Lu Saenz, VP of Engineering at Auptix

Lu is currently a member of our SAN2 forum based in San Diego, CA.  If you'd like, check out his LinkedIn profile here.

Give us a quick introduction to yourself: 

Born in LA, studied computer science at Caltech, moved to silicon valley in the first heyday, 1999. Worked at Oracle; after a year, our VP left to start Salesforce.com, others left to start Webvan, and some of my teammates left to go work at a new little startup called Google. I stayed, but transferred to San Diego because I missed the warm water and weather of southern CA. For a while it was my dream job -- high tech job but living a block from the beach in Del Mar. Wasn't until 2007 that I figured out I prefer smaller companies and startups.

Describe the path you took to landing the role you currently play at your company.: 

Left my 8-year career (ultimately as a lead software developer) at Oracle to take on team leadership roles at startup companies. New chapter in my career, in many ways like starting over. Dove into books on management, leadership, psychology, business strategy, agile methodologies, and eventually discovered Lean Startup. Led two startup product development teams through growth and then acquisition, now trying again at a 3rd.

What would you say your greatest challenges were before you joined 7CTOs?: 

Communication (especially strategic) with upper management and peers in management, in the face of competing priorities and lack of focus. Creating alignment within organizations.

Did your membership in 7CTOs have a direct impact on these challenges?: 

Without a doubt. The excellent facilitation combined with the peer support has helped me get a lot better at what I do, and often uncovered things I should be doing.

What do you love most about being part of the 7CTOs community and forums?: 

Meeting and learning from my peers -- real substantive networking.

What do you hope to accomplish over the next 6 to 12 months?: 

Continue to lead small and passionate teams to achieve their goals, and learn and grow myself by doing so!