A look behind the engineering magic: One new manager’s experience with the ShareFile boot camp

Over the past several months, others here at Citrix have offered a view into what it takes to make a great product and how to get the most out of your engineering team and new hires. As a new hire myself, I wanted to weigh in on that conversation and give another look into the magic.

In many organizations, new engineering managers get pulled into the fray immediately, finding little time to learn the product. Joining Citrix as an engineering director for ShareFile, I was fortunate to not only learn the product, but also spend several weeks knee deep in our code and build processes, thanks to our company’s thoughtful onboarding process and the ShareFile boot camp.

As previously discussed in other blogs, our boot camp is pretty simple. You fix real bugs and implement real features across a variety of components, working off actual backlogs. That’s a great way to learn practical process, get the satisfaction of delivering real features and fixes (one of mine is already in production), and make connections in the course of obtaining help. Our more experienced engineers are really generous with their time.

But I find one aspect of ShareFile boot camp particularly strategic: It builds cross-silo product understanding in engineering.

Nothing’s worse than reaching the end of a release cycle, with multiple high-quality innovative new components individually ready to go, only to find that the components don’t work together or don’t add up to a product customers care about.

In my experience, complex systems work for customers, or work at all, only when component team engineers understand — and can hack on — every other component in the system. Silo focus doesn’t work, and neither does waterfall API contracts. And integration testing is too late in the game to fix total disconnects.

The ShareFile boot camp forces broad education across all major components, and that’s a great way to get engineers — new hires and veterans alike — to think holistically and build systems that work.

Interested in joining the ShareFile engineering team and experiencing boot camp firsthand? Apply today at www.Citrix.com/careers.

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