Podcast: The power of strategies and visionary thinking with Wayne Strydom

Wayne Strydom

CIO & CTO at The Virtulab

Podcast – Episode 57:
The power of strategies and visionary thinking 

How being in the right frame of mind can guide you and your team through any obstacle or challenge

A mechanical engineer turned tech-wizz, Wayne Strydom is not your typical techie with roots set in coding or other IT discipline. He says it’s all about having the bigger picture in mind and understand systems and how they interact and function, and considering the success he’s had as the CTO & CIO at Virtulab – we trust him.

Building teams based just on skill and talent is a recipe for failure! Surround yourself and your employees with characters, especially the kind that can stick it out when the going gets tough!

We sat down for a long, data-rich conversation with him, where dived deep into every aspect of his journey as a tech leader – from assembling and developing teams, all the way to his wishes which include a time machine and the possibility to see all press releases regarding tech development from the future. In short? An episode for the ages. 

Key takeaways from this episode: 

  • Why building teams is much more than just matching needs to skills 
  • How to lead teams by only asking the right questions 
  • How a story is the foundation on which a product is sold 

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.


Podcast: Doing better by learning more every day with Adam Dille

Adam Dille

Senior Vice President, Product and Engineering at Quantum Metric

Podcast – Episode 56:
Instilling a culture of continuous learning  

The ins and outs of running a team that practices Continuous Product Design

The pillar of IT Labs and many companies in the industry is learning. Constant development through new data and new tech, which in turn breeds innovation and creativity.

That’s exactly what our guest Adam Dille, Senior VP for Product and Engineering at Quantum Metric is focused on doing, as he helps companies deliver tech that has the potential to solve everyday problems, as well as make our lives easier! His focus on continued product/service development is what drives the company forward, all the while helping ambitious start-ups meet the light of day.

The better your product is – the more the end-user will expect from you. And a true leader will always anticipate these expectations and figure out how to meet them.

In this episode, we sat down with Adam to learn more about his journey, what he does, and how he maintains that learning-first culture in his teams. 

What we learned from Adam:  

  • How asking the right questions will always bring you closer to a solution  
  • Why looking at data from various perspectives helps deliver a more complete product  
  • How closely-knitted teams understand every single piece of the puzzle, even the ones outside their domain 

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.


Podcast: The business value of paying down technical debt with Vijay Venkatesh

Vijay Venkatesh

CTO at MakeSpace

Podcast – Episode 55:
The business value of paying down technical debt 

How good tech leaders balance the tech debt equation

For startups and established companies, it’s never just about crunching and creating and pushing a product or a service out – that’s why tech leaders must consider the short and long-term ramifications of every decision they make at every stage. We sat down with Vijay Venkatesh, a CTO and Product Development leader on various projects, shared his journey, and gave advice on finding the right balance in every aspect and process while leading teams in the tech world.

Creating a framework in which all teams in one project can contribute, produce, and be successful is what a tech leader should be all about.

Vijay’s enthusiasm and passion is the stuff tech leaders should be made of. Mix that up with his unwavering drive towards delivering high-quality products and his impeccable decision-making is something one can’t help but admire.

Key takeaways from the podcast: 

  • Quick ascent is all about adaptability and flexibility 
  • Constraints can solidify teams and make them more efficient 
  • Understanding the wishes and whims of customers and clients is a form of art 

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.


Podcast: Driving productivity with positivity at Belfast City Airport with Brian Roche

Brian Roche

Podcast – Episode 54:
Driving productivity with positivity at Belfast City Airport  

The story of leading with a deeper purpose that serves the business

In our episode with Brian Roche (Director of IT at Belfast City Airport), you can hear about his amazing journey which began with a job as a system administrator, then moving on to various positions in development and sales teams, before making the jump to executive positions. His goal and passion? To bring some simplicity to a world that is riddled with acronyms and complex structures – the tech world – and bring it closer to the average businessperson.

Translating technology speak into business language that everybody can understand and digest, is the responsibility of the leader. Trust lays at the foundation of any great product, and removing any obstacles will allow your team to amalgamate into a singular, high-performance unit.

One of the things that really hit the spot in our episode with Brian was his staunch support for understanding between all involved parties, and on all levels. Between business and tech, between seniors and juniors – between all teams that can meet when developing a product or a service. If tech leaders remove this language and understanding obstacle for their teams, the potential is right there. 

Key Takeaways from this episode: 

  • How education can help in the fight against cybersecurity threats 
  • Why it’s important to mentor young techies, and teach them about giving chances 
  • How technology can fail a business, and what leaders can do about 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.
Reach out to us.


Podcast: Flying on the wings of curiosity with Phil Wood

Phil Wood

Director of IT Service Delivery at easyJet

Podcast – Episode 53:
Flying on the wings of curiosity 

How the will to know mixed with trust and autonomy can take a business to the skies

Phil Wood is a man of many talents, all cored in his unabating curiosity. What started off as the need to know how things function and what they’re made off, led him to learn and develop, and eventually become the Director of IT Services at one of the most prominent airlines – easyJet.

His journey? A big pile of experience which has helped him develop his unique MO – approaching product and service development by looking at the core of the matter – the customer, and his wishes and needs, making them the cornerstone of every project he’s laid hands on.

Leading teams by example is one thing, but allowing them to do mistakes, lead themselves, assume responsibility and authority is the real deal – this is how you develop them as leaders, rather than just pieces of a well-oiled machine.

In this episode, Phil shared his advice and experience, ranging from his unique leadership style with which he allows teams to lead themselves by letting them take the responsibility and giving them freedom, all the way to creating feedback loops that help not just a service or a product in work, but also future R&D. 

All worth its weight in gold, we boiled down the episode to the following key takeaways: 

  • How to create high performing teams by allowing them to take on responsibility and authority;
  • Why are feedback loops important in the development process of a product or a service
  • How looking at the bigger picture and not just your product/service can help in ensuring end-to-end satisfaction for clients and customers. 

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.


Podcast: Digitalising Construction with Vicki Reynolds

Vicki Reynolds

CTO at i3PT & CertCentral

Podcast – Episode 47:
Digitalising Construction 

Creating accountability and compliance to prevent disasters like Grenfell Tower

We are pleased to be hosting another podcast with a tech leader in the construction industry. An industry that is ripe for innovation and digitalization. Our guest Vicki Reynolds, CTO at i3PT, is doing just that. In light of the disaster that unfolded here in the UK (the Grenfell Tower disaster), the construction industry is going under a much-needed update around standards, compliance, and auditing. Vicki, who originally started as an actress, found her fulfilment in solving big challenges in the industry. Her story and journey are interesting and inspiring.

The ultimate challenge in digitization and integrating tech in all industries is standardization. Figuring out a system in which all businesses can function will save time, money, and ultimately – human lives.

Key takeaways from the podcast: 

  • You will hear about the pain points of the building industry and the solutions that Vicki and i3PT have developed 
  • How digitizing the construction industry creates a better audit trail to save lives 
  • Why diversity of people in the industry is positively impacting how business is conducted. Confirming what many of us knew already. That people of different genders and ways of thinking was always good for business. 
  • You will hear how careers can take interesting routes. Vicki’s hunger to make things better and the love of solving big industry challenges have led her from a very different industry to a place of work she loves. 

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.


Podcast: Big brand marketing on a small scale with Merlijn Bruijnes

Merlijn Bruijnes

CTO at Marvia

Podcast – Episode 52:
Big brand marketing on a small scale 

A techie’s journey to techie leadership

Marketing comes in many forms, everything from the big brand advertisements for the masses, to smaller campaigns tailored for locals and their communities. Well, Marvia has created a platform that does just that. i.e., activating local marketing potential for big brands (e.g., Domino’s Pizza). The company’s CTO, Merlijn Bruijnes, joins us to give us the lowdown on the business and share his journey to becoming a tech leader, lessons he has learned, and sage advice for other tech leaders.

It’s important for people to work on their own terms and their own time. That way, every idea regarding every aspect of your business and the livelihood of your employees will always find the light of day and not fade into obscurity.

Key takeaways from the podcast are:  

  • The challenging transition from software developer to Tech leader (letting go of one’s baby) 
  • Helping large brands conduct marketing with a local flavor. 
  • Creating a learning organization (a win for the business and a win for the people) 

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.


Podcast: Black Friday every day, and the system just keeps rolling with John Williams

John Williams

CTO at Amplience

Podcast – Episode 51:
Black Friday every day, and the system just keeps rolling 

Leadership and other tips from an experienced CTO

In this episode, John Williams, the CTO at Amplience, shares his super hot tips from his years of service. We get to talk about the problem in the market that Amplience is solving and creating robust systems that reliably get the job at hand done.
The industry that Amplience sits in is the marketing space. It’s created a system that provides personalized content for the myriad of devices and screen sizes people use, with a touch of personalization to make a brand really pop out for the target audience.

Fight the urge to focus on problems, and focus on values instead. That’s the way to instil consistency and confidence in every team member, and ensure quality and customer satisfaction.

The key takeaways from the podcast are: 

  • Thoughts on creating an architecture that deals with extreme surges in real-time content creation. With the capability of handling high loads and baked in resilience to deal with parts of the system falling over 
  • When creating workplace cultures, see everyone as equals with equal voices to speak up. i.e., freedom of speech in the workplace.
  • With the many voices chiming in, create an environment where the best ideas win. 
  • Design systems with the vision of the future in mind. With resilience and expected levels of demand. 

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.


Podcast: Wiring up a nation for success with Clayton Nash

Clayton Nash

Strategy Director at CityFibre

Podcast – Episode 50:
Wiring up a nation for success 

Serving the needs of a service-based nation

His majesty The Internet – we all rely on it. Many of us use it in our everyday lives without even realizing it. Some even joke it’s in the base layer of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. . You will be surprised to know that the fifth biggest economy globally (the UK) is lagging behind other modern nations concerning internet coverage and bandwidth to people’s homes and businesses. Well, the Strategy Director at CityFibre joins us on a discussion about how he and his team are working hard, smart, and fast to upgrade the nation’s digital infrastructure. It cannot be stressed enough how important a resilient and fast internet is for a service-based nation like the UK.

The internet way of doing things is something the world will have to get used to – because it affects every aspect of our lives, from how we talk and eat, all the way to how we conduct business. That’s why widespread availability and proper access are a must, and will be the pillar on which digital communities and businesses will grow and develop.

The key points in this episode are: 

  • The reason why the UK is so far behind other developed nations 
  • What CityFibre is doing to create a better, more resilient, and faster internet 
  • The leadership and culture that is creating a high-performing and adapting organization to deliver quality results 

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.


Podcast: Tech leadership through the lens of Yoga with Guy Duncan

Guy Duncan

Chief Technology Officer at Tide

Podcast – Episode 49:
Tech leadership through the lens of Yoga 

The tech leadership behind a Fintech disruptor

Here at IT Labs, we love disruptors. Particularly a disruption in a stuffy industry, drowning in its old ways. Guy Duncan from Tide joins us to tell the story of the company he is tech leading to create exactly that kind of disruption. Tide is a Fintech carving out a nice chunk of the market by focusing on customer needs (time, ease, and smooth service). We particularly touch and gravitate around Guy’s leadership approach that encompasses Yoga and mindfulness.

Leading teams is about protecting every bit inside them, but also about creating time and space for them. They need it to think and contemplate, processes that ultimately lead to innovation.

So, the key takeaways from the podcast are: 

  • All through the lens of a Yogi
    • The powerful art of finishing (the motto: “Stop Starting, Start Finishing”)
    • The art of interpreting various industry trends and using them as a foundation for technology and product planning
    • The importance of setting the levels of abstraction in a business right, and how it improves performance and interoperability

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.