The Engineering Leadership Podcast · Episode 178

Balancing technical depth & high-level business strategy

with Oded Kedem

May 07, 2024
We dissect one of the biggest challenges that eng leaders face in their day-to-day – navigating the balance between going deep in technical work & maintaining a high-level view of business strategy. Oded Kedem, Chief Technology Officer @ BigPanda, shares examples from his experience, covering strategies for prioritizing where to go deep into the technology, bringing technical expertise to the executive team, bridging the gap between marketing & technology, and aligning customer expectations with a product’s actual capabilities. Oded also shares frameworks for prioritization conversations, valuable questions to pose during executive decision-making conversations, and approaches to changing past technical decisions.
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Oded Kedem, Chief Technology Officer at BigPanda, brings a wealth of experience in software from ground-up development to managing engineering teams and was also the founder of Zerto, a Cloud BC/DR company. Throughout his many years in the industry, Oded has developed a deep understanding of AIOps and the needs of customers. He recognizes that we are just scratching the surface with AI and automation.

“As companies evolve, people change roles and the technology changes, the requirements change. We chose in the past, the product does it in method A. Let's ask, 'Okay, why did we choose A in the first place?' And once in a while, someone from engineering came up and said, 'Yeah, I have a great idea. Let's do B.' And I would always send them, 'Okay, go back to the documentation, because if you thought this through and you think that making these changes is worth our while and the risk and the instability it may bring, let's go, let's do it.'”

- Oded Kedem   

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  • Keeping a high-level view while diving deep into the technology (2:48)
  • The story of how Oded first connected to this particular problem (5:03)
  • Oded’s process for prioritizing where to go deep into the technology (7:20)
  • Prioritization strategies & why it’s sometimes hard to say no to jumping in (9:40)
  • How to bring technical expertise / value to the exec team (13:57)
  • Best practices for tough conversations regarding org direction & capabilities (17:40)
  • Types of questions to ask in executive conversations (19:58)
  • Oded’s favorite question to pose (23:33)
  • Bridging the gap between marketing & technology (24:26)
  • How an eng perspective helps shape a product’s marketing outcome (27:12)
  • Frameworks for aligning customer expectations with a product’s capabilities (29:33)
  • Approaches to changing past technical decisions as an eng leader (31:21)
  • Rapid fire questions (35:25)


This episode wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our incredible production team:

Patrick Gallagher - Producer & Co-Host

Jerry Li - Co-Host

Noah Olberding - Associate Producer, Audio & Video Editor

Dan Overheim - Audio Engineer, Dan’s also an avid 3D printer -

Ellie Coggins Angus - Copywriter, Check out her other work at

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