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We Are DocuSign: Ergin D.

Q: What do you do at DocuSign?

I am a Principal Technical Program Manager and my primary responsibilities are managing the DocuSign Developer Center and developer communities. I try to make it easy for any and every developer in the world to integrate DocuSign’s APIs into their apps and websites. My team creates the tools, SDKs, documentation, and other resources the 1000+ developers signing up each month use to implement, test, and go live with their applications.

Q: What do your friends and family think you do?

They know that I’m a PM and that I deal with technology. My dad is highly technical and  understands what I do, and my sister is also a PM in Silicon Valley — so she gets it. My mom understands I work with technology, and we’ll leave it at that. Mom, if you’re reading this, did I say how lovely your hair is today?

Q: What is the best thing about working at DocuSign?

Work culture is a combination of environment and people, and, at DocuSign, both sides of the equation are fantastic. I work in Product Development, and we have open work stations that encourage collaboration, innovation, and the occasional Nerf ball thrown across the room. There’s a tacit understanding that as long as you get your work done on time, it’s of high quality, and people enjoy working with you, you’ll have lots of fun and freedom working here.

The other side to the culture is the people. From everyone I met in my interview loop in 2012 to everyone I interact with today, I get and get an immediate sense of the team’s passion, excitement, and happiness to be working at DocuSign. We strive to hire the best and brightest talent out there, and one of the benefits we reap from such as strategy is the super passionate, super helpful, fun-to-work-with people that help define our culture.

Q: How is your team different than other teams at Docusign? Is there anything special about your team’s dynamic?

I run an engineering team which has a very unique charter. We don’t necessarily work with customers. Rather, we mostly work with developers who may become customers since anyone can test our APIs for free. If they have a good experience with our Developer Center, they are more likely to build an integration, go live, and become a paying customer.  So, we need to consider all parts of the pipeline, from SEO and marketing to SDKs and documentation, and even sales and post go-live opportunities.

In terms of team dynamics, we have a very close-knit team that’s highly collaborative and super efficient together. Our unique skills and personalities really complement each other in discussion and in practice and ensure we cover things from all angles. Whenever describing a new feature, project, or opportunity, we understand each other after just a few words, almost as if we were telepathic.

Q: What is the best advice you can give to somebody starting a new job in your department at DocuSign?

The #1 thing I’m looking for in all my employees is passion. The most important aspect of any job is how passionate you are about the work you’re doing, the audience you’re serving, and the people you work with. People are happy and enjoy life more when working on things they are passionate about —  plain and simple. Without that passion, you won’t have much success on my team.

Probably the #2 thing I’m looking for is that you execute and execute on time, and #3 is that you are easy to work with (as viewed by your peers).

Q: What traits do you most admire in your colleagues at DocuSign?

Intelligence. There’s lots and lots of smart people here. We hire the best and brightest, and it’s enjoyable to work with them, to learn from them, to share insights, and to discuss life in general. There are many high-level conversations that occur in these hallways and meeting rooms, and it really is a pleasure to be involved in them.

Q: What traits do you think your DocuSign colleagues most admire in you?

Maybe my Turkishness or my ability to straddle the fence between business and technology. I have one of those unique roles that requires a high level of business acumen combined with technical skills and knowledge.

Q: What is something most of your colleagues at DocuSign don’t know about you?

I’ll go with my last name: Dervisoglu. I’m Turkish, and in the Turkish language the ending “oglu” means “son of”. The “s” actually has an accent mark under it giving it an “sh” sound. So my last name literally translates to “son of a Dervish” or in other terms “son of a whirling dervish”. If you follow my lineage far enough eventually you find a whirling, dancing Dervish. Tell your friends.

Q: What is your favorite snack from the DocuSign kitchen?

I love hot tea and the organic tea bar on each floor is simply amazing to me.

Q: Where is your favorite place to work or have a meeting at DocuSign and why?

My favorite place to have a meeting is the EBC (Executive Briefing Center). It’s extremely modern and progressive and really impresses partners and customers and helps close deals.

Q: What is the best project you ever worked on at DocuSign and why?

Our Software Development Kits (or SDKs). It’s been a long project and is always on-going, but we’ve reaped huge benefits from these. And our developer community loves them. We decided to switch to a technology called Swagger late last year which, without getting too technical, helps us generate the SDKs themselves along with corresponding API documentation. It was an aggressive project with lots of night and weekends lost, but we now have modern SDKs available in 5 languages with more on the way. And it was extremely gratifying and rewarding once we saw over 2 million API calls sent from the SDKs within the first 3 months of releasing them.

Q: If you were not working at DocuSign and could do anything in the world, what would you be doing/do next?

I would be traveling with the soccer team I fiercely support in Turkey – Fenerbahce – going to all their games and firing flares onto the field when they lose.

Q: What is the secret for you to happiness?

I’ve done some research in a topic called positive psychology and have found there’s something called a “happiness advantage” we can all take advantage of. When we are happy our brains perform better in every regard compared to when they are negative, neutral, or stressed. Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. Instead of focusing on the reward or that new promotion or more money, focus on being happy in the moment and everything else should flow from there.

1 Comment

  1. Good to read about the folks behind the product. I’ve seen many of Ergin’s answers up on Stack Overflow and he’s given me indirect help on some issues.

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