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Friends of Strider

Chatting with Estevão Andrade about hiring engineers, scaling teams, and retaining top talent

Neal Kemp March 26, 2024

About Estevão

Meet Estevão Andrade, a seasoned engineering leader who began his tech career in 2008 as a software engineer in Brazil after studying information systems at the Federal University of Minas Gerais.

In 2019, he started his international career as a tech lead at GovPredict, where his passion for technology and critical thinking led to his promotion to the company’s Director of Engineering, guiding the company through acquisitions and growth.

Following GovPredict's acquisition by Phone2Action in 2020, Estevão seamlessly transitioned into another leadership role.

His tireless commitment and expertise caught the attention of Quorum, leading to his pivotal role in continuing to oversee engineering operations in Brazil after the acquisition of Phone2Action by Quorum in 2022.

We’re excited to share Estevão’s story today. He’s a great developer and an even greater person. He’s someone who cares not only about the work itself but developing and growing the people around him to be better versions of themselves with work.

Could you tell us more about your background and what you’re up to these days?

 I’m the Director of Engineering at Quorum, where I’ve worked for over five years. I was also born and raised in Brazil, and when I went to school, I decided to get a degree in Information Systems (similar to Computer Science). 

After getting my degree, I entered the world of engineering in 2008 and haven’t looked back. Over the years, I’ve mastered many programming languages and honed my skills as a developer and leader across multiple software companies.

At Quorum, I’m privileged to lead a talented team of developers and was recently recognized as a “Director of the Year” at the company. 

Overall, working in engineering has been a rewarding journey, and it has given me endless opportunities to grow as a person while building innovative products.

It’s been fascinating to watch your journey unfold. Jumping right in, could you share insights on the most important factors you consider when hiring engineers to scale a company?

There are many factors at play, but one of the most important is cultural fit

Is the person you’re looking to hire a good cultural fit for the team and the company?

Someone might have the best-in-class skills, which is important, but finding people who align with a company’s culture and values is paramount. 

After that, I look for people who can “get things done” with a good, adaptable attitude and the ability to thrive in fast-paced environments.

Speaking of growth… when companies experience growth, the leadership can often become a bottleneck. How do you navigate this challenge while scaling engineering teams?

That’s a difficult question—there’s no easy answer. As a leader, it’s my job to empower and teach others and enable each team member to grow beyond my capacity.

That’s why things like delegating responsibilities and fostering a culture of mentorship are vital. When you become a knowledge-sharing leader, you free the team from relying on you and instead enable them to scale with growth and be more effective team members.

So true. How does this philosophy trickle down to “feature development” and “bug response? And with this, how do you retain the best talent over time?

Great questions. I’ve always recognized the importance of having engineering quality on my teams.

I first focus on having clean, maintainable code and consistent development practices. When that’s in place, it’s much easier to accelerate feature development in the long run and respond more swiftly to bugs and changing environments. 

Having routines and processes as the foundation pays dividends down the road.

As a result, I’ve found that maintaining high standards in engineering often results in retaining top talent; they go hand in hand. 

The best engineers are drawn to challenging, meaningful work. They want to collaborate with peers who share a dedication to excellence. When you show them you’re committed to excellence and want to create an environment that fosters professional growth and satisfaction, you’ll find that the best talent is drawn to you.

What are Quorum's plans regarding team growth in the future?

For me, it’s pretty simple. I’m going to scale Quorum’s team in Brazil to 100+ people, which is a huge milestone.

And with that comes growing pains, but my core focus will be scaling a team AND maintaining the same quality and engineering output that aligns with the company's culture.


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Friends of Strider

Chatting with Estevão Andrade about hiring engineers, scaling teams, and retaining top talent

Neal Kemp