"The processes where I’ve failed, were the ones I learned the most from"
David Paez, Head of Tech at Stryber, on his definition of success, his biggest challenges, his role and passions.
What are you doing at Stryber? What is your role about?
I am a Tech Team Lead, specifically my role is Lead Software Engineer and Architect. I spend my time making sure that we do the right things in the right way, trying to facilitate my colleagues and thrive to make the complex simple. I try to make sure we work sustainably, that we have a healthy and easygoing work environment. Lastly I am here to support and to make sure that my colleagues have enough room to grow personally and professionally.
Apart from that, I am in charge of technological and architectural decisions. At Stryber we thrive on building awesome ventures, but we avoid reinventing the wheel each time. Therefore I try to define the processes and come up with a toolset that makes us as fast and nimble as possible when we develop our technologies.
What are you passionate about in your current role?
As an engineer, one of the biggest challenges I face in Stryber is the big range of industry sectors that we build the ventures on. Although I gathered most of my experience in Energy related ventures, now I get to apply my knowledge in different domains. This keeps me in a constant challenging and learning state, and I love that!
What makes a good Tech Lead?
Technology is an ever evolving field, and although we try to have a workbench of tools we use, we cannot turn our back on new solutions, tools or languages. I try to create and promote an environment in which the Tech team in Stryber can challenge the status quo and learn from each other. My job is to keep the vision and bigger picture safe and allow the developers to come up with ideas and new methods that might replace what we have been doing until now.
What are the biggest challenges? (in your role, in daily Stryber life)
One of the challenges I face is pouring myself into a specific venture problem and falling down the rabbit hole. I try to divide my time equally between all teams, ventures and decisions, but as a trained problem solver sometimes it's too difficult to look away when we encounter a sexy architectural or technological challenge.
How do you define success?
Success is when we are able to put together a team that delivers a kick-ass venture that is ready to rock the market and scale without any need for refactoring or remodeling. And the cherry on top is when we deliver a sustainable venture with an approach to creating long-term value by taking into consideration how it will operate in the ecological, social and economic environment.
Is there a difference to the “normal” start-up structure, if so what are the biggest differences?
One of the problems I think start-up teams face is finding co-founders or talent that share your vision and are able to jump on the project. Here at Stryber we have an incredible talent pool with experience in different sectors and seniority, but there is a huge entrepreneurial mindset alignment. So we might form founding teams for each of the ventures we build, but we are always in touch and sharing ideas with the rest of the Stryborgs.
Where do you educate yourself to stay up to date in your field?
In my opinion, the best way to stay up to date and relevant as a Software engineer is to talk to your peers and colleagues. Explain the problems you are currently facing and ask them for their opinion, how would they solve them? Do they know of any new technology for this? Here at Stryber we have bi-weekly BrownBag sessions where engineers present their solutions or challenges to the rest of the team.
Also, I like to weekly read articles on different platforms about how other companies have solved their challenges. Medium is an awesome place for this.
What’s your best advice for someone who’s looking for a job like yours?
Location, Location, Location! No, I mean… Apply, apply, apply! Don’t be afraid of taking the chance, from my experience the processes where I’ve failed were the ones I learned the most from. By taking these chances you force yourself to learn and face different problems or questions, and if you really want it, you will learn from your mistakes and nail the next opportunity!