Day in the Life: Dave Woodford
The tech industry is infamous for depicting an image of programmers rarely leaving their desk, as they solely focus on producing good code instead of fully understanding users’ problems. However, when the code directly impacts human lives – clinicians, physicians, nurses, and patients – ensuring that the right people are brought into the right room leads to a product that changes, and ultimately saves, lives.
A team of 30 individuals supports and provides solutions for over 200 leading healthcare organizations across the country. From product managers and engineers to analysts and developers, Halo team members take the opportunity to transform unsolvable problems into feasible solutions using cutting-edge technologies. For Technical Product Manager Dave Woodford, the chance to watch a team closely collaborate to deliver on a vision that impacts patient care was one of the many reasons he wanted to work more on the clinical side.
Rather than being glued to his computer screen all day, Dave finds himself drawing up concepts on a whiteboard, writing out descriptions, and talking through potential challenges with his team. Throughout the day, “stand-ups” allow team members to provide feedback, review where they are in their respective projects, and share any obstacles that prevent them from delivering what their customers need. Questions may revolve around what features needed to be built, how new features align with the current product, and if these features deliver what the customers want or need.
Since starting at Halo early this year, Dave mentions encountering a learning curve since his role involves coordination between different platforms – Android verses iOS – and communicating the same vision across all products. However, he overcame this challenge by working cross-functionally with other departments and quickly learning about the Halo Platform. Dave stressed the importance of building something that enables others to build and understand their audience.
“It’s one thing to hear the differing perspectives from our quality assurance, app development, or DevOps teams, but what’s really cool about Halo is that we have clinical expertise within the organization,” says Dave. “We have experts in-house that own our end users’ pain points and know where we can help them.”
When asked what advice he might have for anyone wanting to enter this field, Dave mentions not only parts of product management but also the clinical aspect of his role. “You need to have a desire to help others, regardless if you are the clinician, working on the finance team, or providing the tools for everyone in the process,” says Dave. “Having a high-level understanding of the tech environment is also important, as it helps us see more problems as potentially solvable.”
As Technical Product Manager, Dave helps multiple people in various roles do their roles better. “I feel like I’m making a direct impact because before I was making sure the code works but not really looking into at how the user was going to use the code,” says Dave. “A lot of companies are building software for different industries but it’s cool to think that we’re essentially building the software for ourselves and that the product as a whole translates to a clinical audience. It’s a unique position to be in, and I’m excited to know that we’re building the right thing.”