A Cloud Guru continues to build out its engineering leadership with remarkable servant leaders. I had the chance to pick the brain of new VP of Engineering, Alex Barreto, to learn about his road to the cloud and his plans for the future of the world’s largest online cloud training platform.
Alex joins ACG with an extensive background in leading lean Agile delivery shops and cultural transformations. He’s contributed to the Agile revolution at Melbourne based company Sensis, and most recently MYOB where he served as Head of Delivery.
A champion of the customer and a coach to his engineers, Alex’s leadership style will bring a new level of agility to the engineering team that has grown to over 90 engineers across the US and Australia.
VP of Engineering
What Alex does: “I set direction, bring the right people together, remove roadblocks for engineers to solve problems and ensure that they have the environment to execute.”
What initially drew you to A Cloud Guru?
In the first conversations with Sam Robb, our TA Manager in Melbourne, I could feel that the company mission was truly noble. Educating others is something that connected with me straight away. During these challenging times as organizations shift to online education and cloud computing, I’m certain that joining A Cloud Guru was the best decision I made.
Learning about the growing product and the prospect of being the largest online cloud training platform in the world sounded super exciting. I’ve used online learning platforms in the past, and nothing compares to the learning experience of the ACG platform. The quality of our content and the way we teach is unique, and the opportunity to change the way people learn online interested me.
Why did you ultimately decide to join the team?
There is a great culture focused on people here. All you need is a walk around our office, and you can get a feel for how fun and vibrant our people are. From the first contact with our Talent team to the people you meet along the way, everyone makes you feel special. There hasn’t been a day that I haven’t felt welcomed and connected with people.
Also, when John McKim (SVP of Product and Engineering) spoke to me about the plans to grow the team and scale up their engineering practices and processes, it sounded like the perfect opportunity to leverage my skills.
What’s your vision for the product?
Customers really drive our roadmap, so we frame everything we do around customer value creation. We focus on outcomes, not output. It’s not about the number of features we can release, but the value that those features are providing to our users. That’s a very important shift in mindset as it impacts the way we structure our initiatives and the work that we do.
Another focus is innovating by learning what we teach and bringing that knowledge into our own product. A massive element of my vision is to really invest in our people. Everyone here has time to learn, and the whole ACG library is available to employees. We try to hire the best talent out there, and then make sure that they have enough interesting challenges that offer them the opportunity to grow and contribute back.
We are doing all of this so that we can build the best learning platform to help organizations get to the cloud faster, and to help people get a better professional future. The engineering team literally brings our mission to teach the world to cloud to life.
…so customer focus, innovating by learning what we teach, investing in our people, and building the BEST platform.
What is your leadership style? How do you empower your teams?
From a young age back in Brazil, I was always involved in volunteering work and work in the community. For me being able to help people become better at what they do, and help them fulfill their dreams is what motivates me. I have a coaching leadership style. I definitely enjoy developing people’s capabilities for the future, building long-term strength within the teams I lead.
This works really well at ACG, because everyone is ready to learn and genuinely has a growth mindset. There isn’t anything that I have tried to do here, that I got pushback from people. They’re all like “Yes, that makes sense. Let’s do it.”
My approach is to set direction, bring the right people together, remove the roadblocks for engineers to solve problems and ensure that they have an environment to execute.
What type of engineers are you looking for to build out your teams?
I love to connect with people that own their own career trajectory. People that are passionate and driven about what they do. As an online education company, we like to hire people that love to learn and become better at their craft.
I look for people that understand that we are here for the customers. This is not about delivering on a task. It’s about understanding the value and the reasons why we are doing what we are doing.
And I look for vibrant people that are engaged and fun to work with. We spend so much time at work, so we want to make sure we have a good bunch of people.
How will your team bring our mission to teach the world to cloud to life?
The Engineering team literally materializes our mission into A Cloud Guru’s platform! I’d like to think that we are making a positive change in the world by making knowledge more accessible to people and organizations.