New CTO Colin Bodell & VP of Engineering Paddy Benson visit Groupon Berlin HQ

6 February 2018

The Berlin Engineering team meets with new CTO Colin Bodell.

Members first. Relationships matter. A philosophy Colin Bodell believes in and lives by, using his first year at Groupon to meet team members around the globe. As part of a world tour to our Tech hubs, Colin recently visited our Berlin office, where he met and spoke with our Engineers. Listening and asking questions leads to trust and gives a real sense of a shared mission at Groupon; this can make all the difference in the world to be successful as a team and improve the remote communication which follows ahead.

To kick-off the knowledge sharing, the Engineering team held a Berlin Engineering All Hands where they introduced their work, team members, and responsibilities in detail to the two leaders. Paddy Benson, VP of Engineering, and Colin also introduced themselves and the way forward. Afterwards, ample of questions were asked in a Q&A that allowed conversations to go in any direction: from shutting down old services, to possibly operating in the cloud in the future or GDPR—the new European data protection plan—many interesting topics came up.

As the team was curious to get to know the new CTO better, Colin shared his leadership principles as well for everyone to learn from:

Recognition – Meet your team members and recognise their great work.

Transparency – As an organisation, be as transparent and meaningful as possible.

Communication – The key factor for success.

Ownership – The owner of a project, topic, or feature is driving success, but are just as strong as all of its contributors.

In addition, Colin believes in execution! Planning is good, but we also need to get stuff done, turning every “should” into a “will”. To focus on the task at hand is a mantra to live by.

He shared his awesome tenets for communication, interaction & meetings, that he encouraged the whole team to read and comment on. Engineers appreciated the direct exposure to leadership through the All Hands and 1:1 sessions were a great opportunity to encourage teammates to talk to each other directly. Now everyone’s pumped to keep creating together.