Commit 3560c96f authored by Eric Brinkman's avatar Eric Brinkman 💬
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title: "Eric Brinkman's README"
## Eric's README
Hey there, my name is Eric and I'm a product director here at GitLab. This README is meant to tell you a bit more about myself and to serve as a way for what it might be like to work with me.
I joined GitLab in 2018 and created this [README deck]( during my first week. While some of it is focused on ramping up, most of the information in the deck still holds true.
## About me
* I grew up mainly in a small town in Iowa, along the banks of the Mississippi river. I was raised to value hard work, honesty, and kindness and I attempt to live out those precepts each and every day.
* I have been married for over 11 years and have three children. Family is incredibly important to me and I try hard to be the best father and husband I can be, though I fall short at times.
* I live in San Antonio, TX where I enjoy the warm weather, attractions like Six Flags and Sea World, smoking meats, reading, and playing the occasional video game.
* I attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and despite our track record of ending up in the bottom half of the standings nearly every year in both basketball and football, I watch nearly every game on TV.
* I've got an interesting professional background that spans hardware, software, cloud, and DevOps, but I've always worked in the tech industry. For a full background, you can check out my [LinkedIn profile](
* My Barton StrengthsFinder top 5 strengths are:
1. Analytical
1. Belief
1. Harmony
1. Responsibility
1. Maximizer
## My role as a Director of Product
As a Director of Product at GitLab, it's my job to build and lead a high functioning team of product managers. The [job description]( for product directors is well defined, however, there are a few responsibilities that are near and dear to me, related to building our team. I really get excited by:
* Sourcing, recruiting, and hiring the best talent we can find for any open roles we have.
* Ensuring fantastic onboarding experiences in order to ramp up team members as quickly as possible.
* Meeting with directs via regular 1x1s to build relationships, get to know team members deeply, and unblock them.
* Ensuring I am helping you achieve your career goals, and working with you proactively to do so.
* Empowering team members to make the best decisions for their products by being a servant leader and removing any roadblocks I can.
* Serving team members by helping them work through tough issues.
* Collaborating with team members on important product strategy initiatives.
## Communicating and working with me
* I love getting to know people personally and deeply - if this is not your desired style/interaction, please let me know and I will adapt to you and your communication style!
* I love to work through problems together. Don’t feel like you need to always bring a solution with a problem, though it can be helpful if we have a proposal to discuss.
* I tend to listen first, and then contribute to conversations. I really love to gather as much context as possible. I would rather think about what you are saying, rather than wait for the next available space where I can say what I had planned to all along. I will even listen with respect to viewpoints that I disagree with. It's not always feasible to respond point by point to something I disagree with, so I will typically concentrate on the bigger picture. Please do not interpret my active listening or lack of point by point response as implicit agreement.
* I desire for decision making to be at the level closest to those who are most familiar with the subject are. I will make suggestions and ask probing questions, but at the end of the day, product managers are the directly responsible individuals for decision making and prioritization.
* I strive to work on harmonious teams in highly collaborative environments. I do not enjoy conflict, but will address it head on in the attempt to drive a better outcome for all involve. I enjoy working in open and honest environments rather than environments that are highly political or where there are ulterior motives.
* I will make mistakes, but I am typically quick to own them and apologize. I try to understand what I could have done better in every situation and ask the same for my team members.
## How you can help me
* Do your best, every day. Keep the big picture in mind.
* Assume positive intent from your co-workers and aim to work collaboratively with them.
* Live out the GitLab core values in everything that you do.
* Prioritize for fantastic business outcomes. We have an amazing opportunity to do what very few companies have done, so let's make the most of it!
* Have a bias for action. Don't let things sit if you can move them along. Don't wait for consensus decision making on 2 way door decisions.
* Provide me feedback on things I can do to improve. I view feedback as a requirement for growing both personally and professionally.
## Work practicals
* As I mentioned earlier, family is incredibly important to me. As such, I will typically finish my work day around 5PM central in order to maximize the amount of time I have with my children each day. In the mornings, I'm usually online around 8AM central after getting kids to school and getting ready for the day.
* I desire to be approachable, please let me know if I ever come off as opposite of that. If you need to chat outside of a schedule 1x1, feel free to drop an ad-hoc meeting on the calendar, even if it’s the same day.
* I am typically very quick to respond to Slack/Text/Email during working hours. At times, I will turn off notifications to get deep work done, but will typically check in once an hour if I'm in that mode.
* I go back and forth between having the Slack app installed on my phone and not. If it's installed notifications are turned off.
## Eric's favorite things
* [The Bible](
* [Inspired]( - Marty Cagan
* [Pillars of the Earth]( - Ken Follet
* [The Hard Thing About Hard Things]( - Ben Horowitz
* [Ready Player One]( - Ernest Cline
**Video Games**
* [Fortnite](
* [Final Fantasy 3](
* [Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild](
* [Super Mario Odyssey](
* [Braveheart](
* [Interstellar](
* [Moneyball](
* The [St. Louis Cardinals](
* [Sous Vide cooking](
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