A Peek Behind the Scenes: Working with an Award-Winning CTO

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A Peek Behind the Scenes: Working with an Award-Winning CTO

September 30, 2016 by

A few weeks ago, our very own CTO, Greg Hinkle, was named CTO of the Year by the Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC). Six years ago, Greg co-founded Evergage with our CEO, Karl Wirth. Today, Greg leads our engineering team and drives Evergage’s technology vision and innovation. While he’s always “CTO of the year” to us, we’re so proud that he has been recognized by the broader tech community as the pioneering leader that he is.

And no one is more excited than his own team! According to members of the Evergage Engineering group, here are the top five things you need to know about our award-winning CTO:

1. He Defines and Executes a Clear Vision

Oleg, Director of Engineering:

oleg_headshotGreg’s greatest strength is perhaps not just in finding and executing innovative solutions, but in his ability to recognize and confidently say “no” to work that dilutes product focus and delivers insufficient value. Navigating hype-filled technology waters, Greg has led his team with relentless pragmatism, iteratively shaping a modern, lean technology stack that serves and enables Evergage’s innovative business strategy.

Andrew, Software Engineer:

andrew_headshotGreg is someone who continually challenges his team and requires them to challenge him. Consequently, we've created a product that is flexible yet streamlined, robust yet intuitive, and overall quite powerful. There have been times where I've questioned why it was important to work on a particular project over another, seemingly more pressing issue. After his explanation, I would see his reasoning and gain more faith in him as a leader. I can say with confidence that there isn't a single thing I've worked on that could be considered a waste of time or incompatible with our company's focus.

2. His Technical Savvy Knows No Bounds

Ian, Software Architect:

ian_headshotGreg has a deep knowledge of the full technology stack from operations to database to user interface. He always stays up-to-date on the latest technologies and is excellent at choosing the best technology for the problem at hand. While the software produced at Evergage is very innovative and powerful, Greg always stresses that it must also be easy for users to understand and use. I believe this has been key to Evergage's success.

3. He Has an Empowering Management Style  

John, Software Architect:

john_headshotGreg tackles anything from the big picture to the smallest detail. While doing that, he limits the time spent based on priority. I've seen him come up with new products and change a light bulb. I don't recall if he was doing both at the same time. He's very hands-on. I've seen him on a ladder more often than is strictly required by his title.

Scott, Director of Engineering:

scott_headshotGreg manages to be hands-on with the projects he manages without micromanaging his team. This is mostly due to the fact that he is a very knowledgeable programmer, and is closely involved with our product design. Greg has played an active and important role in my transition from individual contributor to management.

Also, Greg likes to go around to his team and say "who needs some management?" This is very clearly meant and taken as a joke and is a great example of how he doesn’t take himself too seriously.

Oleg, Director of Engineering:

oleg_headshotGreg’s optimism, creativity and warmth has empowered his employees to take on seemingly insurmountable challenges — and thrive! Imbued with this culture, the engineering team at Evergage has made tremendous technology moves, such as building a real-time machine-learning platform that powers Evergage’s recommendations engine, all delivered with incredible swiftness.

Emily, User Experience Designer:

emily_headshotAs CTO, he's very knowledgable of the platform, but will always listen to the team’s opinions and feedback. He enables everyone to make the product and company better. I started 2 years ago as a Customer Success Associate, and was able to move to a role I was more passionate about in user experience because of the support and guidance from Greg. He has always been a great advocate for personal and professional growth.

4. He Has a Relentless Focus on the User

Amie, UX & Creative Director:

amie_headshotGreg has created such a robust and flexible platform, in part through his ability to integrate feedback from our customers into it. He does not simply add features that are requested, but he carefully considers a user’s end goals and what Evergage can build to make them successful. Greg's approach to product planning incorporates user experience at the very beginning, planning out page layouts and organization before it’s even built. It’s so nice to work with a leader and team that has this mindset, and working together on the products with Greg in this manner has helped me to grow my UX knowledge.

5. He Has a Unique Sense of Humor

Scott, Director of Engineering:

scott_headshotGreg has an excellent sense of humor and he tells you how it is. Unless the situation requires it, he is not prone to sugar coating. This lets you get to the issue at hand quickly. Greg also has a Chewbacca figurine on his desk that plays Chewy noises upon pressing a button. The button is well used.

Oleg, Director of Engineering

oleg_headshot

Greg’s personal charms include his ability to deploy wookie sounds on demand and a healthy rotation of Office Space quotes.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Clearly, Greg is a passionate advocate for the product and our customers, a supportive manager, an experienced and super-knowledgeable programmer, and an all-around great guy (who will be extremely uncomfortable with all of the attention paid to him with this blog post and our press release announcing his MassTLC CTO of the Year win).

So much of Evergage’s success is attributable to Greg’s tremendous efforts, and we couldn’t be more proud of him and delighted to be part of the company he’s helped build. Please join us in congratulating Greg on his achievements!

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