Who is Havi Sullivan?
I love building great technology solutions, especially when I get to build platforms and applications that can support millions of eager customers. I enjoy working with commerce and payment systems, web technologies, platform services and APIs, and games. I lead and develop my teams to build the very best products in the industry.
Over the years, I’ve worn many hats, starting out my career as a graphic designer and web developer. Along the way I accumulated a variety of skills, including server and client applications development, team leadership, and finally arriving at product management. I thrive in roles where I can collaborate with others and exercise many different skillsets to solve complex problems.
What do I do?
With a background in software engineering and years of experience with a variety of platforms and applications, I’ve accrued a vast depth of knowledge from many closely related disciplines. I am an archetypical example of a generalizing specialist or versatilist. Today I spend most of my attention on leading amazing development teams and setting the vision and direction for our products and the organization.
Let me describe the kinds of things I love to do (and that I’m really good at).
High-level decision making. I’m keenly aware that I’m not the smartest person in the room, and I work hard to make every voice at the table heard. That said, after I’ve collected all the feedback, I'm not afraid to make the hard decisions and be accountable for the outcome.
I’m a natural diplomat. Whether it’s leading a team or negotiating with stakeholders, I can maneuver tricky situations with grace and tact. In fact, my personality type is known as “the Mediator,” and the summary I just linked is probably 90-95% accurate to me personally.
I love leading and developing teams. Working with cross-discipline teams made up of product managers, engineers, designers, and testers, I enjoy spending time with each team member, discovering their strengths and bringing them to the forefront. I can work with people at all stages of their career, from intern to senior, and I have a strong drive to grow tomorrow’s leaders.
Software with longevity is my passion. Regardless of my actual role or project, I love working with systems that are built to last. This could be a platform meant to support many players or a live game meant to extend its life well beyond box sales. Either way, I have a vision for the future and don’t build throw-away products.
Learning is a core theme of my career. I love positions that constantly throw new challenges at me and require me to learn and grow every day. I thrive in environments where I can wear a lot of different hats and have to take on multiple roles to get the job done.
I back up my technology expertise with a customer-oriented vision. Years of immersion in some of the best cross-discipline teams in the business have taught me a lot about products, marketing, infrastructure, operations, you name it. I can see the big picture and apply it to every step of the SDLC.
My personal values
I have a core set of personal values that I’ve developed over the years. It’s important for me that any prospective employer has clearly defined values that resonate with my own and that they embody those values every day both in public and behind closed doors.
Be curious and open to change. It’s important for me to be learning constantly and engaging new opinions. I try not to jump right to solutions that worked in the past since I might miss a new and better way of doing things.
Do what is right and take care of your people. Honesty and integrity are important in all interactions both business and personal. I try to be my true self, even when it’s not comfortable. I extend that to my team, allowing them to act in the ways that they believe are right, and I support them.
Be the best you that you can be. It sounds a bit cliche, but I really do try to be the best person I can in any given situation, and I always do my best work within the given constraints. If it’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing in a way I will be proud of afterwards.
What’s with the ponies?
I’ve loved My Little Pony ever since I was a little girl, and I still collect the toys. These days, people at work can find my desk pretty easily since I’m “that crazy lady with all the pony toys.” So why not run with it? I try not to take myself too seriously.