How To Build, Lead And Maintain A Cohesive Tech Team

Jeff Eschbach is CEO of Page Vault Inc. Page Vault software enables lawyers to easily capture webpages (social media, corporate websites, blog posts) for use as evidence in US courts. With one click, webpages are archived exactly as they appear online, key information about the webpage is automatically stored and an easy-to-share output file is created.

screen shot 2015 08 31 at 3 41 10 pm1 How To Build, Lead And Maintain A Cohesive Tech Team

page vault inc, jeff eschbach, software development, tech team, tech, management tips, advice for small business owners

Jeff Eschbach
(Photo courtesy of Jeff Eschbach)

screen shot 2015 08 31 at 3 41 10 pm1 How To Build, Lead And Maintain A Cohesive Tech Team

Prior to his current role, Eschbach’s background focused on high-tech innovation with leadership positions at Motorola Research Labs and Intel Japan. He has earned seven patents related to cloud-computing and holds advanced degrees in both engineering and business.

 

What has been the biggest challenge you have had in your business?

screen shot 2015 08 31 at 3 41 10 pm1 How To Build, Lead And Maintain A Cohesive Tech Team

One of the largest challenges we faced at Page Vault was creating a highly effective software development team.  Simply hiring a number of independent, competent coders is a far cry from building a cohesive team. Without strong coordination, developers can often create features that do not align with the overarching product vision, and their individual components are difficult to integrate. Further, without a clear leader, it’s difficult to detect and fix complex tech issues when no one person may be responsible.

 

What have you implemented to overcome that challenge?

screen shot 2015 08 31 at 3 41 10 pm1 How To Build, Lead And Maintain A Cohesive Tech Team

The key decision was to identify and hire a CTO who was experienced in team management. This did not necessarily translate into a person with knowledge of every programming language ever created – instead, it required someone who excelled at coordinating technologists, driving communication and implementing quality controls. Since joining the team, our CTO, Todd Price, has introduced simple processes to guide and track what each software developer is creating, how the code is tested and when new features are released to the public. He also mandated the use of tech collaboration tools (Trello, GitHub and Slack) for easy communication and planning across the team. Finally, he runs bi-weekly “stand up” meetings where all tech team members share their progress to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

 

What are the results after you implemented your solution?

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With the processes explained above, our technologists are now clearly working more closely together as a team.  Each person is clear on exactly what he or she is developing, what the others are creating and how each part fits into the overall product. We’re also able to identify potential software bugs sooner and implement fixes before the product is released. All of this has reduced our time-to-market and improved product quality, which are critical goals for our company.

This article was written by Michelle Guilbeau via Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse. 

 

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