Meet the Team: Q&A with Douglas Wilson (Integration Team Lead)

by Hadean Team

As part of our new Meet The Team series, you’ll meet members of our team who work hard to deliver great products and hopefully get a sense of what it’s like working at Hadean. If you want to find out more about joining our team, take a look at our Careers page.

To kick off the Q&A series, we talk to Douglas Wilson about his role as an Integration Team Lead.

What is your role at Hadean? What does an average week look like for you?

I’m the Integration Team Lead here at Hadean. One of my main responsibilities is to help product translate product requirements into engineering requirements. As part of this, I help coordinate engineers in the minutia of merging and ordering, so that all our work comes together smoothly. It’s my responsibility to see problems and conflicts coming and to head them off. I also coordinate the development of our Tech Roadmap, to empower our engineers to autonomously and coherently work towards our common goal. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I like being able to fiddle with complicated systems and pulling value out of them. Hadean is a great place to learn and develop and I like ending each day understanding a lot more than I did at the beginning. I also enjoy helping our engineers to do their best work by removing obstacles before they become obstacles.

What led you to the role of Integration Team Lead at Hadean?

I started as a systems engineer in October 2018. There I was helping to build HadeanOS. Since then I’ve been the Infrastructure and Automation team lead, working on internal tools to build, test and run our software in an efficient way. Prior to this, I was working as a software consultant in New Zealand. I have a background in academic Mathematics and a multitude of software.

What top three skills or traits do you think someone needs to pursue a role as Integration Team Lead?

You need the ability to switch context efficiently and effectively to be able to solve multiple problems of different kinds every day. It’s also important to be comfortable being wrong. It’s my job to know a little bit about a lot of things and I have to be able to see how things fit together. This means that there is loads that I don’t know, and I have to be able to integrate and accept new knowledge without ego! Finally, being self driven and proactive. I do my best work on tasks I have devised and prioritised myself. 

What are some of the most exciting challenges you face day-to-day and how do you overcome them?

Orchestrating distributed systems over 100s of cores! We use cloud technology in unique ways which means the tools we need don’t always exist. The challenge is in building them and it’s cool to be able to do that. I also enjoy mapping the future of our technology and working out what we need to do to reach the next milestone. Sometimes working out what we DON’T need to do is even better.

How would you describe Hadean’s culture?

The best thing about Hadean’s culture is that everyone works hard and does their best for the company. Egos don’t come into it at all and excellence is rewarded. Everyone here is also really smart!

What would you say is the most fulfilling part of your role at Hadean?

I love being able to help our engineers to do their best work by removing frustrations for them. I’m good at it. I understand a lot of things, and have dealt before with lots of details that everyone gets tripped up on. It’s a way to amplify my value. If I can make other engineers more productive, this does way more for Hadean than my working alone. They are users that I understand. When you’re building software it’s critical to be aware of your users and how they will derive value from that software. The easiest way to do that is for your users to be like yourself. I understand developers, I understand their needs and use cases, so I’m able to deliver effective software to them.