4 MINUTE READ | September 29, 2021
10 Years a PMGer: Chris Alvares, Head of Technology
Abby Long is the Senior Managing Editor at PMG.
This month, we (virtually) sat down with Chris Alvares, Head of Technology and our third employee, to talk about his ten years at PMG. You can also catch up on our ‘10 Years a PMGer’ interview with Chris Davis from August.
I actually was really confused. George Popstefnov, PMG’s CEO and Founder being a super entrepreneur, had multiple business ventures operating out of one tiny office space. I introduced myself to some people I thought would be my co-workers, but it turns out they were part of a different company all together. Once I settled in, I got put on a project on day one and started coding almost immediately.
Over the last ten years, I went from being an individual contributor to leading PMG’s technology teams, a core part of our organization. I feel like my career growth really accelerated at PMG, which has allowed me to experience the joys of building something from the ground up, as well as understanding how to build a scalable organization.
I don’t know if I can just name one. Seeing PMG’s software platform Alli grow from a collection of tools to an enterprise-leading platform has been really cool to see, in addition to seeing software I helped contribute to then turn into other businesses. Watching younger developers grow to become technology leaders at PMG, and even at other tech businesses like Koddi and Shipyard, made me realize that you can have a huge impact by not just writing code, but also by managing and mentoring others.
Never solving the same problem twice. There are always new challenges to solve, and we are given the flexibility and leeway to make impactful changes to the world around us and for the incredible brands we work with.
Early in my career, I got to go to my first-ever industry conference with our CEO George and another coworker. One night, George took us to one of the best sushi restaurants in Las Vegas and ordered a boat of sushi (15 rolls of sushi, literally served on a boat). At the time, I wouldn’t eat any type of fish after a bad experience in the 5th grade, but I was still a bit new to PMG, so instead of telling them that I didn’t like sushi or fish, I decided I would just eat a few pieces so I didn’t look bad. After a few cups of Sake and a few rolls, I thought to myself, “Okay, this sushi thing isn’t bad.”
With our meal, there was an entire fried fish head on the top of the boat, and naturally, George thought that I should eat the entire thing — eyes and bones — all of it. I did it, and now I have a great story I love to tell whenever I take the team out for sushi, which I now love.
Taking an engineering organization from 50 people to 475+. Our team has an opportunity to tackle so many new and exciting challenges and grow their areas of expertise to help us solve tomorrow’s problems, and I am really excited to have the opportunity to be a part of it.
There is a saying: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” In reality, you should never assume you’re the smartest person in the room. If you think you are, you’re typically not listening to those around you, and it leads to single-minded thinking. Embrace diversity of thought by encouraging everyone, especially those who have different backgrounds and experiences, to give their feedback. In the software world, it helps make better decisions with fewer iterations.
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Fast and Challenging. Every year, I see the company grow and tackle new challenges. We have a culture of very little red tape and a lot of iteration, and I’ve found that working in that environment is very fulfilling and rewarding.
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