You are viewing content from a past/completed QCon

Presentation: The Good the Bad the Ugly: Making Teams Perform Better

Track: Building High Performing Teams

Location: Churchill, G flr.

Duration: 4:10pm - 5:00pm

Day of week: Tuesday

Share this on:

This presentation is now available to view on InfoQ.com

Watch video with transcript

What You’ll Learn

  1. Hear about making a multidisciplinary team work better together.
  2. Learn about the importance of alignment.
  3. Listen about the necessity of embracing change in the pursuit of reaching team goals.

Abstract

A case study on how a team of engineers and data scientists worked together for a year and became high performing by embracing change, improving day to day practices, breaking the walls between disciplines and overcoming many communication (and other!) challenges together.

Question: 

What is the focus of your work these days?

Answer: 

I am an Engineering Manager at Deliveroo. I joined the company about 3 years ago as a software engineer and changed roles 2.5 years ago. I look after Logistics Algorithms and Rider Pricing teams at the same time.

The Logistics Algorithms team is building the dispatching systems and systems that automate the network. Network being defined as getting food from point A to point B. That means hundreds of thousands orders need to be assigned to tens of thousands riders in real time in order to delight hundreds of hungry customers every day. Logistics do things like optimizing travel routes, giving restaurants the signal when they need to have the food ready by, managing consumers' expectations on when the food is going to be delivered to them and all sorts of load management systems for the entire logistics network. 

Rider Pricing builds algorithms to determine the price offered to riders for each given order. As riders are free to accept or reject the order what we’re really after is finding the ‘sweet spot’ between a price that is competitive and fair, offer the right amount of transparency about the fees and allows the company keep its costs under control.

My role is to make sure that we deliver the projects on time and at the right level of quality. I look after engineers' career management. I am also partnering with Project Managers, Data Science Managers, and non-technical stakeholders in order to make sure that we're building the right product, we're investing our time into the most exciting and impactful areas, help the team deliver incremental value to the business and make sure individuals always have something big and scary in front of them that will keep them excited to come to work every day.

Question: 

What is the motivation for your talk?

Answer: 

I think it is really useful to bring real case studies to the audience and share my takeaways about working in a really fast-paced environment. My talk will reveal real examples of challenges and specific actions that we took in order to solve them as well as what I have learned from being in a multidisciplinary team that has built Pricing systems from the ground up.

Most teams / companies have a variety of disciplines such as Data Science, Engineering, Design etc. Many can learn from us and find ways to make their teams work really well.

Question: 

How would you describe the persona and the level of the target audience for your presentation?

Answer: 

I think it is relevant both for ICs as well as managers, really anyone who’s building products and working in multidisciplinary teams. I would say it will probably be especially relevant for Engineering Managers Lead or aspiring lead ICs. Even if individuals are really successful, the team might not be. And this is something that I'm going to touch on in my talk.

Question: 

What do you want this persona to walk away from your talk with?

Answer: 

A team could achieve more than the individuals. There is a lot more overlap between disciplines and functions that you can imagine! Spoiler Alert: I’m going to bring an example of Engineers and Data Scientists and how they have removed the barriers between the two disciplines. Another takeaway is that change is the only constant in a fast paced working environment. We need to be very intentional about making and adapting to change, because it brings good. There is no point in resisting change. Iterate and find what works and take time to think from the first principles.

Speaker: Victoria Puscas

Engineering Manager - Pricing / Logistics Algorithms @Deliveroo

Victoria Puscas is an Engineering Manager who has been working at Deliveroo for the past 3 years. The teams she looks after are building and scaling some of the most sophisticated machine learning systems the company has:  solving problems such as dispatching orders, route optimisation, forecast predictions, pricing and cost optimisations.

Find Victoria Puscas at

Last Year's Tracks