Podcast: Making Car Hire As Easy As ABC with Marc Roberts

Marc Roberts

CTO at hiyacar

Podcast – Episode 28:
Making Car Hire As Easy As ABC

Driving disruption into the market

For all those who have hired a car, do you think it’s a smooth process? Could it be easier? Well, our tech leader guest from “hiyacar,” Marc Roberts, tells us about how they are smoothing out the wrinkles in this much-needed service. Having been involved in a previous venture that didn’t quite make it to success, Marc shares how the market and driver information systems have evolved enough to make it viable.

With a mission statement with simple and crystal- clear clarity, hiyacar is now on the road to success.

Hiya cars’ mission is to connect drivers to cars when and where they want one.

The industry is full of complexity–a mix of compliance, user interactivity, and not to mention high ticket assets, i.e., the cars. Creating an automated system that serves both the customers needs and those who own the vehicle is essential. What’s great to hear in the podcast is hiyacars strong feedback loops for continuous customercentric learning. And the company’s agility and ability to adapt to compliance and insurance changes. 

Listen to Marc Robert’s wisdom about leading the technological aspect of this venture and how he and his colleagues lead the way to hire cars easy as “ABC…  

Key takeaways from the podcast:
• Running a startup with high ticket assets and keeping them secure
• Getting-out-of-the-way-style leadership
• The power of having a clear mission

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

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Podcast: The Intersection of Culture and Security with Hazel Olivier

Hazel Olivier

CTO at Nimbla 

Podcast – Episode 26:
The Intersection of Culture and Security

Leading a tech solution in the financial insurance industry

In this podcast, we talk to Hazel Olivier, the CTO of Nimbla, a company serving medium-sized organizations’ financial well-being (Insuring their invoices). We also look at how Hazel has been spearheading her career in the tech industry and her passion for security and working with remote teams with differing cultural communication styles–an important set of subjects in this global and interconnected world we all operate in.

Hazel has been instrumental in leading Nimbla’s platform’s modernization while strengthening its robustness. Thus, allowing Nimbla to offer a much-needed self-service financial lifeline 24/7.

Beyond Hazel’s role as a leader, we also discuss her passion for security and why baking it in from the beginning is a wise move. She believes that security should be everyone’s responsibility and something they consider in all aspects of their development and work. The takeaway is security is a dangerous subject to leave until the end of a development process.

“… people are saying the training that’s happening with developers nowadays is they are really good at writing the code … But have very limited knowledge on what needs to be secure and how to do security.”

Hazel’s other passion is communication– in particular, awareness around cultural nuances. The podcast’s discussion shines a light on a challenge that many companies face in the ever-globalizing shifts. People of different cultural backgrounds meet each other in complex work, and awareness around the nuances can increase communication clarity.   

Key takeaways from the podcast are:

• Security! Security! Security! Stop making it an afterthought — bake it in from the beginning.
• Awareness around some of the holes you could be creating in your security walls.
• Leading in tech as a woman.
• The cultural nuances when it comes to the UK, South Africa, and India. 

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

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Podcast: Leading and hiring in the data space with Roy Keyes

Roy Keyes

Author and data expert 

Podcast – Episode 25:
Leading and hiring in the data space

Data science and machine learning leader tells all

Data, data, data everywhere! Sometimes I wonder if we’re going to drown in it all. Thankfully we have a super expert on the subject to join us to demystify some of the reoccurring topics in this arena. Roy Keyes, a data science and machine learning guru and expert in knowing what people to hire for this elusive new field of computing, tells us all in the time we had for the podcast. We got so carried away, it’s a long one. To make it easier, if you want to jump into a particular area that interests you, please use the Table of Contents below.

“As a leader, I think that it’s really important that you help people realize this curiosity and desire to learn, to kind of push them along and kind of help them be fulfilled, in a market where experienced people are the hard ones to find.”

Roy’s book, “Hiring Data Scientists and Machine Learning Engineers: A Practical Guide.” can be found here.
The key takeaways from the podcast are:

  • What is the definition of  
    • Data science 
    • Data analytics 
    • The various roles that gravitate around this industry 
  • Some tips as to how to structure data people within the org 
  • The challenges of hiring the right people for the job 

And much, much more 

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
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Podcast: The tech leadership behind long marketing cycles with Oded Cohen

Oded Cohen

CTO at Nativo 

Podcast – Episode 24:
The tech leadership behind long marketing cycles

Lessons from a complex, fast-moving marketing industry

Oded Cohen, Chief Technology Officer at Nativo Inc, joins CTO Confessions to share his tech leadership style within an impressive, cutting-edge marketing company – a company that helps organizations sell high ticket items with looooooooong marketing and sales cycles. Nativo uses big data and agile processes to connect the brands to the desired target audience.

“If we made a mistake, but as a result we learn from it, and now we’re better and we’re not going to repeat that mistake, that’s fine. You’re going to move fast and you’re going to make mistakes. There’s no other way around it.”

Some of the key takeaways from the podcast are:  

  • How distributing leadership and decisions makes complex development environments more manageable 
  • How freedom, flexibility, and honest conversations help the best creative ideas emerge 
  • The in and outs of selling advertising to premium brands for long-term brand engagement 

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
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Podcast: Learning from Google Engineering and its leadership culture with Paul Lawrence

Paul Lawrence 

Senior Software Engineer at Google Engineering 

Podcast – Episode 23:
Learning from Google Engineering and its leadership culture 

What tech leaders can learn from looking under the covers of Google’s tech world

Here’s your chance to get a small peek under the covers of Google. Paul Lawrence joins us from San Jose, California, to share his story and his work life at this prestigious company. In this podcast episode, Paul share about being selected to join Google, the onboarding process, and then what it’s like to be immersed in the Google culture. Don’t miss this treasure trove of insights from inside one of the most iconic tech companies out there.

“I enjoy technical challenges and doing them is what I’m interested in. Solving technical problems… this is what I’m good at.”

Key takeaways are:

  • Lessons for tech leaders from inside Google
  • An example of onboarding and how you can be quickly offboarded
  • The importance of trusting your engineers

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
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Podcast: A technology leader's needs from a city with James Cummings

James Cummings

Vice President of Business Development at London & Partners

Podcast – Episode 22:
A technology leader’s needs from a city

Driving innovation and growth…The London story

Culture can make a huge difference to an organization’s energy around Agility, innovation, creativity, and synergy with other seemingly unrelated industries. So we often talk about the environment and culture on a micro and macro level (teams and organizations). These always seem to be under the microscope, and for good valid reasons. What if, for a moment, we looked through a telescope at the bigger picture. What about the environment and culture of an entire city?

In this episode, we get to meet and talk to James Cummings, Vice President of Business Development at London & Partners. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he promotes London to organizations, including tech companies, to locate themselves in the UK’s capital city. With all the trappings of success, through a huge pool of creative talent, hotbed of innovation, and strong governmental governance and support, many companies are making a move to London to grow and take advantage of the fertile entrepreneurial soil of London.

“How can cities like London help you take advantage of that global opportunity? How do you find the talent? The customer base? The places that can help connect you to the world? How do you find the cities that constantly reinvent? Those cities of creative energy? Those cities of opportunity? I really think London is one of those cities!”

The key takeaways from the podcast are:

  • Who are London & Partners, and how they can help tech companies and their tech leadership.
  • What are tech leaders looking for in a city?
  • How cities can drive growth through talent, R&D, incentives, and simplicity of doing business.
  • Examples of companies that have located in London and the success they made of it.
  • Examples of relationships between cities and how these can help each other by playing to each other’s strengths.

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
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Podcast: Philosophy of enlightened leadership in the tech space with Alain Briancon

Alain Briancon

CTO at Cerebri AI

Podcast – Episode 21:
Philosophy of enlightened leadership in the tech space

Startup number 5 and leading stronger

Technology leaders sit in an incredibly important organizational seat in this day and age. Their role is to deliver technology and give businesses the capability to compete, innovate, and stay relevant. Our guest Alain Briancon, CTO at Cerebri AI, speaks to this subject on this podcast, in particular, how leadership plays a huge role in how people think and go about their tasks.

“Learn to think about the way you think.”

The key takeaways from the podcast are:

  • The fundamental role of tech leaders and why it’s not just about delivering technology.
  • The part that documentation can play in supporting the work you do, and some inspiration around avoiding documentation debt. As we know, any debt, be it technical or other, always comes back to bite us on the backside if we don’t address it.
  • Thinking about your thinking when solving problems.

There are many more takeaways embedded in the podcast. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did hosting it.

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
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Podcast: Taking Agile and working to big it up with Sung Choi

Sung Choi

Senior Director Of Engineering at Warby Parker

Podcast – Episode 20:
Taking Agile and working to big it up

Creating Agile autonomy org-wide

Warby Parker is a big name in the spectacle industry, so it was exciting to have Sung Choi, their Senior Director of engineering, come onto the show and share his wisdom. Sung is a true Agilist and seated in a company that seems to create the perfect environment for the values and principles of Agile to thrive.

The key takeaways from the podcast are:

  • The power of leading with integrity.
  • Aligning around values and principles to deliver customer-centric business value from the technology space.
  • Using the “commander’s intent” to inspire a solution mindset in the teams and allowing autonomy to flourish.

On Mitigating risk: “Communication! That’s one of the most important tools in any tech leader’s toolbox. It’s frequent and methodical communication with all the people involved. Maybe even over-indexing when necessary, because while it’s definitely cumbersome to have to listen to the same pitch, or the same update three or four different times over the course of a week, it’s a lot less painful to have to clean up messes caused by lack of communication.”

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
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Podcast: Lessons from the Front Lines With Charles White

Charles White

CTO and Founder at Fornetix

Podcast – Episode 19:
Leading In The Military To Leading In Tech

A Military Man Turns Tech Leader

IT Labs takes pride in finding and speaking to CTOs with fascinating tech journeys. Well, here’s another interesting one that started in the military and ended up at the helm of an organization’s tech function.

Charles White, CTO at Fornetix, shares his journey and insights into areas that he is passionate about, from leadership to security and novel architectures. It would be safe to say Charles covers much wisdom-filled ground in this podcast.

“When building teams, I always found that the ‘WHY!’ let you gravitate around it. It drives! It helps create inclusiveness in organizations. When the ‘why’ is not explained, it creates barriers.”

One particularly striking aspect of Charles’s voyage is how an injury changed his life path and in what manner he built on it, an inspiring lesson for all of us.

Key takeaways from the Podcast are:

  • Becoming a CTO (the journey from military to CTO).
  • Leadership tips on creating high performing teams and holding the vision for your people.
  • The responsibility of leading and coordinating security and technology, with a share of next-generation advances.
  • What attribute-driven architectures are and how they can be something to consider.

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
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Podcast:  Getting clear on AI & ML with Felix Hovsepian

Felix Hovsepian

CTO at Blue Manifold & Professor

Podcast – Episode 18:
Getting clear on AI & ML

Musings on AI, ML, and leading tech R&D

There is much talk about AI and ML (Machine learning). The terms are misused, and the hype around them creates much confusion. So what can they offer in real terms, if anything?

Well, Felix Hovsepian joins us on CTO confessions to clear up the subject and explore some interesting use cases. Key takeaways from the Podcast are:

  • Why ML and AI are not the same things.
  • Examples of AI and ML.
    • Generative design
    • AI at the Edge
  • Being a tech leader in R&D

Felix is a colorful character with interesting ideas in several fields. After listening, share your thoughts on AI/ML. Are these fields starting to emerge from the hype cycle?

“The thing is the two weeks is not long enough to do research, to try and see what the nature of this problem is. And at what point do you pull the plug? Once you start looking at those types of projects, then the teams tend to be small. My specialty is looking after teams that are typically between three and seven people (five plus or minus two). Within a team like that, it really does take on some of that “spirit of Agility” because there are no seniors and managers. Everybody is in it at the same time. It’s a self-organizing team. You need to have people who think differently. I think that is the real key. I think that’s the real key for technology as well as education. It’s the key for the 21st Century. We need to start literately thinking about our thinking.”

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long Podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

Transform your technology organization with IT Labs teams.
Reach out to us.