Alan Hicks is the CTO of Manna Drone Delivery. Alan leads Manna's technology function and team, and sets the direction and future vision of the platform. Whenever time allows Alan has his sleeves rolled up and is also coding the platform. Alan is an experienced technology leader who specialises in distributed systems and Internet technologies. He has built and led distributed teams of engineers working on cutting edge technology systems. In 2007 he joined CarTrawler, then a small company with just 25 people. He stayed with the business in a technology leadership role until 2019 at which point it had scaled to be the world's largest online car rental distribution technology platform with more than 500 staff.
There are a number of ways technology companies scale fast. Scaleups that acquire other companies achieve their goals faster than those who grow organically, however they have mammoth culture, team and product integration complexities. Those who have grown organically, that culture and process that helped define their launch can be one of the hardest things to scale. Leaders of these companies are under pressure to determine which elements are worth preserving, how they align with the forward-looking business strategy, and how to define and foster that's ideal as the organization expands and integrates new people into the ranks.
- Integration of acquisition: How you bring that into your portfolio
- How do you manage that coupled with organic growth
- Balancing short and long-term vision
Building software products is challenging. But when you are also responsible for building the hardware in parallel there are a number of additional considerations to factor in. In this talk, Alan will share how they are designing and developing the drones for the Manna drone delivery service and making sure that drones don't fall from the sky!