Chicago tech leader share their secrets to making time for their teams
Tech leaders have no shortage of items on their to-do lists, which can make it hard to carve out time to spend with team members. Team and company meetings provide designated face time, but many leaders take things a step further to ensure their people — especially junior team members — are getting the support and guidance they need. Here’s how.
GoHealth builds technology to make it easier for people to find the right health care coverage. VP of Engineering Jeff Gutierrez said he stays in touch with his team and their work by reviewing code and switching up where he sits.
How do you arrange your schedule to stay close with your team?
I carve out time for regular one-on-one meetings. These meetings are valuable to have on the calendar because they ensure I can talk with team members about topics that may not come up in daily conversation, such as their career goals and aspirations.
”I’ve learned so much about coding and problem-solving from my team.”
What other strategies do you employ to provide support and guidance to team members?
I have resisted having a personal office and prefer to sit with my team. I like to roam around and usually sit next to the individual or team that I’m currently working with on a project. I do this two to three times a day, so I’m rarely at my desk! My team knows I have an open-door policy. I’m also always available for drive-by conversations.
Additionally, I review code. This is not an expected task for someone at my level. However, I find that reviewing code is the best way to coach data engineers, software engineers and data scientists. While in the trenches with my team, I am able to provide real-time guidance and better ensure each team member’s daily tasks align with both GoHealth’s goals and their personal career interests.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from a junior team member?
I’ve learned so much about coding and problem-solving from my team. But, more unexpectedly: I’m a bit geeky with wines, and I recently learned from one of my team members that there is such a thing as honey wine and that it is called “mead.” It is now in my shopping list for the next time I drop by Binny’s.
The original post is available at https://www.builtinchicago.org/2018/08/22/how-chicago-tech-leaders-make-time-teams