The Engineering Leadership Podcast · Episode 101

Customer narratives, business fluency & investing in developer experience

with Marco Argenti

Sep 27, 2022
Customer narratives are a transformative tool to help you build successful products! Marco Argenti (CIO @ Goldman Sachs) explains how to develop these narratives as your team’s guiding vision and help eng orgs better understand “the business” side of software. Plus we cover best practices for investing in developer experience, Goldman Sachs’ transition to prioritize external developers, and the signs, signals and trends Marco’s used to navigate his career across tons of different emerging technology fields.
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Marco Argenti is the Chief Information Officer at Goldman Sachs. He is a member of the Management Committee, the Firmwide Technology Risk Committee, the Client Business Standards Committee, the Enterprise Risk Committee and the Global Inclusion and Diversity Committee. Mr. Argenti joined the firm as a Partner in 2019.

Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Mr. Argenti served as Vice President of technology of Amazon Web Services (AWS) since 2013, overseeing all aspects of the product lifecycle of Cloud Services, including strategy, business planning and developer engagement, and leading several AWS technology areas, such as mobile, serverless, Internet of Things, messaging, and augmented and virtual reality. Before that, Mr. Argenti spent several years at Nokia Corporation, where he was Senior Vice President and Global Head of Developer Experience and Marketplace from 2011 to 2013, with responsibility for Nokia’s developer ecosystem and app store across the company’s entire product portfolio.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Argenti was a board member and Chief Executive Officer of internet and mobile company Dada S.p.A., as well as a board member, executive vice president of strategy development and chief technology officer of Canadian e-commerce solutions provider Microforum Inc., where he founded Internet Frontier Inc., an internet publisher and e-commerce retailer. He previously founded and sold Dreamware S.r.l., a software development firm, to Microforum Inc.

Mr. Argenti serves on the Board of Directors of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, also known as PanCan. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Hall.

"Today, the world is so complex that it's almost like an asteroid field and when you navigate an asteroid field. If you don't turn often, you're gonna be having some surprises and so that's why iteration is so important. You need to release sometimes multiple times a day because the world is changing in front of you and there are opportunities and obstacles that come all the time."

- Marco Argenti   

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  • Marco’s leadership journey – as a CTO, VP of Tech, and beyond (2:39)
  • Questioning biases & observing signals when predicting opportunities (8:41)
  • How Marco used intuition & data when deciding to work with Goldman Sachs (10:10)
  • Why engineers must understand business principles (13:46)
  • Using customer narratives to create a guiding vision for eng teams (17:47)
  • How to help eng orgs better understand the business metrics of software (22:01)
  • Why Goldman Sachs transitioned to prioritizing its developer clients (25:39)
  • Shifting the focus from internal developers to external developers (31:34)
  • How the tech team navigated challenges during this transition (33:34)
  • Rapid fire questions (36:43)
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