The Talent Economy Podcast


Architecting Scalable Engineering E-book Podcast

Season 2, Ep. 21

For many CTOs and directors of engineering, building scalable and successful software engineering teams can be difficult, due in large part to competing pressures and responsibilities. In addition to managing growing teams, they are tasked with keeping an eye on overall business objectives and navigating the pressures of their leadership roles—overcoming technical challenges, motivating the teams, planning for scale, settling disputes, tracking key metrics, and reporting to executive management—all of which require them to make countless vital decisions daily.

Toptal’s new e-book, Architecting Scalable Engineering Teams, helps leaders build the right team structure to overcome technical challenges, motivate talent, plan for scale, and track key metrics. In this accompanying podcast, Toptal Director of Engineering Marco Santos interviews Josh Holat, the Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of Cube, a company dedicated to making FP&A faster, smarter, and simpler. Marco is also joined by Nik Patel, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder at Cohesion, a cloud-based IoT company for smart buildings.

This episode highlights three of the e-book’s five team models, acknowledging that any given structure for success rests largely on an organization’s size, industry, and product:

●      Stakeholder-focused squads. At Toptal, these squads are integral to building strong relationships between engineers and business stakeholders to ensure consistent delivery of business value.

●      Front-end/Back-end split structure. Cube, a financial analysis and planning platform, employs two different leaders—one to helm the front-end team and another focused on the back-end team.

●      Satellite teams. At Cohesion, a cloud-based IoT company for smart buildings, satellite teams ensure rapid scale and eliminate the complexity of hiring, onboarding, paying, and managing each team.

Across all five models, engineering leaders recognize the value of temporary help—whether it’s to build their teams or to add expertise that they may not have in-house.

“Sometimes, a project needs to get done, but the leadership team isn’t sure if the increased capacity will be necessary in the long run,” says Santos. “That is why so many startups rely on talent networks like ours to augment their teams. When you have an extra load, it’s really nice to have an amazing network of talent that can help scale up.”

Download the Architecting Scalable Engineering Teams e-book here to find out:

  • How to overcome the short- and long-term challenges engineering leaders face when building their teams.
  • How engineering leaders structure their teams for scale and success.
  • How to hire and retain the best engineering talent.
  • How to strategically hire freelancers amid rapid growth.


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