“Fractional” VP of Engineering

Hi! I’m Lara, and I recently joined Meetup as a “fractional” VP of Engineering Growth.

frac·tion·al: relating to or expressed as a numerical value that is not a whole number, especially a fraction less than one

Yvette Pasqua introduced me to the idea of a “fractional” leadership role: come into the office twice a week to support a growing engineering organization, and focus on improving the people-process parts of Engineering.

From Yvette’s email to the team:

[Lara] will be working on things that will help us grow and scale like onboarding and hiring processes, engineering management as a practice, introducing new things like architectural reviews, and more. Lara won’t be directly managing anyone, but will be an active coach and mentor for many.

(AKA, my favorite areas of work!)

I’m excited about Meetup’s values, Meetup’s impact, and Meetup’s people. I was also drawn by how deeply Meetup’s engineering leaders care about making our industry more safe and inclusive for members of underrepresented groups — they acknowledge how far we have to go, and how much work we need to put in today.

Yvette and I wanted to continue Meetup’s tradition of being honest about improvements to make, and areas to grow in, both internally and externally. In that spirit, here are my areas of focus for the next six months:

  • Improve Meetup’s recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding practices so we can grow engineering in an inclusive, diverse way at 25–50% a year.
  • Improve Meetup’s engineering management practice: work closely with Directors and EMs as a coach, mentor, and person who will drive positive change.
  • Iterate on Meetup’s engineering practices: similarly solve some specific problem areas we have (like architecture reviews) and set us up to deliver high quality software at scale.

At the end of the day, I’m aiming to help Meetup be one of the greatest engineering cultures in NYC. I can’t wait to share more about what we learn, what we’re surprised by, and how we grow Meetup engineering.