Over the past few years, I have been excited to watch the fast-growing learning, content, and collaboration platform company Allego based in Needham, MA. So, I was very excited to grab some time with their Chief Technology Officer, Ed Chin, to get some of the Allego back story and learn more about him.
Allego was founded in 2013 but stayed in stealth mode until 2015 while they honed their product and built a solid customer base. Much of the Allego leadership team, including members of the senior engineering team, had worked together in the past at Unica, which had been acquired by IBM in 2010.
Ed first found his love of coding when he was young, and he and his brothers played video games and got hold of an 8-bit Atari. It was not long before he realized that, with a bit of coding, he could impact the outcome of the games and maybe could learn how to do a little innocent pirating at the age of 12. From that came an awareness that programming is a means to an end. As Ed says, “It is a language just like any other type of communication. I started thinking about what needs to be accomplished, and then I had the confidence I could get to wherever I wanted to get to with it.”
Ed attributes the strength of the Allego team, and specifically his team, to their trust. In the beginning, their prior relationship from Unica enabled them to be very efficient because they already had a synergy. They have been able to keep trust as a core asset even as they grow and hire across the globe. From Ed, “We had a project last year that was successfully implemented by a team across six different time zones. It is very impressive.”
Ed’s team has always had the ability to be remote, but in this time the distributed nature has grown. He has a keen understanding that understanding different cultures and consistent communication – along with some flexibility – is key to success. In the end, “it is all about the people and egos are checked at the door.”