What Makes You Such an Effective Leader?
“Eu sou Brasileiro, e não desisto nunca”
It’s a popular saying that defines our football, our music – and our software engineering. It means, I’m Brazilian and I never give up.
If you look at how Brazilians excel in certain domains, it’s because of a perfect blend of technical capability and creativity. I like to think we bring a little Samba, something creative and unexpected to the mix.
That creativity is what got me into trouble the first time, and that same creativity is what allowed me to over-deliver the second time around. The reason we win is because we aren’t robots. We can adapt and learn. We find a way, no matter the circumstances.
I’m Fabiano Lucchese, the SVP of Software Engineering at CloudFix.
Where Are You From?
I live in Campinas, Brazil. It’s a city that has a large technology pool so there are a lot of talented technical people here. Most of the companies that have a presence in the city don’t have interesting technical careers to offer. That’s why remote work made sense to me.
People in Latin American countries are more open and friendly. I’ve had great remote experiences working with people from all over the world, but especially here. Brazilians are a tight knit group.
How Did Your Crossover Journey Begin?
I started as a Senior Vice President on a project right after my son was born – it was crazy!
After 2.5 months of working, I had a meeting with two executives who weren’t happy with my performance. They gave me some valuable feedback that I took to heart. Then on Monday morning, I was told my contract would be resigned.
That weekend, I thought a lot about what went wrong. I ended up sending a message to leadership saying that if they were still interested in having me, I’d like to start over.
I proposed a fresh start in a new engineering position – one level below SVP, so that I could learn. I thanked them and said that if they were interested, I was available. I knew I had screwed up an amazing opportunity, but my technical work had been solid, and they liked that about me.
I asked for help, and they listened. By Thursday the following week, I was back to work.
Why Did You Want to Stay?
After working with Trilogy, I realized that I didn’t want to move back into my comfort zone at another company. I didn’t want to be the same person I had always been – I was ready to learn.
I loved the job – not just the challenge of day-to-day work, but the culture. I never work more than 40 hours a week, I never do overtime. I can work when I want, wherever I want. There’s a personal and professional balance here that is unique.
Most other tech companies in Brazil offer a hybrid relationship, so I would lose out on being part of a fully remote team doing interesting work. I also appreciated the flat rate salary, regardless of where in the world you are.
Can You Describe Your Current Role?
I’m responsible for leading the engineering activities at a company called CloudFix.
To do well here, you need to be the kind of person who has strong technical ability and is willing to learn a lot. You have to be a collaborative team member, and you have to like drinking beer.
How Were You Promoted to SVP of Software Engineering?
After 1:1 mentoring once a month as a Vice President, I quickly upskilled and orientated on things. Once I had a better understanding of the role and what I needed to do, I was set.
At that point I allowed myself to include creativity in my work. I asked questions like why don’t we do this like this, or like that? From there I was able to unblock certain things and produce more.
I started leading the team at the beginning of the quarter, and our goal was to deliver eight components. After some tweaks and adjustments to the team, we delivered fifteen. I became one of the top performing Vice Presidents at CloudFix.
Recently, I was made SVP of Software Engineering.
Would You Do It All Over Again?
Leaving my previous job as a senior software engineer was a huge risk, but I’m very happy I did it.
No Brazilian wants to be an unimportant cog in a machine, in a workplace with overly strict rules where you must function like a robot. When you are given the freedom to add a little creativity, to make things better for everyone – your chances of being successful are great.
How Have You Changed as an Engineering Leader?
Before CloudFix, I’d been in the industry for 20 years. I worked at a traditional multinational company but had to fly to California once a month, from Brazil. When my wife got pregnant and I stopped flying in, they forgot about me. I was just a remote worker to them.
I learned nothing there and stopped growing. I waited for promotions that never came, so I resigned. Crossover changed my outlook and my life.
What Has Working at CloudFix Taught You?
CloudFix taught me that following processes is important, so is having predictability. It’s equally as important to be effective and to produce.
But there is always room for creativity, improving processes, doing more and doing it differently. There is daily growth. Great software development is recognized and rewarded here.
Remote work isn’t an afterthought, it’s a culture. I think that's what any Brazilian software developer would classify as a dream job.
My name is Fabiano Lucchese, and I found the perfect balance between creativity and technical skill, thanks to Crossover.
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