Head of Engineering (AJ)

What is this page?

This page is your guide to working with me, AJ Steers. My role at Meltano is Head of Engineering which means I will interact regularly with virtually everyone in Meltano - and this page is your one-stop guide to working with me, including communication preferences, details on my prioritization strategies, how to get on my Todo list, how to request prioritization/escalations, how to get on my calendar, etc.

Note: This page is modeled in large part after Sid’s CEO page on the GitLab handbook here and driven by my own desire to be transparent with the company about my preferences, working style, and values.

How does this affect relate to general handbook guidelines

Nothing on this page should contradict materials and guidelines in other areas of the handbook. However, in some cases, the guidance or preferences here may be more specific or targeted versus general guidelines.

That said, some of the content here may land initially as a personal interaction preference and eventually spread as a Meltano-wide practice or guidance. I remain open to modifications in either of these directions: changes here adapted as informed by other updates in the handbook, and/or changes adapted into the general handbook to more closely align with what is here.

Setting up 1:1s with AJ

My preferred time for 1:1s are as follows:

  • Monday afternoons 1pm-4:30pm Pacific (preferred)
  • Tuesday mornings 8am-10am Pacific (for non-US/Mexico/Canada timezones, and/or by special request)

I keep “Free/Public” calendar blocks noting these spaces in my calendar, recurring on the preferred fortnightly cadence. If you are trying to schedule time with me and time is not available, please let me know and I’ll open up more time.

1:1s for Engineers

All members of the engineering team should setup a weekly 1:1 with AJ in one of the blocks noted above. New team members’ 1:1s should start weekly as we get to know each other and while there are more likely to be questions or pressing topics we need to address. After 8-12 weekly occurrences (approximately 2-3 months), the 1:1 cadence should move to a bi-weekly (aka “fortnightly”) cadence.

Supporting Engineering Team 1:1s

I encourage engineers to have “skip-level” 1:1s with our CEO Douwe (according to Douwe’s availability), and to also schedule mentoring 1:1s with our Staff Engineer at least monthly, according to Florian’s availability.

1:1s for Other Team Members

I aim to have at least a monthly 1:1 with all Meltano department leads and all members of the leadership team. In some cases, as with Product, or recurring 1:1 are actually a functional sync. For example, by agreement with Taylor, we have a weekly “EM-PM Weekly Sync” taking the place of a more generic 1:1 call.

1:1s for Partners and Community Members

I encourage 1:1s from community members and partners whenever a face-to-face connection would be valuable. For topics that could easily be covered in office hours, my preference is generally to use office hours for this time. If you have a topic you’d like to discuss with me and it’s not a great fit for office hours, please ping me on Slack and to request a Calendly link. I have pre-created Calendly links for 25 and 45 minute 1:1s.

AJ’s Priorities and OKRs

Coming soon!


Coming soon! I aim to model this section after Sid’s: https://about.gitlab.com/handbook/ceo/#flaws.