Matt is constantly pushing the boundaries of what the engineering team at Coassemble can do. As Head of Engineering, Matt makes sure the platform’s ship stays upright and on course.
Matt fields our communications for the engineering team to ensure projects are on schedule and updates to the platform are successfully delivered. A lover of language and the great outdoors, Matt is always on the move whether it’s outside or online.
1. As the Head of Engineering, what does a typical day look like for you?
I typically wake up quite early to sync up with teams in other timezones and will spend an hour catching up on communications, so I’m up to date for the day. After this, I’ll try to get out for a morning run before my local team wakes up.
The Engineering team starts the day with Agile/SCRUM stand up meetings to review the status of projects and plan the day ahead together.
For me, the rest of my day is filled with communications, DevOps and technical support. Some of our larger customers require technical support, so I work closely with Customer Success to assist our customers. I like to fill the gaps with writing code that is convenient and isolated enough to warrant a short turn-around. If I want to have a more sustained focus for the day, it does require planning ahead.
I strive to field communications and delegate tasks at a level that enables my team (of incredible developers) to create awesome features uninterrupted. In line with this, as the Head of Engineering, I ensure that new releases are ready on time for testing, approval, and deployment into the app.
Outside of work, I love to keep healthy and active; I enjoy getting to the beach, cycling and playing basketball in particular. I also love creating: cooking, gardening, and carpentry are the most enjoyable ways I spend my free time. I also very much enjoy using and developing virtual reality, where I’ve had professional experience in previous roles.
2. The tech landscape is constantly changing, what resources do you pursue to stay on top of current industry news and trends?
There are a few sources that I like to use to stay on top of new news like:
3. The development team is largely project-work based, but the team you currently manage is a mix of remote, and in-office staff. What tools do you use to ensure all your team has visibility of projects, and encourage effective communication?
We use a range of tools for specific types of communications in the Engineering team:
- For by-the-minute communication, the mainstays are Slack and Google Hangouts.
- To manage project communication (including source codes), we use a suite of Atlassian tools, but JIRA and Bitbucket are the main ones.
- For customer communication, Intercom is an indispensable tool for managing customer relationships and for keeping in touch with our Customer Success team.
- For infrastructure communication, New Relic is invaluable for telling us what is going on with our infrastructure in real-time.
4. What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a career in software engineering?
Resourcefulness, initiative, and persistence are just as important as effectively working as part of a team.
Study hard, iterate fast and be as technically excellent as you can, but always remember that your work has to fit in with real people in order to succeed.
5. During your time spent at Coassemble, the Coassemble app has undergone some major changes and a huge face-lift. Are there any challenging updates you’ve worked on that you’re extra proud of?
When I started working at Coassemble, I began as a full-stack developer. As the business and team have grown, I was given the opportunity to move to the role of Head of Engineering.
I’m extremely proud of the team we are building here; it’s a lot of hard work but it’s also a lot of fun. The most rewarding and fulfilling moments of my day are being able to recognize the effectiveness and harmony within my team.
It’s hard to pinpoint a single feature or update that I’m most proud of. Everything the team creates is produced with provide, and we are always looking at ways we can improve. This drive is what really motivates me.
6. You recently visited our new office in Denver and spent some time there. What are your top 3 favorite things about Denver?
My top 3 favorite things about Denver would have to be:
- The People: It felt like home in this way. The tech scene is growing in Denver, which is certainly a big focus for us. I love the idea of being so close and having the opportunity to collaborate with other leading tech companies is a definite plus.
- Architecture and Culture: As I had never previously visited Denver, the architecture and culture in Downtown Denver was something I really enjoyed. I had some great tour guides from the team to show me around Downtown, it definitely appealed to me.
- The Rocky Mountains: Of course, the landscape in Denver was a massive highlight for me! Although, I didn’t get as much time as I’d like to explore.
7. If you could learn to do something really well, what would it be?
I think it would be to master a spoken language other than English.
My mother can speak two languages fluently, though she never was able to pass this knowledge down. Having studied programming languages over many years has given me a strong appreciation of linguistics.
To me, spoken languages are more of an art form than a science, which is appealing.