1 min pitch for what you are doing now
As the Director of Engineering at HubSpot, I oversee HubSpot’s growing Dublin engineering team which develop a number of HubSpot’s core products including our email tool and mobile application. This year, our engineering team in “DubSpot”, as we call it, is working on a brand new, core product line called the Customer Hub. This is HubSpot’s first Customer Success product and we are thrilled to be building it right here in Ireland for our 30,000-plus customers worldwide.
Given that engineering is a predominantly male-orientated profession, I am deeply passionate about diversity in the tech industry; about growing/promoting positive engineering work cultures and being an advocate for women and minorities who want to pursue programming in their careers. Company culture is a core business priority for us at HubSpot so I consider a key part of my role to help create an inclusive engineering culture both internally, and externally through speaking events, blog posts, and workshops.
How was the last year — what worked well, what didn’t move as quickly as you would have liked?
The last year has been an incredible one for DubSpot Product and Engineering- we’ve increased our headcount by nearly 50% bringing the total team size to 80 people. What’s great is that we’re not just hiring quickly, it’s that we’re hiring really great people quickly. We’ve recruited for specialised skills including UX researchers, machine learning infrastructure engineers and modellers, as well as engineers, product managers and product designers to help us build core parts of the current HubSpot product. Between the new Customer Success product line calling DubSpot home, and the new machine learning projects we are taking on, it’s been a truly exciting year for our team.
I think we’re able to grow as fast as we do because of how our teams are structured. Our engineers work in small, autonomous teams that own one part of the platform. This makes it easy for them to collaborate with their product managers and designs without dependencies. Like any growing company, we run into problems of scale but having a “no process” process for development has really helped us stay focused on the end customer.
What are your plans for the future?
One of the most exciting developments, amongst the many is the engineering of HubSpot’s latest product – Customer Hub. HubSpot was first a leader in the inbound marketing software space, then we launched a sales platform a few years ago, and now, we’re moving into the customer success space. We hope to one day not just help our customers do better marketing and sales, but to help them grow their business across the board. We have two teams working on that new product that will be launched later this year.
We are also investing heavily in the areas of Machine Learning and our Mobile Development team. We have a lot of incredibly interesting challenges to solve in 2018 and are excited to be doing these from Dublin.
Can you give a brief taster of the 404 event and what your/Hubspot’s role will be?
In partnership with Tech/Life Ireland, 404 London is a major international tech recruiting event to be held in London in February. The event offers an opportunity for tech companies in Ireland to meet and hire international tech professionals open to working and living in Ireland.
HubSpot is delighted to be partnering with 404 London; we love the work Tech/Life Ireland has done locally and think they are ahead of the curve in thinking about how to attract new talent across Europe. We’re passionate about the Irish tech scene and promoting its growth in other markets, particularly London where the bar for engineering talent is high, so this event is a perfect fit for us. Our goal in sponsoring 404 London is to expand our tech network, but it’s also to learn from some engineering leaders. I love that the event covers such a wide scope of topics from front-end tech to DevOps, and I’m excited we’ll have the opportunity to both present about how we think about development and culture on the main stage and in a lightning talk, but also to connect with attendees and have our team learn from them throughout the day.
What inspired you to attend it?
For HubSpot Dublin, we will be hyper focused in 2018 on expansion, continuing to develop the best product, and building a world-class engineering culture. We can’t do that without the best tech talent. 404 London is an amazing opportunity to connect with top engineers, understand what types of technologies they are excited about working on, and understand how we can continue to promote Ireland as a hub for technology. We’re grateful for these opportunities and for the work Tech/Life Ireland does to keep Ireland top of mind for technical talent. We have been keen supporters and followers since the beginning, in fact, one of our developers, Maja, is profiled on Tech/Life Ireland’s homepage!
Which influencers and websites do you follow to keep up to date with the latest developments?
Lots. It’s important to me to stay on the pulse of new innovations and technologies. I read everything from Techcrunch.com; Thenextweb.com; Wired.com and Medium to blogs from the likes of Paul Graham, Scott Hanselman, David Walsh etc. as well as our own Dharmesh Shah, who in my mind is a technology (and social) visionary.
How can people find out more about what you are working on?
The HubSpot Product Blog is where we write about topics of interest to us from Engineering, to Design, to Product Management and beyond. You can also get a real sense of how we work and what we value as a product team. We also share a lot about what’s going on with our team on our HubSpot Development Facebook page.
Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?
We have recently been voted as the second best place to work in Ireland (behind Facebook) by the Irish Times, which is an incredible accolade considering our size. There are so many amazing companies to work for, and so this is quite humbling for us. HubSpot is a very special company, in that we build amazing products that bring value to our customers but, we also are renowned for our amazingly positive work culture. This is something that everyone in the company works hard to maintain and grow. To get more of a sense of our culture, visit the HubSpot Culture Code, which has over three million views on Slideshare.