Engineering and Business Teams: Oil and Water or Chocolate and Peanut Butter?

by Andrew Karam on Aug 26, 2015

Last week Entrepreneur ran a piece I wrote called “Three Steps to Happy Collaboration Between Your Engineering and Business Teams”. In it I cover a few basic management strategies for fostering great teamwork among employees who often have very different backgrounds and perspectives.

In my research for the Entrepreneur piece, I came across “Five Rules for Interdepartmental Peace and Prosperity,” which points out that if you’ve built a workplace that is respectful and fun to begin with, the likelihood of friction between business and engineering even developing is much lower. In it, the author writes:

If I hire someone to do a job, it’s because I believe him or her to be more competent than I am in that particular area, and it’s critical that I empower the people I manage to make any and all decisions in their particular realm of expertise…Marketing serves a crucial role in a successful business, as does Engineering. For these to mesh well together, strong, mutual respect is vital.”

I couldn’t agree more. I actually think that one of the most important jobs you have as a manager is to cultivate this atmosphere of respect. Naturally modeling respect is therefore key. Acknowledge who is the expert in a given area. Demonstrate how to gracefully disagree with someone while simultaneously expressing genuine regard for their knowledge. And always show that you value creative-problem solving and know that that can come from anyone, in any department.

You can read my entire piece here, and be sure to share any tips you have for creating an environment where business and engineering thrive, together by tweeting at AppLovin


Andrew Karam is AppLovin’s VP of Product.

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