What’s The Stack | Season 1, Episode 1: Adam Skinner, CTO of CitrusAd
Welcome to What’s The Stack! As tech recruiters, every day ask the question – “What’s The Stack?” and now, we’re bringing that question to life as we ask some of our favourite technical friends about their own tech stack all while enjoying stacks of pancakes in Brisbane’s most iconic church turned 24/7 pancake restaurant – The Pancake Manor!
So, what is What’s The Stack?
Every day our Technology and Product Account Managers, Carly Shearman and Emily Conaghan get the opportunity to work with some of Brisbane’s best tech companies and throughout this process, they also get to have insightful conversations with developers and tech leaders about how they got to where they are, where they currently are in their careers and what they’re trying to achieve. But what don’t they get to do? Jump on camera to capture these conversations with some of our favourite people in tech. Until…. Now!
The brainchild of Hunt & Co.’s Emily Conaghan and Carly Shearman, What’s The Stack takes a peek behind the curtain of the careers of Brisbane tech leaders and emerging developers to explore Brisbane’s Tech scene through a series of interviews with some of your favourite faces as well as some that you may not have seen before.
Each episode of What’s The Stack will take you through three levels of conversation:
- Tall Stack: Questions about our guest and their career history
- Full-Stack: In-depth questions into tech-related topics
- Short-Stack: Funny, short sharp questions that no one else is asking
Let’s get into it…
What’s The Stack, Season 1, Episode 1: Adam Skinner, CTO of CitrusAd
To kick start our EIGHT pancake-filled weeks of interviews with Brisbane top tech leaders, we spoke to Adam Skinner, CTO of CitrusAd to dive into his career which is particularly squiggly AND particularly interesting. Adam’s career started in hospitality of all places where he was managing venues before making the transition into hospitality tech. Now, as the CTO of CitrusAd, Adam is taking on a zesty new challenge as he grows and builds out the CitrusAd tech team during an exciting time for the company – with global expansion, monumental growth and their recent acquisition by Publicis Groupe.
We’re so grateful to Adam for giving up his time to be on What’s The Stack. His career to date is one with many twists and turns and there are so many gems in this conversation whether you’re just starting out in your tech career, learning how to lead a team or managing a team through change.
So, without further ado, welcome to What’s The Stack with our very first guest, Adam Skinner!
5 Key Takeaways:
When it comes to your career – listen to your gut:
After coming out of hospitality school, Adam had a niggling gut feeling that this was not the career path for him. So, by trusting his gut, Adam was able to pivot his career into hospitality tech and ultimately, a very successful career in tech. If you’re tossing up a career change, maybe it’s time to listen to that niggle. While soul searching can be uncomfortable, the payoffs can be grand.
Everything goes back to the customer:
Adam transferred his hospitality mindset to his career in tech. At the end of the day, no matter what product or service you are developing, there is always an end-user and it will always be used by or have an impact on a human. If you can think about your customer during the ideation, development and delivery process, your product is more likely to be easier to use with a more positive user experience than those products that retrospectively think of the end-user.
When it comes to making a career move – know what is specifically transferable about YOU:
When looking at Adam’s career to date, he’s had a clear long term focus on a particular industry, before moving on to the next. But what is unique about Adam is his ability to focus on the transferable skills. Firstly, when it came to making that initial leap from hospitality to technology, Adam focused on his knowledge of hospitality to make the jump into hospitality tech. Then, five years later when making the jump into health and fitness tech, there is a clear connection between the hospitality end-user and the health and fitness user – the customer as well as the multiple venue aspect. Adam’s experience working in customer-centric environments (and environments where time is money!) made this an interesting transferrable skill. Finally, in his most recent career transition from Fitness and Lifestyle Group to CitrusAd, Adam understood the clear transferability of his experience with marketing integrations on the Fitness and Lifestyle Group associated website. Taking an audit of your skills, experience and the niche elements of your role and who you are may open up doors that you didn’t know were possible.
When managing and managing through change – come back to the human factor:
Adam’s approach to management focuses empowering his team. Adam’s priority is setting boundaries for team members to operate under and allowing them the freedom and space to operate within those boundaries. This might include elements like working hours or working from home arrangements but it could also stretch wider to include how team members collaborate, provide feedback and ideas.
Learn from those who came before and adapt:
As part of CitrusAd’s scaling agile approach to product development, Adam and the team have modelled their Agile framework off of the Spotify Model. However, Adam makes it clear that the way CitrusAd works and applies this model is not a direct Ctrl C, Ctrl V, but rather an adaption and iteration to suit the CitrusAd team. Adam’s career history has shown him that simply replicating a process that another company has built, won’t yield as positive and as smooth of a result as if you use processes as a learning and adapt them to suit.
Thank you for watching What’s The Stack! Looking to hire new talent, seeking new opportunities, or just loved this episode and want to let us know, go ahead and connect and email Emily Conaghan (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Carly Shearman (email@example.com).
What’s The Stack… roll the credits
Powered by: Hunt and Co.
Executive Producer: Emily Conaghan
Producer: Carly Shearman
Hosted by: Emily Conaghan & Carly Shearman
Support Crew: Elise Le-Galloudec and Matthew Hunt
Video Production by: BITL
Location: The Pancake Manor
Special Guest: Adam Skinner, CTO at CitrusAd
A special thanks to The Pancake Manor team and everyone that played a hand in making this project possible.