Want to Be a Better Engineer? Employ Teamwork to Tackle Complex Challenges

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 31, 2023 — “There’s no team-building exercise more effective than being in a foxhole together.”

The word “foxhole” may conjure images of soldiers shielding themselves from enemy gunfire, but this phrase takes on a different meaning for Cameron Hawkins. The engineering manager for System1 was describing his team huddled not in a hole in the ground, but behind computer screens, facing one of the greatest challenges they’ve encountered recently: a major tech consolidation effort.

This task was complex for a variety of reasons. From a technology standpoint, it required patience and close attention to detail. It also involved bringing together team members with conflicting ideas.

Yet in the end, this experience proved to be highly beneficial, revealing that often the trickiest aspect of engineering cannot be found in a line of code. “This project would have failed spectacularly if we did not learn how to work together and understand each other’s perspectives,” Hawkins said.

Teamwork and a spirit of continuous learning are essential for tackling complex issues in engineering — something engineers from System1, BlackLine and Ruggable know well.

Because of this, the three pros interviewed below approach technical challenges not simply as roadblocks to overcome — but as opportunities to evolve.

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