Omar’s first position at Yoast was as a software architect, but it was his great ambition that led to the dramatic change within such a short time:
“I kind of entered Yoast when we were like a 12 person company, and I entered as a software architect. I quickly saw lots of room for improvement with regards to the development process and the quality assurance and all that stuff. So I gave a presentation already after two weeks about what I wanted to do with the software development side of things and basically got the mandate to start managing all of that. So at first it was just building the processes, building a development team, developing a lot myself. And then very, very soon that grew. And I gained much more managing responsibilities, and at some point, I was invited to become a partner in the company and name myself a CTO of Yoast.”
And do you have a certain managing style and sort of your own approach to it?
“Yeah, I think I do. When it comes to processes, I really need teams to be sort of self-sustainable to a certain extent. I’m not a very good planner. I’m not a very good timekeeper. So when I have to rely on sort of linear schedules, that’s not something that I am very good at. So what I’m always trying to achieve is to have as many circular processes as possible, because then things can just run, and I can check on how the thing is running and sort of try to influence that, and that makes it possible for me to manage those processes and those themes.”
Do you look more on the macro level?
“Yeah, I think so. Like as a philosopher, I think I approach these processes as a sort of system and I always try to look at is the system functioning as a whole. And producing what it should produce, which is not only a product, which is not only profit but which is also personal development of all the employees, developer happiness or employee happiness. There are lots of things that are really important in our company and it also has to do with people and the company culture that are all part of that as well.”