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Abnormal Engineering Stories, Episode #8: Becoming an Effective Engineering Leader

April 25, 2022

As a long-time VP of Engineering at Box, Saminda Wijegunawardena is no stranger to fast-growing enterprise startups. He experienced Box’s rapid growth and constant evolution, and led its Application Engineering team as Box scaled to 50M+ users and 100k customers. The company’s growth and journey are ones that many startups aim to emulate and learn from.

Prior to Box, Saminda was an engineering leader at Pixar, a company with very different ambitions and plans. Saminda worked on some of the most iconic animated films of our time, including Toy Story 3, Up, WALL-E, and Ratatouille. Creating the world’s best digital stories and movies certainly requires a very different set of engineering challenges and leadership skills.

In this interview, Saminda and I discuss:

  • How engineering leadership and culture differ across organizations

  • The ways he has adapted his leadership style to fit the environment and team

  • His personalized approach to coaching leaders

We hope you enjoy it! Please do subscribe on Apple, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.

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