Cultivating an Environment for Developers – Advice From’s CTO

Like all technology-based companies,’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 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, 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”

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