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In this episode of the CTO Studio Podcast, host Etienne de Bruin sits down with Jorge Valdivia, the CTO of Fleetio. Jorge shares valuable insights on how his team handles software development, the role of engineers and product managers, and the importance of investing in people. He delves into the strategies and processes that have helped Fleetio stay ahead of the curve in the highly competitive world of software development.
Jorge is the CTO at Fleetio, a fleet management software company that helps organizations track, analyze, and improve their fleet operations. Fleetio helps fleets track their own vehicles internally, and also helps with compliance reporting. Rather than doing the work for the customer, the platform helps users unlock the full potential of their fleet management.
- The company has around 40-50 engineers working on two main products: a web app for fleet managers and a mobile app for Android and iOS.
- The teams were initially divided by discipline (web, mobile, internal tools) but it wasn’t scaling well, as mobile was always trying to catch up with web. As such, they reorganized the teams around domains of the system (Fleet Maintenance, Fleet Operations, Core Team) with developers from different disciplines working together towards the same goal.
- Fleetio adopted an Agile approach, with product managers running the day-to-day execution. Goals are set at a quarterly level and communicated down to teams. Product managers do customer discovery to understand what to work on.
- Engineers and product managers have different perspectives and goals, with engineers focused on the present and product managers focused on the future. This can lead to friction between the two groups, but it can also be beneficial in terms of balancing out different perspectives. The CTO may only need to intervene in individual cases.
- Fleetio’s early history and its founder’s belief in remote work led to its remote-first culture. The company tries to pretend like everyone is remote, even if they work in the same office, to maintain a remote-first culture and encourage communication.
- The company places a high importance on the mental well-being of its employees, and works to maintain psychological safety and communication to ensure that employees are comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns.
- Investing in people, whether through professional development or personal interests, will ultimately lead to a return on investment in the form of happier, more connected employees. Managers should be attuned to the well-being of their employees, proactively offer support, and invest in their growth and success.
- Some clients ask for SOC 2 reports as part of their due diligence process, which can speed up the sales process.
- The security team reports directly to the CTO, who is also responsible for cross-functional communication and business process optimization within the organization.
- The CTO must focus on strategic initiatives and coach others on how to work with them in their new role. Etienne points out that value stream mapping is a powerful tool for the CTO to facilitate conversation within the organization and create value for customers.
“Investing in people is one of the most important things a company can do. It’s not just about hiring the best engineers, but also providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed.” – Jorge Valdivia
“We view software development as a team sport, so we try to bring all the different players together to work towards a common goal.” – Jorge Valdivia
“For us, that’s really the interesting problem: it’s growing from that company that is a system of record and maybe just storing your data for you, versus being a company who’s helping you get really deep insights into your company.” – Jorge Valdivia
- Fleetio helps companies unlock the full potential of their fleet management.
- Investing in your people leads to happier, more connected employees.
- The CTO must focus on strategic initiatives and coach others on how to work with them in their new role.