Back to resources

Scaling Teams Through an Unconventional Approach

Alignment
Scaling Team

24 September, 2021

Senthil Kumar

Senthil Kumar

Sr Engineering Manager at Quotient Technology

Senthil Kumar, Sr Engineering Manager at Quotient Technology, recalls his unconventional methods for setting up a front-end team.

Problem

We were first established as a back-end team and then an opportunity to start a front-end team. We started working on app developments for evangelizing the platform, which will enable the internal customers to adopt the medium with an open mind. The problem we faced was that we were having difficulties setting up our front-end development as our current staff were angular-based developers, and the talent pool was narrow. Due to the demand of the market, most individuals in Bangalore were experienced in back-end development such as React or Javascript framework. In addition, many people rejected the opportunity to join us as, at that time, we were a niche. Our recruiters, who were geographically distributed, were using conventional channels for recruitment, and as we lacked experience in the front-end, we faced challenges in setting up interviews.

Actions taken

I worked with the recruiters and focused on approaching talent through unconventional channels. We looked up angular meetup communities and reached out to developer-friendly job portals such as Stack Overflow. This helped us to get the right talent, and we had access to an inventory of profiles. We also participated in front-end-specific conferences.

In parallel, when we could not solve the problem through the aforementioned steps, we would turn to our existing staff, who were talented and inclined towards front-end development. However, as they had to tend to their current responsibilities, we suggested changing their percentages. In the coming weeks, they will dedicate 30% of their duties to front-end development. Within a month, they were comfortable enough to work with remote team members and became productive to work on bug fixes and enhancements. Instead of waiting for external recruitment, we started working with our two staff on fundamental things.

In the recruitment process, we needed to connect the panelists with the mountain view. However, a lot of logistical problems were arising. Therefore, we went through online sources such as Hacker Rank and Accurate Platform to find a solution. Along with that, we switched our approach to our custom day project. This helped us get suitable profiles and describe the content of the work via the one-day project. The interaction with team members was slowly reduced as we would do pairing code review sessions and then usual problem-solving rounds. By bringing in the right external talent, we were also able to upscale our existing two members, who were being groomed for front-end development, up to their level. For non-critical problems which did not require experienced staff, we leveraged our internship programs. In the process, we enriched our relationship with our recruiters and improved the recruitment team.

Lessons learned

  • Always anticipate faster. Be prepared for unexpected situations and try to have a backup plan.
  • Try to have the right mix of specialists and generalists in the team. The availability of a suitable talent base will help make use of a growing business demand in the future.
  • Allow your team members to move around and explore opportunities for growth in their careers. You need to facilitate and grow talents with good training, along with measuring their progress.

Discover Plato

Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader


Related stories

Myth Busting

10 December

Supporting principles on why being data led (not driven) helps with the story telling.

Alignment
Managing Expectations
Building A Team
Leadership
Collaboration
Productivity
Feedback
Psychological Safety
Stakeholders
Vikash Chhaganlal

Vikash Chhaganlal

Head of Engineering at Xero

The Not-So-Easy Guide on How to grow and develop an Amazing A-Team

5 December

Your Org Team may as well be a Sports team. Let's explore how this cohesive, multi-skilled team can be optimized for Great Group Playoff.

Alignment
Building A Team
Company Culture
Sharing The Vision
Embracing Failures
Team Processes
Jaroslav Pantsjoha

Jaroslav Pantsjoha

Google Cloud Practice lead at Contino

How I failed at my startup

14 October

There are nine specific building blocks and functional areas every org/company need to work to launch the product and provide services to customers. How effectively founders tackle them determine the destiny of the company.

Mission / Vision / Charter
Scaling Team
Building A Team
Impact
Strategy
Prioritization
Praveen Cheruvu

Praveen Cheruvu

Senior Software Engineering Manager at Anaplan

Scaling a Team in Two Parts: The Product and Manager

2 August

Viswa Mani Kiran Peddinti, Sr Engineering Manager at Instacart, walks through his experience scaling a team, product and his skills as a leader.

Managing Expectations
Product
Scaling Team
Leadership
Meetings
Viswa Mani Kiran Peddinti

Viswa Mani Kiran Peddinti

Sr Engineering Manager at Instacart

(Re)Organizing Your Teams Using Domain-Driven Design

12 July

A proposal for how to create an org structure that will deliver software systems that you want, not ones you get stuck with.

Alignment
Architecture
Scaling Team
Building A Team
Internal Communication
Reorganization
Ram Singh

Ram Singh

Principal / Founder at id8 inc