How To Build an Engineering Dream Team

I’ve spent some time thinking about and practicing engineering leadership. I’d like to share my blueprints for manifesting an Engineering Dream Team.

Everyone’s dream is different. Your Dream Team looks different than mine.

What follows is a Systems of Systems approach to create the conditions necessary for your - one of a kind - Dream Team to emerge.

This approach is a distillation from my time in Tech:

  • Apple (late Steve Jobs era)
    • Undergoing a spectacular resurgence with Steve Jobs back at the helm (2004-2008)
  • Startup Founder (crest of the Mobile App Wave)
    • Think Top Down (2009), uApp (2010-2011)
    • Built and shipped 100s of iOS apps
  • Startup Acquisition
    • I led Mobile Engineering at Posterous (YC’08 co, acquired by Twitter in 2012)
  • Twitter (Dick Costolo era, pre-IPO to post-IPO)
    • 8th iOS engineer on the team (2012)
    • Built and led 3 engineeering teams: iOS Product Engineering, Mobile Dev Ops, Influencers Engineering (2013-2015)
  • Supermassive (surfing the Crypto Wave)
    • Leading a 100% remote and distributed engineering teams (mobile, backend, data science) focused on crypto trading insights and automated trading bots (present: 2018-2019).

If you want to get more on my story, you can learn more about me.

The content for this series was incubated over several talks.

  • The first talk was given at the LAUNCH scale conference in October 2017.
  • The second talk was presented at Initialized Capital in June 2018.
  • And now - circa 2019 - it’s available to everyone as a written expression here.

This series is geared towards teams working together in physical proximity. I’ve got another series in the works focused specifically on building 100% remote and distributed dream teams.

What’s presented here is an ideal (i.e a dream) based on lessons learned. All of the ideas I discuss here have been experimented with on real teams to varying degrees.

I haven’t pushed all the these ideas to the nth degree and all fused together. This what I’d start with — as of last of update of this series — when presented with a fresh slate to build an engineering dream team

There is already plenty of great content on Agile out in the wild. The systems discussed here operate on a Meta Agile level. I hope you find it useful.

NEXT> Let’s get started with Systems Thinking.