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Reflections: Focus on the most impactful work

Throughout December and January we will be sharing Reflection stories from some of our Qualtricians. These stories reflect on the last year and beyond — recognizing the good and the bad, the struggles and the successes. Today we are featuring a story by Catherine in Engineering.

I’m a Senior Manager in Engineering. My team is made up of Technical Program Managers (TPMs) who define and drive Engineering-led business-critical initiatives. TPMs partner with Engineering teams to identify a technical or organizational problem, develop solutions that align with our customer and business needs and put in place concrete and measurable goals. The TPM then drives the execution of these solutions to meet timelines and goals.

Is there a project that had a big impact on you and your team this year?

This year I drove a program to migrate the logging software we use in Engineering. Security is critical to everything we do in our product — it’s extremely important to our customers and we take it very seriously. We regularly review the software that we rely on, so when we found a software that better aligned with our Security goals we decided to move over to it. It was a challenging program that required work from every Engineering team. A smaller group of us spent the beginning of the year solving technical challenges, preparing tools, and writing documentation for the migration. Then we brought in all of Engineering to perform the migration. The end of the year was spent cleaning up and deprecating the old system. Migrations are tricky because there’s always differences between the systems, and you need to account for that, but it’s also a lot of fun to facilitate complex Eng-wide work that is important to our customers!

What are you most proud of in 2022?

I’m most proud of the impact that the team had on our customers and the business this year. The team has created new Benchmarks for our customers to use, improved our Security posture, and helped drive clarity and goals on the metrics that matter to our customers.

2022 has been quite the year, if there's one thing you'll remember it for what will it be?

It was a year where the economic climate shifted and we came together as a company to hone our focus and make sure we were working on only the most impactful work. I joined the company almost 10 years ago, when we were much smaller, and it feels a little like we are getting back to the intensity and focus of that time. I’ve enjoyed the explosive growth of the last 10 years, but I also think we do some of our best work in a tighter environment like this one. One Team and Scrappy are two of our company leadership principles, and we have had a chance to demonstrate how good we are at those this year!

What's something that you did in 2022 that you didn't expect to have so much autonomy over?

Having been here 10 years, I expect a lot of autonomy, so nothing surprised me. Our leaders assume we’re smart and capable and give us a lot of freedom to make big decisions. We talk about one-way vs. two-way doors. Any decision involving Security or potential data loss is a one-way door and we are very careful and thorough in making those decisions. But decisions that can be walked back safely if you make a mistake are two-way doors. We’re encouraged to run at those two-way doors and if we make a mistake it’s fine to just fix it and try again. I run at two-way doors every day!

Moving into 2023, what lessons will you be taking with you from this year?

This year we learned how quickly the economic climate can change. It’s more important than ever to be focused on the most business-critical work. So, similar to this year, that’s what my team and I will do. We’ll focus on helping to create a product that our customers love and an Engineering environment where our team can do their best work. We’re a company of diverse and amazing people, so we will gather a lot of opinions and feedback on how to keep improving the work we’re doing and then we’ll call our shots and stay laser focused on hitting them.

Qualtrics Life

Qualtrics Life is nothing more or less than a collection of the stories, experiences, and voices of the people of Qualtrics.

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