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Expert Talk: Horace Tang

Director of Enterprise Development Horace Tang provides his unique perspective on leading an app development team, and how technology thought leaders can better address team growth and adaption.

Video Transcript:

My name’s Horace Tang, I’m the Director of Enterprise Development. I’ve been with Impact Networking for about four years.

How many people do you manage? Describe the structure of your team.

I currently manage nine people. Two or three of them have sort of become specialists on certain areas. But for the most part, I like to keep a team that’s very broad and evenly experienced on all the different platforms we work on. We don’t have one thing that we work on, there might be like four or five different major platforms.

What are some challenges that arise with the changing tech industry?

One of the biggest challenges that we face in this field is compatibility. Technology moves so fast, business moves so fast. But at the same time, we have people that are using things that are 20 years old, 10 years old, 15 years old, a lot of these legacy systems that weren’t built, necessarily to be compatible with these new ideas. And being able to bridge that gap can be really challenging.

A lot of times we’re reevaluating. You know, maybe we can replace this, what’s our long-term road map? It’s really just about planning everything. Everything constantly changes, and you’re never done modifying things. So you can’t look at it as “amount of work,” you want to look at it more as long-term, big picture, how do I solve what I’m trying to solve? And to try to build things so that they’re compatible for future uses.

What are your goals for the upcoming year?

So this past year, we really focused on our own process. We looked at how are we managing our projects, how are we working, how are we documenting our work? This year, as we get some of those processes internally figured out, we’re going to work on growing out the team, and building out more of these projects in my backlog.

What are some skills you think are important for a leader in development to have?

Some skills that are important for leaders in development to have would be communication and organization. I find that as I’ve moved into this leadership role, I’m doing more coordination, more planning, and more documenting than before. 

As a developer, it’s very easy for me to come up with a solution in my head, get really excited, and just build it, right? And it’s great, and it works. But now I have to make sure that what’s in my head, and my perspective of the problem, is the same as everybody else’s. So getting people to that same page, making sure that everybody understands what needs to be done, is key. 

It’s almost like we have to be teachers, more so, than a good developer.