Tech 25 winner Alex Correa leverages people-focused energy and technical understanding to build elegant curriculum technology
Alex is the Manager of Product and Technology for Codelicious. He combines a degree in Computer Science with innate people skills to lead a team in building the platform and technology supporting the creation of computer science curriculum. A Butler University graduate with infectious energy, Alex proudly calls Indianapolis home. Outside of the office, Alex is committed to making Indy a place that young tech talent will want to call home as well. He is a board member for the LiFT scholars program, volunteers with TechPoint talent programs, and is a huge fan of the Fountain Square neighborhood.
Alex transformed the company’s curriculum product to the simplified, usable, and elegantly complex system it is today. In just over a year, he expanded the functionality of a patent-pending process, built the user interface for the product, instituted systems to make product development more efficient, and hired six people for his team.
What led you to get into tech and this occupation? What was your first job in tech?
I never knew much about the tech industry until I participated in the Xtern program. It was there that I was connected to my first internship at Angie’s List in product management. That summer I had the opportunity to learn about the role from my internship and the Indy tech industry from Xtern. After that summer, I focused on learning the skills necessary to succeed in the role and building a professional network to support me throughout it. The people I met along the way are the reason I have had the opportunities since and I cannot stress enough how thankful I am for every one of them.
When you think of a day in your life, what are the main work activities you do or responsibilities you have?
I often tell my team that I have three primary responsibilities in a day. The first is to make sure that my team is successful. Beyond individual meetings with them, I host “office hours” where anyone in the organization can drop into a Google Meet and discuss any questions or concerns they may have. My second responsibility is to ensure that we’re providing value to our customers and users. Teachers are dealing with one of the toughest times in recent history for education, and every problem we solve is one less thing for them to worry about. Finally, I focus on communicating the work that my team is doing with the rest of the business.
Which resources, people, books, websites, etc. would you recommend to those who want to learn more or advance their skills in this occupation?
Know Your Team, started by Claire Lew, generates some of the best content you can find on leadership and management. Their blog always has an article related to a problem I’m facing, and their software can provide value to anyone looking for support in those areas. I also recommend the book, The One Minute Manager, as situational leadership can help improve your management of diverse teams. Finally, I encourage everyone to always learn. A willingness to learn allows you to see the unique and sometimes hidden ways that things are connected.
Alex Correa is a Tech 25 winner who is helping to grow and improve the tech landscape of Indiana. He was nominated by his Co-Founder and CEO, Christine McDonnell.
Visit the Indianapolis Business Journal website to see the full listing and celebration of the 2020 Tech 25 honorees in the joint CTO of the Year and Tech 25 Awards supplement. You can also watch a video of the livestream from the CTO of the Year and Tech 25 Awards virtual event.