We live for managed WordPress hosting. We want the RAIDBOXES Dashboard to remain at the top in the future – and that's what our new Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Thomas Goik is here to ensure. Learn more about his versatile work and about our team.
Product development at RAIDBOXES
Thomas, you're new on board as CTO. What exactly does this job entail? And what does your day-to-day work look like?
Yes, I'm new at RAIDBOXES. Previously, two colleagues had taken over this task on an interim basis. My task is relatively comprehensive, which is why I've divided it into several milestones.
First of all, as the person responsible for technology, I have to get to know the staff. So my first milestone was to take care of the team. The second step in my role is to advance us technologically and that is my focus at the moment.
My working day mostly consists of meetings, on the one hand with my colleagues from the technical team, but also with stakeholders and the people responsible from the other Circles. I usually work through the different points in a two-week rhythm so the content and tasks are different in each case.
RAIDBOXES is growing – be part of it!
Our product development tasks are very diverse. Which projects have priority for you and why?
The tasks are indeed diverse and quite complex. We want to continue to be leaders in things like speed and reliability. However, I've noticed that we've lost the focus a bit. Therefore, the highest priority for me is to bring more structure and thus more product responsibility into the teams.
This allows us to focus more on development. We're currently working on the renewal of our interfaces in order to be able to offer even more functions.
A diverse and committed team
What is your first impression of RAIDBOXES and your team?
I wouldn't say it's of my team, but rather "of the team". My first impression is that we can still move quite a lot. Both as a RAIDBOXES team and in the development itself. Our employees all have a lot of drive, I think we just need to channel the tasks a bit more.
Regardless of this, I immediately felt very comfortable with my colleagues. I was perhaps a bit nervous about being involved in rather a "German group". Over the years, I've always worked with many, many people from all different cultural backgrounds.
You have a lot of experience in managing software engineering. Every working environment has its own challenges. What challenges do you see at RAIDBOXES? And how do you tackle them?
I have, in fact, worked with a wide variety of team structures. And each team had its own dynamics and challenges. At RAIDBOXES , I think the task is first and foremost to redefine the focus. We started a lot of things and then sometimes lost sight of completing them.
Therefore, the internal feeling has "spread" that we're not making progress in some areas. As I said before, the first step is to structure teams around product areas and give them a clear mission. But we're also adapting our ways of working. By generating more feedback loops in order to act faster, for example. Fast and lean development is what will take us forward.
The focus for the future
How did you manage to get an overview of RAIDBOXES in a short time?
Ha, I don't know if I really have such a good overview yet 🙂 However, I have made an effort to get to know RAIDBOXES from the outside first, in order to now work through what I've seen from the inside. It's always important for me to talk to all the staff – and not just stay in the technology department. I think that helped me to get a more rounded picture of the company.
Are there any new things you want to introduce at RAIDBOXES ?
Yes, absolutely, I think processes can serve well. Especially in a start-up, where the focus can and must change quickly, processes can channel certain actions. In the last few years, I've had very good experiences with OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). I think that we at RAIDBOXES can certainly achieve something with this kind of focus.
In development, we'll focus more on our customers. We will take care of their needs and realize the whole thing more quickly through simpler development processes.
Why did you choose a WordPress web host as your employer?
There are a few reasons that made me come to RAIDBOXES. I was looking for a company that sees fair play not only as a figurehead but that also wants to do things sustainably.
WordPress Web hosting has not been a topic for me so far, but I've always had to do with server hosting in my previous roles. WordPress hosting was thus not an unknown topic for me. But in the last few years I've always stuck with providers like AWS or GCP. I guess I also missed the flair and the impact as an independent hosting provider.
RAIDBOXES continues to grow
We're regularly looking for new employees. What advice can you give people who are thinking about applying? Why should they apply to RAIDBOXES?
We're especially interesting for people who are looking for new path – both in the WordPress environment and in hosting. As already mentioned, we want to stay at the top. And, to put it bluntly, we are of course looking for people who are steaming with mental effort. Above all, it's s important for us that the applicants have drive.
You live and work from Spain. Remote work is particularly successful at RAIDBOXES. Nevertheless, how do you manage to stay close to the team?
Yes, in my opinion, RAIDBOXES is a pioneer with its remote approach. Not only are we looking for people nationally, we also want to position ourselves internationally. And with be being located in Spain, it fits really well.
At the start, it was important for me that everyone gets the feeling that you can also build good connections via video conferencing. I have had many remote employees in the last few years. So I able to gain experience of how something like this works.
I myself like to work with 1:1 meetings. This form means a lot to me personally. Because I can pick up each person individually. But I think it's also important to have an open ear for staff and to listen properly.
What do you do to balance your demanding job? How do you "come down" in the evening?
I've always been a team type of person and used to played 7-person football until the pandemic started. Unfortunately, these types of team sports have been cut back a lot by covid-19. My wife signed us up for the gym and then boxing to achieve some kind of a balance.
Boxing is a sport that I'd never had on my list. But since I've been doing it more intensively, I think it's a shame that I didn't try it out earlier. Thanks to my trainer (Carlos Ramos, EU Champion), I find the mental and physical balance to work.