People @ Personio – Let’s #TECH A BREAK with Marco Sparagna

Meet Marco Sparagna, Engineering Manager in our Madrid office. Marco joined Personio in July 2020 and immediately began making an impact.

Here he gives us insight into his management philosophy, what he loves most about being an Engineering Manager, and the different ways Engineers and Engineering Managers see results over time.

What does an Engineering Manager do?

As an Engineering Manager, my primary focus is to help create a high-level product plan, make strategic decisions, and support my team in their development and growth. Doing this helps ensure a smooth working relationship between the Product and Engineering teams as well as myself and my team.

How is your team set up?

My team consists of six engineers, one product manager, and one designer. A fun fact – very typical of this year – is that I haven’t actually met my whole team in person yet! But we have daily virtual coffees to get to know each other better.

What is the main difference between an IC and Manager career in engineering?

Being an individual contributor (IC) or a manager in engineering are two completely different jobs. One big difference is that the results of your effort will show at different times – sooner for an IC and later for a manager.

As engineers we optimize the way we build software in order to get quick feedback (at least, if we’re using agile and proper SDLC methodologies!). But it can be hard to achieve the same results when we’re also focused on building a safe and trusting environment, planning and executing a career development plan, and enabling each engineer to work on projects that interest them and contribute to their growth.

Enjoying happy hour at the Madrid office

Enjoying happy hour at the Madrid office

What were you most curious about Personio before you joined?

The wide open market that Personio operates in was the first thing that really caught my interest. This market we’re working in is in need of a great player like Personio that really focuses on improving the user experience in the world of HR operations. I remember thinking, during that first HR call, “Wow, I’ve never had a good experience with any HR-related software. This is going to be great!”

What is your favorite part of your work?

My favorite part of work is the #Teamspirit, being able to come together to solve a problem and deliver value to the user. That’s the secret to a healthy and sustainable career in this industry: a holistic view of the job. We don’t just write code, we don’t just build a product – we care about our users and want to give them the best possible product that we can build.

Any book/podcast recommendation?

🎙  “Making Sense”  from Sams Harris is a great podcast that covers a lot of interesting topics.

📖   For a book I recommend “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr. A lot of companies don’t implement OKRs correctly, and this book explains how to use them efficiently and effectively.

 
Do you want to see how our coffee break with Marco went? Check out the full video on YouTube:

At Personio we’re continuing to build a team of driven, intelligent people who want to work together and make an impact. If that sounds like you, head on over to our careers page and apply today!