but that never should make it to production.

I've told people on Twitter very publicly, “Hey, pick a monolith and programming language. Use Heroku or the equivalent and GitHub or the equivalent and literally go about your day.” Don't sit there and micro-decide all these things. It's likely not going to matter for quite some time until you figure out your customer go-to-market model, your customer acquisition, pricing strategy etc.

A lot of our engineering leadership, engineering management, cultural literature, and everything that was built over the last five, ten years, has been "how to run one-on-ones.” Nobody talks about the rest of what leadership is about. It's thinking about strategy, actually thinking about what you're trying to do. And things change all the time. This year has been crazy. The way it started, and the way it's ending. It’s insane. How does that change your perception about how to build, buy and rent software?

I believe 2023 is when a lot of engineering leadership is going to go back to maybe the whole FinOps thing that we've been trying to make happen for years. Maybe it will become a thing, because we’ll need to be talking more about money.

💡 Topic Explainers

💡 Phil’s Blog Post about RFCs

How can you foster a culture that is more accepting and kind towards change?

Phil loves using RFCs (Structured Request For Comment Process) as a tool to propose and get feedback on ideas, designs, and architectures in software engineering. Something which can be challenging when coming into a new organization, dealing with the ups and downs of a startup, or a large engineering org.

This is one the main tools in Phil’s alignment toolkit (which also includes OKRs) and you can read all about the process and how you can do it in your organization on his blog.

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Developing Leadership
Developing Leadership
Follow Jason Warner (MD at Redpoint Ventures and former CTO of GitHub) and Eiso Kant (Founder and CEO of Athenian) as they chat about the biggest lessons they’ve learned about Engineering Leadership throughout the years.