Today we are talking to Prashant Pandey, the Head of Engineering at Asana. And we discuss the importance of setting context as a leader, Structuring engineering teams to ensure speed with a high degree of quality, and how Asana’s all hands events help shape their company culture.

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


As head of engineering, Prashant leads Asana’s growing engineering organization towards high velocity, sustainability, and quality. Before joining Asana, Prashant started and led the Bay Area team building Amazon DynamoDB, a fully managed NoSQL database service. He also led engineering for mobile advertising start-up Vdopia and worked on storage systems at IBM Research.

Prashant earned an M.S. in Computer Science from UIUC, and a BTech(Hons) in Computer Science from BITS, Pilani.



Show Notes

Asana is gorgeous space
Dustin Moskovitz – Asana CEO has been going to Burning Man
What is Asana – Helps teams work together effortlessly
Makes sure engineering team is working as fast as possible and putting out as good a product as possible
Road Map Week
Investor from Generation Capital is coming in today
300 hours of human effort applied to talk – All hands event once every 6 weeks
Progression of Prashant’s career – started as a researcher at IBM
Jumped from IBM to a startup – needed to move towards shipping a product quickly
Then moved to Amazon – helped build DynamoDB – What AWS is built on
Learned about operational excellence
Think about where the industry is going and not just building for now
Culture at Asana – Wavelength – Magazine that Asana puts out
Ship Fast sustainably
Balance is one of Asana’s Core Values
You learn and then you apply it and then you learn again
Lunar 2
Story of Joel meeting one of the engineers at Asana – Training engineers
Core set of skills for engineers that Asana looks for
What do the relationships look like at the C-Level
A lot of leadership roles end up being lonely
Company Planning team at Asana
As a leader, Job is to always set context
#ABR meme at asana – always be recruiting
5 whys – creating space for reflection
E-myth revisited
Veissman German company 11000+ people and Asana is become a part of the core dna
when you want to do things well there’s a lot of detail and humans are good at forgetting
Checklist manifesto
Advice to your past self – understand why you are doing something – why are you excited about a project, company and then throw yourself in to it.

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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