Eric Richard

Eric Richard
Eric is HubSpot's SVP of Engineering.

Recent Posts

Name Dropping: Maria Loughlin, VP Engineering at Toast

Name Dropping is a Q&A series that aims to elevate the stories of women leading in the tech space. The idea came from Angela DeFranco, a Director of Product at HubSpot, who said one way to be better allies is to name drop more women in discussions of achievement, inspiration, and disruptors in tech, instead of referencing, time and again, the same set of (often male) leaders.

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How We Onboard External Engineering Leaders by Having Them Be Software Engineers

I regularly get asked what my biggest challenges are or what keeps me up at night. For me, it’s making sure we attract and retain the right engineering leadership (who believe in our shared philosophy) so that they can support our rapidly growing team. When you are growing as quickly as we are, it is extremely important that you have leaders in place who can sustain the culture of excellence as we scale. A bad leader has a very high blast radius.

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How we gave SSL to all our customers in 5 days, for free

 I regularly talk about the HubSpot Product Team's culture – both internally and externally – and I always start my discussions on our culture with the following idea:

We believe that if you give a team a compelling mission, the autonomy to attack the mission the way they see fit, and the support to accomplish this, magic happens.

This is, in essence, my management philosophy. The bulk of what we do on the leadership team here involves setting up situations where that magic can happen.

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Why we treat interns like full members of the team

There are some companies that have special co-op and internship projects that are separate from their normal stream of product development. Often, the work of co-ops and interns never sees the light of day, or at least not while they're at the company.

We fundamentally do not believe in this approach. We believe that the best way to learn is by doing, and therefore, the best way to learn how to be a software engineer is to do what a software engineer does.

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Social Engineering: Why Managers Should Prioritize Team Bonding

There are three key ingredients that go into creating a remarkable product culture. The first is ensuring that every person on your development team has an exciting and challenging mission. Then you need to give them the tools, resources, and autonomy to be successful in their mission. The third piece, and arguably the most challenging, is surrounding employees with high-wattage people who they can learn from and bond with.

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How Medium is Engineering Holacracy [Q&A with Daniel Pupius]

The only thing as important as building product, in the engineering world, is building product culture. Structuring a team, figuring out the right development process, and scaling that processes is a science. A hard science. I’m always curious to learn how other engineering organizations operate for this reason. Especially when that organization is building the world’s favorite publishing platform: Medium

The company is pioneering a relatively new type of management system called Holacracy. Medium’s Head of Engineering, Daniel Pupius, wrote an interesting post about how they’ve designed a holacratic organization and how it's providing them with a new kind of manager. He wrote that a “common misconception about Holacracy is that it’s a flat organization structure” when in practice, their organization is built around a hierarchy of circles and roles. 

I had the opportunity to ask Dan the questions below about what this structure means for their engineers and how it shapes their product culture, team, and development process. 

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