This month’s ChaiOne Employee Spotlight is on Joe Southern, a Manager of Engineering at ChaiOne. As a Manager of Engineering, Joe is responsible for managing a team of application or front end/back end engineers that are responsible for the organization's development projects. He works collaboratively across the organization, assigns and allocates team resources, and sets the delivery schedule to meet client requirements. He provides technical support and direction for team members relative to the development process.
Here are some of Joe’s thoughts on being a ChaiOne Manager of Engineering:
Can you describe a typical workday?
I’m pretty old school so I rarely work from home. About half of my day is developing iOS applications for a top ten Fortune 500 company. My development tasks are dictated by Pivotal Tracker and most communication is done through HipChat or face-to-face. This part of my day can consist of writing code, reviewing code, demoing builds to clients, working with both engineers and designers, and meeting with the project manager.
The rest of the day belongs to my managerial duties which can include touching base with engineers, participating in sales calls, project estimations, and writing statements of work (SOW).
Did you always want to be an engineer? How did you get into this field?
I always wanted to be an engineer. When I was young we got a computer that didn’t come with a mouse, a GUI, or even the Internet, but I played games on it and eventually started writing programs of my own. I have my BS and MS in Computer Science, but working and creating is where I have learned most of my skills.
What are some important traits that engineers should have?
I feel that engineers are like sharks that have to constantly move to breathe and survive. Engineers need to continuously learn and grow or they will be left behind. If you want to be an engineer, the majority of your knowledge comes after you graduate.
Attitude is a huge component of being a good engineer. You have to work with other engineers and other teams so don’t let your ego get in the way. You have to be thorough and be able to complete something 100%. You have to attack large problems by breaking them down to smaller problems. And finally you have to be able to help others and to ask for help.
How would you describe the ChaiOne Engineering Team?
ChaiOne has engineers that are highly motivated. We’re not afraid of new technology and are constantly ahead of the curve. The Engineering Team is an egoless community that works together and creates awesome things. We all care about the code/products we put out.
What things have you learned so far at ChaiOne that you would tell a new employee?
ChaiOne is pretty unique - the reason I came here was because of the relationship between the designers and engineers. There aren’t too many places where you have the dynamic that we have here with researchers, designers, and engineers working together to create products that transform companies. It’s very collaborative. We think about the users here.