Cultivating an Environment for Developers – Advice From UE.co’s CTO

Like all technology-based companies, UE.co’s backbone is our team of developers. In the era of innovative technology everywhere we look, attracting and retaining developer and engineer talent is a must. I sat down with CTO, Keola Malone, to hear how he cultivates an efficient working environment for his team.

Describe the UE.co Tech Team Working Environment.

Keola: “It’s inviting and collaborative. Our developers aren’t tied to their desks or to set concrete schedules. When I meet new candidates, I often hear about dev shops where uninformed management tries to control when, where, and how you develop and what languages you develop in. At UE.co, our work environment is structured in a way that allows anyone with good ideas an opportunity to run with it — or at least be heard and validated.”

What are a few critical aspects of successful management?

Keola: “I like to make sure that our developers are always engaged. A fundamental way of doing so is taking preventative steps to combat is complacency. I have regular conversations with the developers to make sure no one feels stuck at a point where they’re not feeling challenged by what they’re working on.

All the developers here are talented in different areas; they have unique strengths and also unique weaknesses. I’ve found success from a management perspective by asking each developer, where they want to be both department-wise and professionally to not only magnify their strengths but grow in other areas by learning from their teammates.”

What are challenges you face while managing the team?

Keola: “It’s also important for every team member to be in a place where they can work together without disrupting speed to market or deliverables. Finding that right balance and including time for the developers to be free and creative is also a challenge. We work Dev Days into the sprints, afternoons of trying a new restaurant in San Diego or participating in a fun activity like go-kart racing, to give them a chance to let loose and bond as a team. However, it is challenging balancing these Dev Days with the business side and schedule of UE.co.”

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