Hi! I'm Matt. Nice to meet you!
This is a growing collection of my musings and thoughts on my path as an engineering leader. I've grown a lot in the last decade+, and not everything here is my current state of thinking. But hopefully it's useful to you wherever you are on your own journey as a software engineer, a leader, or enthusiastic observer.
Today, I'm the Head of Engineering at Vanta, securing the internet and protecting consumer data, one business at a time. The team is small and already making a huge impact, and I'm excited to be a part of it!
Previously, I spent six years at Dropbox learning a lot very quickly in a crucible for engineering leadership. In the first five years, I cofounded Dropbox NYC and served as its site lead as it grew to be 90 engineers (160 total) owning a variety of mission-critical products and infrastructure. I worked with an incredible group of people building the cultural and technical foundation for Dropbox's first engineering presence outside of headquarters, and it was an amazing experience. In my last year at Dropbox, I moved to San Francisco and led our Application Platform group, which was a deeper technical challenge leading a team core to shipping a number of key releases that year.
Before Dropbox, I built Hoot and a few other things with my business partner, Christina. Hoot was the first mobile app for both of us, and, as with any new technology, the victories were as glorious as the impasses were frustrating. Before that, I was at Hunch (later eBay via acquisition) and Meebo. I am constantly reminded of my gratitude for the mentorship I've received. Much of what I know has come from patient, talented coworkers.
At Stanford, I studied computer science and left with undergraduate and master's degrees. I did my best to exhaust the course catalogue's supply of systems courses, though I may have left a few behind.
As an individual contributor, most of my work has been in infrastructure and machine learning, architecting and building large-scale systems to make sense of lots of data. I spoke on these topics at PyCon 2011 and PyCon 2012. I've also explored the depths of Android development – there are some interesting fish at the bottom of that sea.
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Every few years, I update a document that lists my values, my modus operandi, and a few fun facts. Here’s my latest, written at Vanta in March of 2021. What I value Delivering impact: I want my team to take on important work, deliver it, and take pride in the...
Many people I’ve met professionally are ambitious and crave feedback to accelerate their growth. Unfortunately, these people are often frustrated by expecting and not getting feedback from their manager. Several years ago, it clicked for me that getting meaningful performance feedback is my responsibility, not my manager’s. It’s true that...
*This is an evolution of a prior post about remote work. Many are working remotely now, thanks to COVID-19. I’m assuming this will be more of A Thing™ going forward and decided to refresh my thoughts. Enabling effective remote work is increasingly becoming a requirement successful tech companies. Hiring is...