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Robert Watts

Robert Watts

VP Engineering at Wonderbly

 LinkedIn profile

Seniority

18 Years

Hierarchy

Executive

Management Experience

Leadership
Deadlines
Team processes
Health / Stress / Burn-Out
Product Team
Scaling Team

Hello, my name is Rob and I’m VP Engineering at Wonderbly, a full-stack publisher of personalised children books, based in in London. I lead a team of ~15 engineers across multiple disciplines focusing on store front + user experience (React), ecommerce (RoR, Solidus) and creative product rendering (our core business and IP in here, using on demand image composition at decent scale). Career in a paragraph: After messing around with code, I co-founded startup in the early 2000s and had the typical CTO crash burn story. After the web 1.0 crash, I then became a software tech lead in another London startup in mid 2000s. Through an acquisition, I moved to NYC for 6 years where I worked at a corporate on their new platform for publishing scientific journals. I then returned to the UK as Chief Software Architect for an agency/product company (aren’t they all), where I led tech direction for dev team of ~100 engineers building mobile apps for big travel brands. Now I lead the engineering team at Wonderbly, which has been the most enjoyable role of my career so far. In my career I’ve been lucky to have been helped by some great mentors - hoping I can pass some of that on!

Sorry, I am not currently available for mentoring sessions.

Stories

Inheriting a dysfunctional team
20 April

Robert was put in charge of a struggling team, who were building a new platform but were missing deadlines. He shares how he helped them to prioritize to provide predictability the business needed.

Deadlines
Reorganization
Team processes
Productivity
Managing Expectations
PM
EM
Robert Watts

Robert Watts

VP Engineering at Wonderbly

Experience

Mentor

Plato

May 2017 - current

VP Engineering

Wonderbly

May 2016 - current

Lead a team of talented & creative engineers working on our platforms that design, make & sell our amazingly personal products. Have learned lots about image rendering at scale combined with personalised e-commerce. Member of company leadership and product management teams.

Chief Software Architect

Mobile Travel Technologies (now Travelport Digital)

Feb 2014 - Apr 2016

Ran software architecture team to guide development for 100+ software engineers. Developed new product POCs, new deployment tech, new software design process, skunk works B2C plays. On site around world with customers to close app builds and product licensing contracts. Led tech track for successful acquisition by Travelport.

Technical Lead/Architect

Wiley

May 2008 - Jan 2014

Worked on digital products such as WileyPlus (higher-ed learning), Online Library (scientific research) and B2C properties such as Frommer's/Dummies/CliffsNotes. Built mobile platform to power hundreds of research journal apps, securing repeat business. Led tech track for successful acquisition of Frommer's by Google.

Lead Developer

Whatsonwhen (now part of Google)

Mar 2003 - Apr 2008

Award-winning travel start-up. Grew to be responsible for tech team, our stack and SLAs. Lucky to learn from talented technologists who have gone on to do great things. Led tech track for successful acquisition by Wiley.

CTO / Co-founder

Weather Index

Jan 2000 - Feb 2003

CTO & co-founder of Web 1.0 dotcom providing weather analysis across different industries.

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