Today we are talking to Travis Kimmel, the Founder and CEO of GitPrime.  And we discuss the difference in leadership for sales and engineering, recognizing patterns of success, and the importance of having an established culture as you begin to scale the company.

All of this right here, right now, on the Modern CTO Podcast!

Travis Kimmel is the CEO and co-founder of GitPrime, the world’s leading Engineering Logistics Platform. As a Y Combinator alum and former engineering leader, he is focused on helping software teams use data to map initiatives to outcomes and bridge the communication gap between engineering and the rest of the enterprise. You can find him on LinkedIn, or say hello on Twitter @traviskimmel.

SHOW NOTES:

  • What is GitPrime?
  • Frustrated by 2 big things, as team scales it becomes harder for you to become a good actor. Predictability.  Other departments had sick data to get the things done that they wanted.
  • Built to create a bunch of data to use on behalf of engineering. Logistics platform for the people side of engineering.
  • Making the intangible tangible.  Weird wizards who get angry
  • Trying to get a really good idea of ground truth.
  • How do I put people where they are really strong?
  • Introversion is not a permanent thing.
  • Out of all industries, engineers get the least amount of focus from talking to melted sand to people
  • Acting as a force multiplier for engineers. In engineering there’s a way that everyone interacts as peers.  When you jump up into management. Status is super important in corporate.
  • The Sufis – Never wrote anything down. Wisdom in the world but not always applicable.  There’s no silver bullets in management
  • A lot of management books are built for sales side culture.  Can be detrimental to engineer culture.
  • LeaderBits – Leadership training and development
  • Drive – Daniel Pink.  – higher the incentive the better they do. Variable compensation on sales
  • Engineering is the opposite – You get worse work when you apply sales pressure to engineering they do worse.
  • Graduated and realized the philosophy plant wasn’t hiring.  Taught himself programming and got identified as most likely manager.  Didn’t have a CS degree. The Manager is the Sacrificial Engineer.
  • The smallest unit of work in engineering is maybe a half day.
  • Running interference and advocating for the team
  • A lot of people underestimate the power of a graph.  Executives learn through slide decks.
  • Our brains are amazing pattern makers.  If you feed it you get a methodology of success.  If you don’t feed it you get a mythology of success.
  • Be in super weird retrospectives.  But it provides information. Get a focused, methodical, conversation for your career.  Why is there fire in the office.
  • Kid talk.  Can’t speak words, but teaches herself how to do things.  Our capacity to learn but we limit ourselves by default – Joel
  • If I’m not learning something quickly it’s because I’m being a douche to myself
  • Threading the needle the first time
  • It’s so frustrating if there’s not resources out there.  Innovation is expensive
  • As entrepreneurs there’s a tendency to overrate innovation.  Time and place for innovation.
  • Joel likes writing and speaking.  The ability to try and get a taste is super important.
  • Floating career transitions as a test batch.  
  • Jacko has a line – Success are typically very slow processes
  • Feedback loops are so long.  First started the company for first 2 years weren’t sure if it was going to work or not
  • Better to train up on an incremental time frame.
  • Talked to Walmart CTO earlier this year, hired 2000 people last year and 2000 this year
  • Punctuated Equilibrium – about 2-3 times bigger than they were last year. Culture begins to play a huge role.  Can’t hire a bunch of assholes
  • Doing more formalized on-boarding for new employees.  Week long curriculum.
  • As you start to hit the ramp phase you go from there’s a new hire to there’s a batch of new hires.
  • You arm people with information to show what’s happening in engineering and it leads to promotions
  • Hybrid company.  Headquartered in a small town.  Initially thought they could be all remote but didn’t always work out.  Works pretty well in engineering and a style of hire that has been in the game for a while.  Give people the opportunity to work in the style that works for them.
  • Awesome as an engineer to have the inability for people to shoulder tap you.  It leads to more written documentation
  • Remote work is for grown ups
  • Good timing for GitPrime Founding.  Investors are starting to open up to the idea of investing in to companies outside of the Bay Area
  • Punctuated Equilibrium.  At a certain level and then you climb to the next level almost instantly.

Joel Beasley

Joel began writing code at age 13 selling his first technology by age 18 for one million dollars. In his first three transactions, he developed key relationships and began working with Investors and Chief Technology Officers collaborating and building products in Real Estate, Law, Finance, and Fitness.

Today, Joel is a Chief Technologist volgging the process of building a company LeaderBits.io. Joel is an author of the book Modern CTO a #1 New Release on Amazon and a #1 Technology Podcast with 70k active listeners. Joel has a clear vision and passion for modern technology, placing him as one of the most exciting Chief Technology Officers to watch out for.

Joel is the President of BeasleyFoundation.org a charity that designs STEM related children’s books Back to the Moon and Princess Physicist. These books are then donated to orphanages, homeless pregnant woman and in-need children. Beasley Foundation was formed in February 2017 after Joel, Mitch and Valerie lost their Mother to Leukemia after being diagnosed 6 weeks earlier. Joel and his siblings wanted to do something unique with her life insurance money and the Beasley Foundation was formed.

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