As the senior director of engineering at iZotope, it’s Lisa Ferrante-Walsh’s job to set up the perfect conditions that enable free-flowing creativity. With the pandemic running rampant on best practices and processes across the board, Headliner spoke to Ferrante-Walsh to find out how she continues to nurture innovation at the company, and ultimately help creatives tell stories through music.
Coming from a musical background, Ferrante-Walsh rounded out her studies by completing a masters in computer science, eventually falling in love with the scene in Boston. Her most relevant job pre-iZotope was actually at Avid, where she worked within its broadcast news division.
“I transitioned from being a software developer to a manager at that point, and found that I was always gravitating toward these roles,” she recalls. “A friend of mine who used to be on my team at Avid happened to be working at iZotope, and I was ready to make a change. I saw an open position, reached out to him, and the rest is history.”
While she accepts that she’s not an expert in audio engineering per say, Ferrante-Walsh’s focus at iZotope is an equally important people-centric one, fostering technical innovation and extracting that from its teams.
The other side of the job, she explains, is more around the engineering processes and practices; looking at how the company develops and releases products, manages its code base, and implements quality control.
“One of my favourite quotes is from the movie Hidden Figures,” Ferrante-Walsh shares. “There’s a manager who basically describes his job as being: ‘finding the genius in the geniuses’. That’s exactly how I see my job; I set up the right conditions so people can feel the most motivated and be as innovative as they possibly can. In turn, I’m helping people make products that enable creativity, and helping people tell stories through music.”