Jan 20, 2022 | 2 min read

Building Product-Focused Engineering Teams with Steve Caudill

By: Patrick Emmons

Building Product-Focused Engineering Teams with Steve Caudill

Rand McNally’s Chief Technology Officer, Steve Caudill, joins Patrick and Shelli this week to talk about building and maintaining the culture of a startup inside a well-established brand with a 165-year history. They cover a range of topics including recruiting talent in a highly competitive market, creating tight feedback loops between customers and engineers, and structuring product development for the shortest path to revenue.

  • (01:13) - Technical product development
  • (03:17) - Recruiting product makers
  • (05:46) - Seek out diverse perspectives
  • (08:35) - Pair programming during interviews
  • (10:19) - Addressing salary expectations
  • (12:38) - Making products that have impact
  • (17:18) - Challenging remote work trends
  • (19:15) - Taking ownership of what you make
  • (22:03) - Buy-in from the business side
  • (28:16) - Find the shortest path to money
  • (30:16) - Leveraging brand trust
  • (32:57) - Benefits of mentorship

About Our Guest

Trucks, tractors, maps, connected devices, oil and gas, potato chips, silicon chips, educational devices and more have been part of a nearly 40-year career for Steve Caudill, the Chief Technology Officer at Rand McNally. Before joining Rand McNally, Steve was a director at CNH industrial, where he was responsible for delivering the farm operations and fleet management components of CNH Industrial’s connected offerings.

Steve is the author of A Hero Behind Every Tree: The Non-Technical Reasons Your IT Investments Fail. He received a BA in Computer Science from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the Naveen Jindal School of Management at University of Texas Dallas.

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About Patrick Emmons

If you can’t appreciate a good sports analogy, movie quote, or military reference, you may not want to work with him, but if you value honesty, integrity, and commitment to improvement, Patrick can certainly help take your business or your career to the next level. “Good enough,” is simply not in his vernacular. Pat’s passion is for relentlessly pushing himself and others to achieve full potential. Patrick Emmons is a graduate of St. Norbert College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics. Patrick co-founded Adage Technologies in 2001 and in 2015, founded DragonSpears as a spin-off dedicated to developing custom applications that improve speed, compliance and scalability of clients’ internal and customer-facing workflow processes. When he is not learning about new technology, running a better business, or becoming a stronger leader, he can be found coaching his kids’ (FIVE of them) baseball and lacrosse teams and praising his ever-so-patient wife for all her support.

Recent Episodes

We interview leaders from early-stage start-ups to billion-dollar enterprises who distill their lessons from their victories and their failures. Learn how these high-performing leaders organize their teams, establish a growth-minded culture, and leverage new technologies such as DevOps and Cloud.