A few weeks ago, one of our assignments was to interview someone from the community that could help us better ourselves in our class jobs. I chose my dad, Danny Thorogood. He works at TransUnion in SLO as the head web developer. He works very close to the CTO of the company and knows some tips on how to lead a department, I will be using my interview with him as my blog post for this week because I feel like it is very beneficial and he gave me some really good advice and things we can improve upon as a company.

What do you do?

  1. I am lead front-end software developer for TransUnion.

How important is your job?

  1. Fairly important. I make decisions and implement software updates for a major financial institution, and mentor junior developers to do the same.

How is the tech department run?

  1. There are many different technical roles at the company (it’s a tech company), but there isn’t a “tech department”. For the most part, though, each department is broken into implementation teams which are responsible for separate applications. Each of these teams reports to a different department head, who report to the Executive team.

How do you pitch a new idea to a company?

  1. We have weekly one-on-one meetings with our managers, where we can pitch ideas. We also have quarterly hackathons where we can test out new software, or build prototypes.

What is the tech department in charge of?

  1. Again, there isn’t a tech department. There are implementation teams and there is a systems team. The systems team is responsible for our hardware and infrastructure, while the implementation teams maintain and develop the software.

What is the role of a CTO in your job?

  1. The CTO is responsible for ensuring that our technology stack is kept running smoothly and that necessary performance and security updates are prioritised and executed.

Have you come up with something new that people use in your job?

  1. Yes, a suggestion I made a few months ago has turned into a large scale project that will involve rebuilding large areas of our flagship applications.

What should be included on a company website?

  1. That depends on the company, but all companies must include their privacy policy, contact information, terms and conditions and copyright information. Most companies should probably also include a description of the business and what it does, and perhaps a contact form.

What is a challenge you have faced while working on an important project?

  1. I often have to learn how to work with new technologies or programming languages while on a deadline.

How did you overcome that setback?

  1. It is important to set expectations early and be sure to incorporate research time into estimates.

How do you keep up with world trends?

  1. I regularly take training courses through LinkedIn Learning and as provided by my employer.

What project managing software do you use to organize tasks?

  1. We use JIRA and Agile Central for most of our project management, and MIRO for showing inter-team dependencies.


This was a very good interview and I learned a lot from sitting with my dad and talking about what he does in his job. For example, I never knew he went through trainings to keep up with the newest technology and trends. I plan on looking into the two organization tools he suggested because they sound really interesting and good tools to make our company better and better. I want to thank Danny Thorogood for sitting down with me and answering my questions about the Tech Department and how to lead as a CTO.



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