Adobe Director of Software Engineering
The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business BA, Management Information Sciences
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How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Feb 12 2020
Okay, so this is This is be kind of long, but we'll get started. Uh, So thank you for having me on and bring me this talk. Um, I'll start with. So I graduated 25 years ago, um, from the University of Iowa and that and I was in school. I said, I got it. I got a job out of Iowa in Chicago, benefits consulting firm in suburbs Chicago. And, um, time I interviewed a handful different places, and I took the first offer. I got, um, just because I just wanted to get a job and want to get Thio the pressure of interviewing, you know, kind of just be done. And anyway, so it was a good job. Was in again, was in Chicago. I was in Iowa. So was a nice, easy, you know, not far from where I was at. So ah, long story, short is is I would take the job to be a programmer. Did a lot of programming in cobalt time. Um, and even then, you know, in the mid nineties, the lot of you know y two k programming a comb over what u k problem coming. I knew that future was not what I wanted. I did. Coppola's was not, and it wasn't interesting to be a school. I started looking around and figure out like, What do we want to do? You know, within the company, I was at a lot of opportunities. And so I want, you know, a tie knows what I wanted to something technical I really enjoyed, you know, solving problems with computer. And that's what I wanted to do. But I didn't want to do it, you know, the technology was working on. And anyway, I literally would get, you know, the want ads. Chicago Tribune. Just kind of looking back the pages in psychic. What? What's a good job out there? What's pain? Really? Well, what I wanna do and kind of zeroed in on Oracle time. Been nineties. Oracle was really hot technology because Oracle seven for started them, but nothing but nothing about sequel eyes. My my skills were all on See Pascal, even job I was starting to learn, but it and that obviously Kobol in relational databases. And so, um, uh, you know, I was always kind of had a pretty good work ethic, you know, work. I always was kind of the Yeah, make sure the job was done. And then I was one or in. So when the opportunity eyesight when Nothing in my job, you know, historical. I took my classes. I found a night class in Chicago that, you know, 23 times a night. I think it wa ce I took some classes, and I text. I learned I learned what databases think, chloroform. But we're for it to kind of the entire oracle development. Sweet. And I just kind of just learn on my own, um, and a two class, and so do many job in the after the day, then at night, working, take taking night classes. And then, you know, when I got done with that, you know, I went back to the office, and it wasn't It was just a coincidence. It was kind of a nice coincidence, because it was that, um, the girl will see at the time I got a job. So we're gonna be Can't you see the way she got it? She went to graduate school in Kansas City, moved to Kansas City, and I thought, Well, you know what? I'm gonna take this brand new Oracle skill said I got to see if I'm gonna die with it. Interview to go places in little behold, I did. I got a job, you know, no experience whatsoever, but they need an oracle developer, and I got a job on that anyway, logo that oracle end up taking. I worked at a couple a couple years in a place in Kansas City on And then, you know, the nineties boom was going for the dot com bubble and I got some friends who were starting to come working at a company in Seattle. Media Oracle developer Oracle. They knew they knew that buzzwords that Hey, you want to come out here? So I moved to Seattle and it worked at a company called classmates dot com If you could, maybe two. They call themselves the first social a social network on Probably was, but anyway, did a lot of work on Oracle. There had a great great time doing it. Um, and I worked a lot of really cool people. Andi, working in a start up. You get a lot of responsibilities. You get from product management to program management to parliament and all kinds of different, you know, different skill sets. They're in different, different tasks and opportunities. And I My my personal work ethic has always been pretty strong. I don't know where I got it from. It certainly wasn't something that, you know, I looked drawn. You know something? I It's just something. I was agreeing to me that I was wanted to work hard and make sure that the job was done. It that right? You know, I always had kind of a name nose for like, making sure that that's just a how my job was impacting my current project. But how? That project is also back in business. It was something that was important Next, you know, especially working at a start up. I wanted to start up to succeed. And I wanted one of the business to do well for personal reasons, for what I had invested in it and stocks abstinent. But also it was just interesting to me. I want to know how my direct what I did every day, how it contributed to the success of the company and, you know, and that led me to, you know, work really hard. I was young. Did have a family on. And I was able to put a lot of hours in my twenties. Um, and my people who work with saw that And, you know, that was something that they they they like There's something that they want to be. I also kind of a natural leaders because of that, You know, if my appears working to something, and they are, you know, it wasn't You know where I thought the direction need to go and work with them. And it is kind of the natural usually came out of me that way. And, you know, my boss saw that and, you know, eventually became, you know, you know, I was actually doing a man's job before exit got assigned a man. It's just something I do need a report to my boss, you know, kind of basically made up disposition like, Hey, you know, what we're doing is just kind of took a natural leadership role within the tea and not to a point where is, like, you know, the people I would step on people's shoes. I was always very respectful and very careful, like, you know, that the work as a team that was also a victim to me. Was like I didn't know. Didn't wanna have, um I wanted that it's a team. Wasn't happy. Wasn't working together. We were gonna get We need to get down and get a lot of different skill sets. And everybody was important on it. And I wanted to make sure that all that was that we weren't I wasn't rocking the boat that way. Way pulled up. I was asked to be a manager. You know, Is at the time I was No, no self respecting engineer wants to manage your way. Always worked with people that you know in and manage with it. That's something that we're different reasons thing that you want to be that person. Anyway, I ended up doing it for different reasons. The here and I found it actually kind of enjoyed it exit because we already kind of doing a job. And I was just getting compensated for it was mostly able to also program, so I kind of made a kind of a hybrid, you know, I'm going for and even the stick still programming. Even if the director level adobe another stop between is a program to get your hands dirty. So which is cool? So But anyway, that's how I got there. You know, being a senior manager. Classmates actually ended up doing the startup from Narrow at Seattle of the co founder of Ah, a tech start up there. Uh, that started going sideways. I got contacted by ago Beauty to be a director of imaginary. It's time I didn't know what the new Todd thought I was gonna be, you know, in Seattle and, you know, did about three months of interviewing. Um and I won't even sure I want a job, which is one of the questions is like, you know how to do, um, get here. And so when you're doing her job, you don't even know you wanna hear about like, you really have a pretty good gay. I start up in Seattle. I was very happy with, but I went down this path kind of reluctantly, and I even told my boss who hired this time was like, I'm really Do you know, don't get too excited about that. Might not even want us to just really just kind of And I was being very transparent, but it was too transparent. But anyway, I don't really well on interviewing process. Gonna offer. Um, and my wife and I my daughter time aside, like a cz didn't make a lifetime of Stan's gonna Yeah, let's do something different. I wasn't, You know, there is a time. Let's just do something different. Let's get out of here. Uh, so moved A Utah took this position and have been your nine year sense on I really would enjoy it went up.

What are the responsibilities and decisions that you handle at work? Discuss weekly hours you spend in the office, for work travel, and working from home.

Based on experience at: Director of Software Engineering, Adobe
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Feb 12 2020
So what I do on my day job is basically I have to kind responsibilities to two areas of Look, someone is managing up to my my my leadership, which isn't a lot of BP since senior directors, then a managing down, which is which is I like doing much more, which is working with my engineers, especially my leads America, Tex, and making sure you know, when I manage down my normal response What is that? I have three teams since I work with them all very closely. That came in and manage down is they can sure the right people working on the right things. You know, I met a micromanager. I'm not gonna I'm not gonna too far removed from, you know, text. Actually tell them, you know, what do you want to? But I make sure they're the right people and make sure that those people are going to wreck Thanks. And they trust me, I trust them or bury theirs. Not things that they can't tell me when things are going sideways. You know that they can tell me, and I want them to get it on blocked, You know, try to correct that. You know, make sure we can get things done on time and whether it's removing resource is around or talking to different people and tell them that their products are going down to get this done. You know, you know, basically kissing babies and shaking hands. Make sure that, uh, getting at them. And then there's the managing up. You know, that's that's a working that's a little tricky as Faras. It's not black and white as far as I can. Getting things not It's more of making sure that my team communicating up, what might he was doing, what they're doing well and more importantly, what's not going well to make sure that they're not wise to make sure that they have information that when somebody else comes to them, they're not ambushed and that they have the right information. They also have the right story, like why things are iconic. Why are we taking an extra to execute a project down? When she went down two weeks ago, let him like the risk that air their you know, do that. Um, you know, there's also, you know, I spend more time, you know, PowerPoint excel in outlook, and I do in 90 which is kind of sad for me because you believe you like program still. But, you know, managing up is critical. There's sort of public speaking point. It is exercised the most. I don't know a lot of exercise a lot, but you have to become it when you get to move up. The chain is getting from people and organizations and communicating, you know, with our point. But they are communicating. What's you know, what's working, what's what you're doing. What, your strategic with what strategies are you working on? Going forward? What are you doing it, then how you gonna differentiate yourself and why are we How are we thinking outside the box? And how are we thinking outside the competition? You know Toby's competition to solve certain problems, and so, you know, it's kind of most of what I do all day. A lot of meetings I work, you're my teams were concerned is a sign of a lot of remote. Teams. Also see people working from home someone a video conference all day, but basically doing just that. A lot of communicating and I'm blocking and making to braise, work and write things Uh, yeah, I have a lot of work 50 hours a week now, you know, in the office and then weekends and evenings. I've always got me in front of me making sure that it's black, making sure that, you know, there's nothing that you know, people way. We're a global company, you know, people, Romania, and yet working, working closely. So I want you to know I want to make sure that, you know, you have questions. I'm available. Um, but, you know, also, that was pretty good about work life balance to when I was two kids at home. And that's when I was younger. I, you know, I would burn around it Works certainly work more hours I'm gonna do to a but I certainly making sure that, you know, if I'm meeting them their off hours, we have people that are on my team. The younger people that were like me in your twenties, you know, they were They work a lot, They know something. We asked him to do that. They just have a passion for what we're doing. And, you know, like we're at Mr Coming in this morning. And there was a couple guys up for a corner morning on Monday morning, working on a problem that they just couldn't let go up. And it was kind of cool, but also kind of sabotage that they I worry about that because they get burned out, but they tell or an ex enjoy it. But it's something we don't ask of and my bosses and asked me to work more than 40 hours. But succeed you have to go above and beyond what asked, So we do what we do.

What are the job titles of people you routinely work with inside and outside of your organization? What approaches do you find to be effective in working with them?

Based on experience at: Director of Software Engineering, Adobe
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Feb 12 2020
I worked with a lot of obviously my peers, a lot of directors. Ah, a lot of I also got a pro product managers, you know, because I'm the one who's basically in charge of what my team to do. And so you know me and making you know, explaining kind of lay their case out. Why would we need it was important, but my responsibility is making sure that my service is air up and running and stay up. That's my boss. I Lucien's telling me, making sure that we don't go down. It's my number one priority and so broad managing one new features obviously come to me and say, You know, we try to find that balance, you know, between stability futures. So work with a lot of those guys were also work with, You know, a lot of architects and my leads team leads. Other team leads a lot of collaboration across Steve's, and so I'm working a lot of really smart technical people, but also a lot of smart product managers and also engineering managers. A man approaches the work with them. I don't know. It's kind of tough answer. It's you just you just be yourself. You know, you can't bullshit people. You got to make sure you give him, you know, you could make a commitment. You make you make sure you hit it. You don't just gotta be honest with them, you know, work with them, let them know why. Um, and you know something that said that, you know, working with people more closely with them, and you could establish trusts, you know, And it's more of that stuff you gotta do outside of work. You know, you got to go outside and its activities or you won't have a drink your dinner with somebody or just spending time with them outside of work, establish trust. And so they could come to you and say, Hey, you know, I need something from me, or I need something that I need something from them, you know? You know something like that when you have some outside of work and you trust them, you might go. You You will definitely go and give them more and get more by having kind of a relationship with them. So highly encourage Zach, Um, and you know, work well with others because there's people that you know that I work with that are necessary fun to work with. And I'm not gonna go the extra mouth of people to do extra extra things to them. So just, you know, make sure that you have your list of people that definitely bar.

What major challenges do you face in your job and how do you handle them? Can you discuss a few accomplishments?

Based on experience at: Director of Software Engineering, Adobe
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Feb 12 2020
so the biggest thing that challenges my idea, what daily are no demands and resources of the man I have somebody I was, you know, fixed resource pool in an infant or demands. I mean literally every day. I have a new top priority with my teams, and you know my challenges again to make sure that we stay focused on the right things, that I shield my teams from most distractions and knows those crazy demands that come in. It's been a challenge, is is you know, how do I work with the organization to make sure that we are working on right things and we have to deviate with what we're working on? How do I make sure that you know a team you know doesn't get frustrated and make sure that, you know, how do I shield them from a lot of lot of that? So that's me working a lot, you know. You know, it's it's not easy. It's not a black and white. It's a lot of, you know, a lot of conversations. It's a lot of, you know, changing priorities and, in time, boxing, different thing to get a few things out, you know, to make sure. Uh, yeah, that's that's just more of Ah, it's more of an organizational thing. I think depending on helping the company is. But that's the biggest talent I have is making sure that we can get everybody. Get the things we need to get down with the little never resources hearing that accomplishment. Yeah, that's boy. Well, you know, my teams. You know, we have releases every month. So accomplishments are like Rita release notes about that. But you're making my team's accomplishments. And when we look back and say, Yeah, well done, is is when we can actually get something from a customer and the customer and we get what really makes my team smile. And you know, we feel good as when we get feedback from our field and you're talking about a future that built, you know, that a customer has, or when we see a demo on stage at a conference on all the hands where it's something that we built. And you know there's people we've never been seen or met before, who are using something that we built and talking coolness. So those are the things that we know that that actually make you know, coming. Coming on the job everyday. Kind of worked that happen often, But, you know, it's certainly three times a year, doesn't it? Stossel? Yeah.

How do you inspire and motivate your team members? How do you foster creative thinking? How are ideas shared and implemented?

Based on experience at: Director of Software Engineering, Adobe
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Feb 12 2020
good question. So it when career, especially for something out, like all my guys are relatively young. I got I Shouldn't we have a few senior people? Uh, you know, everybody wants to be compensated. Yeah, a market value ever. Compensation is what? You know how you reward people, and that's how people want me. That's how you motivate people. But unfortunately, you know, the market is this blistering hot on, and there's only so much we can do to keep up with the market. And in any company, all the people, all of my peers, I talk to you. It's I don't be. Everybody has the same challenge. How do you, you know, any any engineer working in our skills and our space can go get a job tomorrow making $10 more? It's just a fact of life. You got to start up another big company. Go. There is just so keeping them. How do you keep them happy, if not content, without being without giving everybody raises every six months? It so it's a challenge. But how did we do that, you know, is one is opportunity. How do we give them opportunities and working something that's gonna grow the resume. I have a lot of conversations with my especially other people, especially, you know, they're working really, really hard, like, you know, you're building a resume now. I mean, I'm very, you know, I'm not naive, is I've been doing this for 25 years. I know the people that I've hired on a college aren't gonna be here 25 years. They're gonna there, and I would be the almost disappointed they were. They need to go out and see your things like I did most of the people that you need it experiences and figure out what works. But I want to keep them as long as I can. And one of the ways I keep them is by putting working on ritual technologies. Like my team works on a lot of big data stuff, you know, they work on, you know, python a spark, do Kafka. A lot of big data technologies, Really a demand kind of the world wasn't known. I mentioned earlier when I was looking for something. You know, what we're working on is the oracle today, like in his big date of skill sets, and so they know it on, and they're working really hard on it. And now we make sure that they are working on. We have open source technologies to one of the one of things that we're working on now is iceberg, which is us, this Netflix meta data file framework that we're using. We have people treating you that now, and they really like that, you know, they know, and they all recognize that contributed to open source project is also very big, You know, you get your career and so we give and we give him time for that. We make sure that they wait, actually rotate. Make sure that everybody gets to put things that are gonna make the resume shine going forward because making again we're not naive, but we pay pretty well. But again, everybody thought I was gonna race. So opportunities. One other thing Is this a couple storm? Things like, you know, a flexible schedule. Like, you know, I'm very people Got no work life balance when you worked till four. In the morning. One day, the first thing he take Friday off. Get out of here. You know, anybody has appointments in like that? No PTO, we don't scrutinize that. We make sure that contributing and we only keep in Ojai particulars like we make sure we have a very pretty good hiring process. We got like, a lot of people. We have a good team, but solid tain. But we make sure that you know that work the work, life balance as much as possible that we've got great opportunities. And it also recognized, you know, we encourage our team to go to conferences. And, Michael, speak it like, you know, spark world, our sport summit. Get in front of all hands. Tech summit here. There will be worthy Get on stage in the Kate. You guys did X y z, you get up there and talk about it. Get some recognition. You know, one of things that you knew that you know, a great career, especially a big company like adobe is is to build your brand. You know your name like Oh, that's that spark expert works on that. You know, on that platform project over there, you know, getting getting recognition. And you know, whether it's you getting on stage and presenting or, you know, we also you know, me and my other manager that commanders work from you recognizing them, they can show They get called out on, you know, when there's an all hands like saying, you know, I haven't even demo or some like that. You know, people like that they like, you know, getting recognized for hard work, that todo a star is like, you know, creative thinking. And how did you get any ideas? You know, it's pretty good about, you know, fostering, get open sores and things we call garage every now and then we have is where basically we stopped the bleeding won't stop the factory, you know, and, uh, assembly line on all the stuff that we're building and we go into in a week and we just work on anything we want anything, ideas that we've been thinking about it. Call it garage. Wait, let's have, uh But things were kind of relevant. We're working on like you just had a week. You know, there's not enough time, time and resource for things want to do and actually think outside the box and do POC is griffin conflicts and do different things is do that most of time. Our team will get off hours on her own time. Really figure. So we try to get him, you know, we could get recorded where they can actually spend do cool stuff. And, you know, doing a POC is and no, not every time. But often times those postseason Broadway projects end up getting about product. That's pretty cool to do that. So, uh, again, there's no really any rules on Dr Week. It just like that. Something relevant to know, halfway relevant to what we're working on. It doesn't have to be with my team working. I didn't go participate with the u I. T. If they want to do that, I want to participate with, you know, the deal that we work with other customer probably do that. So you try to get together, think outside the box that way. That's can it wait. Boston New ideas. Yeah,

How do you set targets for your team members? How do you measure their progress? How do you incentivize them to meet their targets?

Based on experience at: Director of Software Engineering, Adobe
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Feb 12 2020
Yes, so we don't targets. Are anybody with Target objective every year like it's a real challenge, you know, objectively. Measure someone with targets every quarter of a year. It's hard because it's based on opportunities to get. And a lot of times, you know, we have things we gotta do. So we used a lot of times we used to have targets like a someone's alone scholar this year, or like a they want, you know, we want to get, you know, are coming counts or some other bogus thing that it could be manipulated. You know, these numbers, they're really not. Not anything that's that's reliable and also measurable. That has any company that has any kind of measurement, how they're going successfully for the year. So we don't really I I my teams. I don't have ah, bullet listens that this is your targets this year. What I do with the conversations we say more. Well, I'm looking for the awkward, looking for the extra effort contributions of a leadership. I'm looking for impact and contributions the overall projects, and I'm not gonna be able to emotionally I'm not gonna be able to quantify and say 123 but not 456 I in my team scrambled eggs every day. I have a meeting with most teams, you know, multiple times a week. I know who's continuing in and how they're contributing. You're not contributing after something that maybe, you know, work on. You know, we have a cover set re away. We don't wait for 1/4 check, and we don't work for an annual check. And we have a conversation right then and there that we'll have a conversation about. You know what's working? What's not working? How can I help? Um, you know, most people have very good reasons why they're behind or why they're not succeeding for where they are. Well, we're very aware of my career, but it has happened where we've got to coach people out where it was just about fit model. Take your own pace. But most of time it's like, you know, give me 110% effort. Uh, Kate was based on on track. When Aaron track and just do the best I can and go the extra mile, I'll see that I don't need, you know, a measure that will see that. That's how that's how I work with my teams

What qualities do you look for while hiring? What kind of questions do you typically ask from candidates?

Based on experience at: Director of Software Engineering, Adobe
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Feb 12 2020
this. Isn't this a good one? A good question, because ah, first talking my team. So when we hire engineers, you know well, usually get a candidate pool. We said that we have talked about 10 engineers. Um, and my role is is pretty easy. Like my my ill me with the candidates, you know, 30 minutes. See him beforehand, Making sure one that that, you know, 30. Whatever you can get out of a person in 30 minutes, which isn't a lot, making sure that they're, you know, they're presentable, that they articulate, you know, just, you know, are aren't mouth breathers, like, you know, just kind of our trip of themselves, you know, getting the door. Ah. I also talked about you know what your career path, what they want. And I know it, you know, like we don't really know. I didn't know in my twenties when he wanted to do I didn't want to be a manager. Still, actually, but, um, they talk to making sure that there's a career fasten his Athena's a fit for. And then I said to my team, You know that detective interviews, you know, they're my team's pretty good about you know, kind of hammering. And what what's good? Good questions? A whiteboard question. Who said you know anything that you know, a typical interview stuff that you see online? Web? Um and I don't say we have 10 people we talked to, you know, about 40% of Bergen A, You know, A said they're all gonna pass the detective. You owe it to the top level. Cannot say about 40%. And we're gonna really do well, you know, this should we gotta figure out? Well, how do we we'd goes last four out, and that's where it gets, You know, that's what gets tricky. You know, if there's a referral, anybody's work, that person before they could speak to their work ethic and whether that how they are to work with that goes a long way. But it's like, How do you do an interview like you can ask the questions, But, you know, we make eye contact, Do you smile? Is it somebody want to work with every day, like, you know, just look at this person like, you know, what would that person be fun to work? It was a long, you know, if you're kind of like, you know, kind of introverted, kind of staring at the floor. But you're right now, the Fibonacci sequence, you know perfectly. Yeah, a primitive job, but no, we don't wanna work with you. You're gonna want to buy. You have fun. You're gonna be a miserable bunch with you. Can't you? Go? Team was a lot for the top skills like that. You know, those those are those are important. So I feel like I'm going to go on interviews, special technical ones be engaged, you know, Smile, more contact. It's just little things like that. There's things also like one of the we heard a girl a couple years ago. A woman I should say, you know, And we could tell from, you know, I talked to her at the career fair. Really? Will Sharp, really proactive begin home. Really, you know, really confident, which is, you know, I could tell to get anyway. Long story short is is that we were not interview with her, and she's just killing it. And then we had this extra credit question. We kind of bonus question one of the guys throughout her and you know, she she was wakeboarding it, and she paused for about 15 20 seconds. It's really thinking about okay, don't worry about, you know, we're good. You know, you Dante was extra credit. We can move on, and she's like, No, no, no, Get this. And she just cause me. And she stopped staring at it and she was just, you know, ensure lonely Holding. About five seconds later, she figured out and she answered the question and to turn around a little smile on her face. And she knows she nailed it. And it was, you know, we all make it. We knew beforehand you got a lot of other that basically that person. Now, that determination, we could see it right then and there were all like, Oh, yeah, she's just were looking at her and And she had, like, 45 offers, and somehow we got lucky. And we got her because she actually really enjoy that. And for some reason, but things that were, you know, you go above and beyond. What you going to those think about? Like, you know, how do I have someone else is gonna ace this interview home? I got a different shape myself because someone always willing they look more than likely are also under a center. So how do you stand up? Yeah.

What was the hiring process like for your job? What were the roles of people who interviewed you? What kind of questions were asked?

Based on experience at: Director of Software Engineering, Adobe
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Feb 12 2020
Uh, yes. Oh, my God. I'm mentally earlier. My I got a call when I was in Seattle. You know, Dobie hated interested, you know, looking for recommended for advertising solution time. Um, and again, I wasn't interested. I wasn't religious. It'd probably want too much about the shirt. Anyway, when talk to my wife at home said, Hey, yeah, this Adobe wants is interested in director of engineering, but didn't find out. I was in Utah hair, her eyes got Utah. She's like you. Yeah, the weather. And she was sick of, you know, the Northwest. And she went to get out of Dodge anyway, so she encouraged me to kind of talked him anyway. So anyway, long story short time met with those with three month process. It blew out, like twice. I believe I meant, um, all of my bosses Piers I love hurt her up. It appears all of her direct below her. So I'm, I mean, basically had interviews with a lot of work Teepees and probably, uh, 68 senior engineering managers and directors. Uh, the questions that you know all over the board. It was basically my experience, you know, a lot of scenario questions, you know, they want to know. You know, had I been in a situation where a customer was, you know, up sad or, you know, that they'd be desolate. How do I handle it? The director level. There's Maur external communication. They were kind of gauging me is how I would do it knows. And so, you know, it was It was a great it was reprocessed on your part because I'm meeting those people. They were smart people, and working with smart people is always kind of invigorating. It was kind of encouraging when I went to that was like, Man, this guy's a sharp down here, you know? You know, I was talking away like I did see. Believe it or not, I actually might be interested. In essence, up I end up getting, you know, taking a job, And, uh, it was nine years ago, uh, like to do so good

What are different entry-level jobs and subsequent job pathways that can lead students to a position such as yours?

Based on experience at: Director of Software Engineering, Adobe
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Feb 12 2020
um uh, So everybody no one's gonna hire anybody Where a school is a manager to do. It's probably a startup, and somebody's got some kind of German leaders. So it's gonna be you're gonna get it. And, you know, you also wanna be in the ground level and you want to understand which job you're gonna eventually manageable doing. You need to understand what challenges are. You know what works, What doesn't work. Um, And when you get to be, you know, and then find me like I did You just work your way into a leadership position. You know, if it's a good company, you know, it's a good it's a good you know, hierarchy structure. You're not gonna hire you to do a job and then have you do you're going to see you doing it. So if you want to be a man, you're gonna be a leader. Just do the job. You don't wait for someone to give it to you, see the opportunity, take it and then, you know, eventually say, I've already you know, one. You do not recognize what I'm sure you will be. True to say, we're not doing that job just, you know. Now let's make it formal, given that title, just take the job. You know, um, you know, and there's an instant work, people, outhouse, a lot work, you know? And I think that's you know, what got me where I am today is it was just that, you know, I was never the smartest, best program in the world. I could promise you that I it was one of those engineers. I was kind of just get the job done, but no down my code, like a bowl of spaghetti at times. But it worked. But I reckon that I knew that. And so But, you know, when I was out work people, I can always, you know, stay later, say longer that that's not necessary what it is, it's against that working. It's, you know, getting stuff done early. You know, when your job expected to get it done in two weeks and you get that in a week and 1/2. You met this is that it goes a long ways when you get when you asked for the story's gonna Sprint said it like giving excuses. Why your existing stories that done? You know going on Barbara mignon and being every other your peers kind almost getting pissed at because you're the shit kick and asking out working people is something that, especially young, is something that gets noticed by the hunters. I'll say, you know, I also low maintenance. You know, people can our self directed itself guiding like I have ah mention I have a lot of I'm very, very busy. My manager is very busy. Uh, no. And my too busy. So the quicker you can get up itself, you know, walk on your own and be self directive and taking doing things on your own. It was a long it goes a really long way. So that's all I gotta say. Like you want to get in the management t. I know. And I'm taking you know, it's just just do the job. I mean, it will come. Youhuh?

What were the responsibilities and decisions that you handled at work? What major challenges did you face in your job?

Based on experience at: VP of Software Engineering, AdReady
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Feb 12 2020
Yeah. So I was a co founder with three other people. It already there's too technical people myself in another, another guy. And there's two uses people, and so we'll go to the Fort Bliss. We, uh this is back in the early two thousands of 2006. Think we started? Um, we really got me that we got funding from BC with a powerful part. We have occurred. We get an idea we had It s 01 of the guys ever. Um, you know, he had a lot of experience to miss the main experience in space. And he worked with Erik and I then too, technical founders. And he knew we could get a job down. We could just, you know, when we're now that we get, we build what he want to get built. So anyway, so we started. We waited that I think we started having some sort of four people at the depth. I think, like around 78 her height, um, in the story is it that we end up selling for pennies on the dollar and B. C's didn't get paid out? We had some challenges growing the business, but back to the question over my responsibilities. It was, you know, one. Make sure that obviously, what we're building you know what? What? The DCs and what the leadership need. It was We're building a building It correctly Attn. That time, you know, I was also contributing, you know, you know, 70 hours a week program, you know, and BP was more of a one in four people they just gave him. Really? But it was basically for another baby title, and I grew up. We grew into the engineering team about 20 people, and I was upset leading that team and making sure kind of like a new day, making sure the right people will write things communicating to, you know, everybody interested. No, bc board meetings. You know what we're doing? The challenge to be had, how we thought we could cut costs grow, you know, scale. You know that there were two things that are constantly asked How do you cut costs in scale with your contradictory So those But if you don't sometimes very, very challenging, But it's possible. So that was kind of recital. Is, um major challenge we face is a job boy. You know, it was back in Seattle of time was keeping weight. Build our second ruby. And so we're starting a company. And keeping Ruby programmers was a challenge. You know, that's one thing I learned is like I ever started company again. It's never gonna be with the hot technology is gonna keep eating your job. It's gonna be fun if I could get you get a little you know what's worse In two years, I'm not gonna get the hot new technology because it's really challenging. Maybe that's what people do. You know? Why not technology to find your horrible find your spark Because, uh, find your room because those are there in demands. But that was it isn't making sure we could kick the right people and, um, getting would you execute what we need to get down? No.

How did the program prepare you for your career? Think about faculty, resources, alumni, exposure & networking. What were the best parts?

Based on experience at: BA, Management Information Sciences, The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Feb 12 2020
So, uh, one had a great time. Neighbors. I went just a college experience itself, you know, just the well rounded. This is it just, you know, learning a bunch of different things. You know, the program. Like I had a double major and finance and exit and my ass command information systems at the time on. And so the mice classes were basically kind of looks like a Erika was looking to trade. I was learning, you know, I learned a lot of programming languages learned, you know, some pattern. I see some, another one of the classes you learn. Um, which is really good. You know that a time. Um you know, when I they all said a really good recruiting program, A lot of lot of got a lot of good employers on campus, got got a really good experience, and you're talking to the people. So I would say, you know, it must have been ever so one of the things I didn't do very well, which I did network. It was not a network. I didn't think about that. And I was I was kind of me. When I got to college, I was like, Oh, I got a degree, like, you know, just get higher now and looking that way. Actually, that actually worked out for me. But that's not how it's my nightie, you know, like rip out, followed by an activity that but in hindsight, you know, since I've gotten out there. So it's easy to get management to get get career pat. I'm certainly networking, and they're talking to people, you know, whether it's a career opportunities you want to go to, or just learning about other experiences and, like how the people deal of things is critical university. I had a great They have a great alumni association. I participated, you know, not as much as I should or could, but paper spade. And there's a lot of, you know, smart people doing big things in space from Iowa. But I would say that I probably neglected that, and I was getting my degree, something I probably you know, regretting little bit I have ever met in my career. But you know, not not having a bigger university bigger love my network. I think, uh, I think having that I know there's people here in Utah from Iowa and I got gone to liking about lunches and stuff. You know that. I love my association here, and it's pretty cool, so But again, I didn't do that when I was younger, okay?

Would you like to share something that is not on your resume? This may include your passions, facing setbacks or adversities, a unique experience, or an unexpected help.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Feb 12 2020
boy. My resume said things that if I was a go of it, I would talk about kind of we talked about before. Um, you know that a SZ faras What? What's that? I'm a resume that you can't see that again. It's It's more of the work ethic. I can't emphasize that enough. Like, you know, when you hire people that people who won't work the other ones, they're the ones that succeed. And I never I just listened. D'oh! A podcast with the Bob Iger around the city of Disney, and he mentioned that was like something that he he had to use is born with, like he just still work ethic that he hasn't got it from. It was something that you just agreed in them, and he just outlook everybody. He's opposite CEO Disney. I'm a director of engineering Adobe. She studies got a little work ethic that I do. But I will say that you know your career, you won't you will not be disappointed by the results of a career by people. I mean, I was saying, I'm not I was not even a top half of the program. Why were people could have programming all there. It's all right way more elegant code. Oh, much broader range of technologies. And I did. But, you know, I could use it at work, and I could just solve those problems eventually, too, but not as not as graceful, elegantly and not at the plant may take 10 times more code. What they took, but not a great wasn't a great programmer, but again, my work ethic. I think it's what you certainly got me where I am today, hopefully keeps me going.

Do you have any parting advice for students and professionals hoping to get to a position such as yours? What 3 dos and 3 don'ts would you suggest?

Based on experience at: Director of Software Engineering, Adobe
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Feb 12 2020
public is for his advice. Three things the first would be always think like a CEO. You know, not think holistically about what you're doing and why you're doing it. This comes back to why are you working on a project you're working on and what's the impact it's gonna have? And if you have questions about that, ask, ask, you know, and think about you know, if there's things that you see even a perfect you know that you're working on your Peter asked questions. The wife works. You can never ask. Sarah never done. Plus, that's it's a kind of a cliche. But actually, Riel think I could see you. Like why? What could you know? You were the CEO of what you're working on. What would you do that? Why would you do it better? Um, you know, if you think about, like, this is your company that your project, you're working on something that you know will put food on your family plate. Why are you doing it? How come you get better? Uh, and I think that everything, Every project to work on your job itself. You're the CEO of yourself in kind of a tenement as like you know, no one cares about your career more than you, you know. So, uh, you need to make sure that you're getting what you want. You know that your career path is where you want it going. I as a manager, I have, like, 20 people that work for me. I don't want their careers as much as I should. Not very much like I have a very, very busy, Um, what their careers for about, you know, a couple of couple days a year younger. Second scene apart. We have a conversation, but you're thinking about it, you know, 36 5 days a year. And if you're saying that you're that aren't working for you or your career path, you know you need a man who knows about it, where you needed itself correct and make a change in your own, you know? No, I wasn't thinking about my career, my twenties and I got pretty well without it. But there are people I work with who were very very, and I appreciate their very direct about the career what they want to do, You know, their compensation, whether it's the project, they're working out whether it's the opportunities they have manners. It's not manage it here. They're very, very direct about it. And if they're good enough, we make one of the way we make sure they're well given that up. And I say good enough like I'm not gonna do it for someone who's doing status, schoolwork, you know, someone you know, they're putting 40 hours a week leading a forfeit tonight, every day and, you know, barely getting your story is done or not getting your stories in a sprint. I'm not gonna go for it. You know, I could find some liken they're doing just enough to keep your job. Next time, I'll make sure that their career where you know, I could find someone off the street, you know, Great. How about talent pool that could easily replace them. But if you're on working people and you're busting, you know, bust me, but on your expectations that you're delivering more than expected, we manage him. I promise you your Manta team, they will scramble it if you're not happy or not on a path of wanna go talk to anyway, I was kind of, you know, it was you know, always. We think like a CEO, you know, manager career, like it's your own. And, uh, what else is there? Anything I say is like, you know, make sure what you're working on is mission critical. Mick, you know, they're especially the company. If you like your job, you like a job. You know, there are times especially during, and I've been through a couple recessions where, you know, cuts after look around, like, are you that How do you make sure you're not that bottom 20% that someday that might have to get cut from, You know, if there's any kind of like cutbacks appears, he's gonna I Didn't you measure yourself first appears to make sure that you're not just looking or they'll say, like, you know, just don't be the slowest one in the herd. Um, is next year not the slowest 20% here? It makes sure that you're assembling and working on things that would be very difficult to replace. Like, you know, you have a domain knowledge. You have a expertise in a particular service or something. You're golden. Make you make yourself invaluable. Make yourself you know everything. You come in You know, I think it got HR came and knocked on my door today. You know what would I be surprised, you know, and making you make sure that you have something that you really that the company that you can have bowed to the company and they see it, recognized it. Orders like things that, um is it the three don'ts? Um, just don't medical status quo. Don't Don't be that 9 to 5 guy. Don't be that one. He does just enough to keep your job there. You know, we don't have very many one of the Gobi, but every company worked with There's a few that you see, Megan, it just enough to keep your job. Uh, don't have been skin. You know, there's people. There's things that would get setting down in the workplace. Whether it's direct criticism, I say, Chris, um, Brett feedback especially. You know, my teams, they like you were times there could be complications, you know, good and bad, you know, And, uh, you don't We don't encourage competition working in the work environment. Oh, but at times, you know, they're stressed and your things get up. I don't have the skin you know, there's just just to one of the things going on in the workplace and work environment that where you're sensitive and you're things did you get? You know, it's feelings her quickly. No, you just buckle up and just, uh, nothing. Don't think any personal, but we didn't like you are. You won't like he would be there. So and last, I guess, would be. Don't stop mourning. There's You know what? I was told they were going global 25 years ago. You could look at cab now, for better or worse, this is a career path that you guys have chosen that demanded. You keep learning. There was a new technology literally every other week that you know, the source. Private something. You know, we started this project. I'm currently working on a deal with a big thing of years ago. Now it's spark, and who knows what's next? There's You've got to learn that you gotta be able to be on top of it. You got come at it again when you bring these ideas open source to, you know, to the team. It's awesome when you get that when you get to be kind of an expert on that to get the respect that Millet Cornu. But there's, you know, if you're not learning your dying in this field, so obviously, keep learning and spending every time. Read Blog's reading. Open source projects contributing. Um, keep keep your credit limit a lot on what you're learning because that's you can never wear enough.