Joanie interviews Slava Khristich, CEO of Tateeda. Tateeda provides clients with software development resources in the USA and internationally to extend teams, complete complex projects and solve challenging tasks. Their model provides, among other things, improved communications between technical and non-technical people. You can see why he’s a perfect guest for Reinventing Nerds.
Q: What is your background?
“My education is in economics and mechanical engineering. I got to the US in 1991 and I was heavily involved in the biotech field. I used to work at the Salk Institute, in the research facility, and this is where I got introduced to computers. I started writing small code here and there and learned how computers operated and communicated. I fell in love and have been doing this for twenty years.”
Q: Where are you from originally?
“I am from Ukraine. I came over with my family during the collapse of the Soviet Union.”
Q: Where do you have offices and what’s the advantage of being international?
“We have resources in San Diego and in Ukraine. Instead of trying to stretch time, we try to shrink time and squeeze in as much productivity as possible in a single day instead of stretching it across multiple days.”
Q: What communication challenges do you run into?
“When you’re dealing with technical people, you’re speaking the same language. When you’re dealing with business people, there’s a gap in communication and expectations of what the final product should be. We have constant communication daily with the client and with the team. That way we can address any question or any issue that is discovered daily.”
Q: How do you assemble a team of people who have communication skills?
“We tend to hire senior people who have experience. We have them go through a series of interviews—technical and personality. We do everything possible to keep our people. Our turnover is really low.”
Q: What challenges come up with cross-cultural communication?
“Usually it’s a misunderstanding. When a client gives us too much freedom, we try to do as much work as we think is relative to the problem, and sometimes we think it’s our way but it’s really a different way. Those are due to cultural differences and experiences.”
Q: How did you decide to be a leader of programmers instead of writing the code yourself?
“I couldn’t scale what I wanted to do and that was my passion. In being a developer or team lead, I could only work with a little team and one client at a time. I wanted to introduce it to many, to almost make a movement. When you outsource something, the outsource professional should be doing it better than you can. When I hire a lawyer, I want to assume he’s doing a great job. It’s the same with software.”
For Slava’s best tips on global communication and words of inspiration to entrepreneurs, listen to the episode…
Words of Wisdom:
“Poor communication leads to poor responses, poor performance, and a lot of money wasted.”
“It all comes back to communication.”
“If you cannot trust us, you cannot work with us.”
Contact Slava Khristich: