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#LifeAtVeritas Interview with Dave Scott: from Product Manager to Leading a Successful Product Team

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hello VOX Readers! I hope everyone is staying well and healthy. In this latest #LifeAtVeritas interview, I recently caught up with Dave Scott, Director of Product Management, based in the US. I always find it fascinating how people start their careers and what choices lead them to work at Veritas. Dave mentions that he has always wanted to be in product management, and now he is leading our highly successful Digital Compliance product management team. During his interview, Dave shares some valuable insights into his management style and what he values and admires in his team members, with some nice shoutouts. Read Dave’s interview below.

Meet Dave ScottMeet Dave ScottZoe: Hi Dave, thank you for agreeing to take part in the #LifeAtVeritas blog series. Let us kick off with my first question… What made you choose a career in IT? 
Dave: I started at a small startup in Toronto in 1993 – right out a school. A summer internship at Microsoft led me to target a job in software, and to become a product manager was always my ultimate goal. I loved the idea of solving problems and brainstorming ideas—still my favorite part of the job. 

Zoe: What career advice would you give to those trying to secure their first IT role? 
Dave: Find a way to love the work. The hours are long if you are trying to do anything meaningful, so you need to surround yourself with great people and interesting work. 

Zoe: What leadership traits make a good leader? And what is your leadership style? 
Dave: I’m reasonably new to a leadership role. I took on a small team in December 2018, and thankfully that team has doubled in size over the past year. My goal is to try to hire people smarter than I am and trust them to do great things. I’m very fortunate to have a team of A players that can take a good idea and make it 10X better. 

Irfan Shuttari and Aayush Jain know more about eDiscovery than I ever will, and I learn new things from both every week. Rick Krieger is someone I’ve worked with for years, and I try to emulate the way that he gets to know absolutely everyone in the company to understand better all that is going on. Rick can be dropped into any situation and will solve the problem every time. Amol Botre is very new to product management, but I’m incredibly impressed with his breadth of knowledge, ability to take on a large workload, and his positive attitude. Amy Dugdale understands the Enterprise business like no one else can have dedicated most of her career to this product line. 

I think a good leader assembles a great team, knows when to get involved and when to stay out of the way. I’m still stumbling my way along but happy to have a team I completely trust and enjoy working with. 

Zoe: Who are your role models and influencers? 
Dave: I am very impressed with Deepak Mohan’s leadership, and he is someone I’d like to emulate. He is a great example of grace under pressure and a calming influence to lead us through these uncertain times. I also appreciate how he makes time for the non-NetBackup side of our business. :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes: 

My parents were a strong influence. I have two kids, and it takes all my free time. My parents raised four kids, my Dad worked full-time, and they still had time to run a small farm in their spare time. My mother, at 80-years-old, still manages to accomplish more by 9 am than the average millennial achieves all day; she is a master at accomplishing a lot in a short period. My father was the polar opposite – slow and methodical in everything he did. Both approaches have their pros and cons. I take after both, and the challenge is to know when to slow down and think things through like my father and when to take rapid action, like my mother.

Dave and his FamilyDave and his FamilyZoe: How do you define success? And how do you build successful teams globally? 
Dave: Success is enjoying how you spend your days and the people you spend your time with. Obviously, having a strong family is key and I’m very fortunate to have a strong partner in my wife Stacie and two great daughters Sofia (15) and Kaela (12).

As for building a successful team globally, I think the key is identifying strong people in different regions and establishing relationships with them. I’m incredibly lucky to know so many people in so many different countries around the world. The Digital Compliance team is very loyal, and we tend to keep people for many years, which leads to a great pool of experience to draw on. 

Zoe: What motivates you? And how do you motivate remote teams globally? 
Dave: I’ve spent many years working on the Digital Compliance products, and I really want to see these products return to dominance in the traditional Supervision and Discovery space while also finding new markets to expand into. I’m most motivated when working with the broader team and solving a problem.  

Recently, many of our Public Sector accounts were struggling with COVID-19 Freedom of Information Act requests and needed a way to quickly locate content related to COVID-19. 

I reached out to the extended Digital Compliance team to build a Classification policy for our Veritas Information Classifier (VIC) engine, and in less than a week, we crowd-sourced a classification policy to detect COVID-19 related messages. This was a cross-functional team project with Sales, Sales Engineers (SE’s), TFE, Engineering, Product Management, and Professional Services all collaborating.  

Zoe: Dave, Congratulations on your long tenure at Veritas, it has been over 20 years. Why should people choose to work at Veritas? 
Dave: It’s amazing how quickly 26 years can pass. Veritas has always presented me with great challenges and so many different jobs. I’ve got to work with so many great people during my time here, and I’ve learned something from everyone. I think the high number of ‘boomerangs’ coming back to Veritas are a testament to the quality of the company and the leadership of Greg Hughes and Deepak Mohan. The past 18 months since Deepak Mohan returned has brought a complete reversal and new energy into the portfolio, which I’m very excited about. 

Zoe: What’s your favourite Veritas solution or product? 
Dave: I have to say Enterprise Vault (EV) obviously as I’ve been working on it since 2006. That being said, I’m incredibly proud of the work the Digital Compliance team has done to bring Veritas Advanced Supervision to market for customers (and soon for EV customers as well) and renewed efforts on eDiscovery Platform from both an engineering and sales perspective in FY21. 

Zoe: Dave, what do you like to do in your free time? 
Dave: I try to pull myself away from the keyboard. In my younger days, I played a lot of Hockey, but I gave that up a few years back. Having recently hit 50, I’d love to find an over 50 league and make a comeback at some point. I enjoy cycling, CrossFit, and gardening with my youngest daughter. My family and I are just a few miles from Virginia Beach, so we try to get on the water as often as possible. 

Zoe: Finally, what technology can’t you live without? 
Dave: I love Audible. I struggle to find enough time to read all the books I’d like to, but Audible allows me to read while doing other activities. I also love my Kindle, which is fairly ancient at this point and has a lot of miles on it but still my favorite way to read a book. 

If you enjoyed this Life at Veritas blog post with Dave Scott, then do stay tuned as there will be more interview-style posts from other people at Veritas. And if this has inspired you to join our team, then check out our job vacancies on LinkedIn and apply here. Stay safe, everyone!