Chief Innovation Officer Matt Greenwood on the Engineering Leadership Podcast

Matt Greenwood discusses his career journey, Two Sigma’s unique engineering culture, and the art of "full-bodied problem solving" in the context of engineering leadership.

Matt Greenwood, Two Sigma’s Chief Innovation Officer & Head of Investment Management Engineering, appeared as a guest on the Engineering Leadership Podcast, hosted by Daniel Bashir. Over the course of the episode, Greenwood discusses his career journey over his 20+ years at Two Sigma, key lessons learned, and some of the things that make Two Sigma’s engineering culture unique.

From building systems to leading engineering teams

Matt describes the early days of Two Sigma, when he was focused on data engineering—before data engineering was a well-defined specialization. He then tells how, after a brief stint in alpha modeling with unstructured text, he turned his focus to human problems.

We believe in investing in people and having that investment pay off in exponential terms over the years.

“We don’t think about the lifetime of a developer as two to three years,” Greenwood emphasizes. “We believe in investing in people and having that investment pay off in exponential terms over the years. And if you do that, if you really buy into that philosophy, then you have to think really hard about those humans about how you are challenging them.”

Finding that, like programs, humans are “incredibly fun to debug,” Greenwood has spent most of his career at Two Sigma working to help create a culture of investing in employees’ growth over long timelines. These investments have paid off as the company’s headcount has grown tenfold, he says, despite the emergence of challenges that come with the growth of an organization into one with more than 2,000 employees.

Full-bodied problem solving

Among the other concepts Matt and Bashir explore is that of “full-bodied problem solving”: the acknowledgement that, visibly or otherwise, employees bring their entire selves, including their outside lives, to work with them every day. This, according to Greenwood, should be seen as a feature, not a bug. “I think that if you do that, if you bring your whole body to bear on problems,” he says, “you’ve got a better chance of solving them.” Consequently, he argues, helping colleagues thrive holistically is one the best things a manager—and a company—can do.

Tune in to the podcast

To hear the entire conversation, listen to this episode of the Engineering Leadership Podcast here.

This article is not an endorsement by Two Sigma of the papers discussed, their viewpoints or the companies discussed. The views expressed above reflect those of the authors and are not necessarily the views of Two Sigma Investments, LP or any of its affiliates (collectively, “Two Sigma”). The information presented above is only for informational and educational purposes and is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or other instruments. Additionally, the above information is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for investment, accounting, legal or tax advice. Two Sigma makes no representations, express or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of this information, and the reader accepts all risks in relying on the above information for any purpose whatsoever. Click here for other important disclaimers and disclosures.

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