What do managing creative teams and Quantum Mechanics have in common? More than you’d think. The principles of Quantum Mechanics make the unpredictable understandable, and many of them can be applied to help find solutions to your team’s seemingly unsolvable problems. Conventional management techniques invented during the industrial revolution dealt mostly with assembly line optimization, today's creative projects require different techniques. Join James Everingham as he explores Quantum Mechanic's principles as a management metaphor to achieve unimaginable results from unpredictable parts.
Difficult conversations for engineering leaders range from telling someone they have lettuce in their teeth to delivering life-changing bad news. Learn to level-up your ability to handle difficult conversations with a few techniques, practice and hopefully a little humor from my personal experiences.
While you don't jump out of bed excited about it, you know how powerful it is for morale when you make the choice to tackle technical debt. Learn a framework for how to do the same thing with organizational debt, and unlock untapped energy, creativity and connection on your team in the process.
Joanne will ask Lily questions about career transitions in this chat. Why are transitions important? What are some things to watch out for when undergoing a transition?
Hear from Julia Grace, Slack’s Senior Director of Infrastructure Engineering, on managing, scaling and motivating an engineering team, especially through times of hypergrowth, at high velocity. Since joining the company in 2015, Julia has led Slack’s Infrastructure Engineering team from its inception through to its current size of 75+ engineers across three offices. The team is mission-critical to Slack, building the core backend, frontend and data infrastructure that powers the product - laser-focused on reliability, scalability, and performance at tremendous scale.
Join the Own The Room workshop for the opportunity to develop next-level leadership communication skills that will add to your own unique talents and style. Three core outcomes you can expect from this experience include:
● Maximizing your ability to connect and engage with an audience--both small and large, in meetings or externally. ● Increasing your executive presence. ● Improving your ability to inspire your team, clients, or stakeholders through your communication.
As leaders, we are used to managing and making decisions. But what do we do when the “not good enough” feeling appears? In this group, we will explore the feeling of self-doubt in an open and honest discussion. We will try to understand where it comes from, why it appears, what are the triggers, and how do we deal with it when it is there. We will discuss practical solutions to turn this draining self-doubt into a power that will shift our thinking from “not good enough’ into feeling powerful and confident.
This discussion focuses on addressing difficult conversations, starting with the situations leading up to them, and our narrative and often avoidance of difficult conversations. We will aim to understand how we can reframe our perspective of difficult conversations, so we feel more inclined to engage in them productively, leveraging deep listening, negotiation and commitment to drive better interactions and outcomes.
Increased proficiency in our area of technical expertise inevitably leads to more responsibility and authority. The more senior the leadership role, the more areas we become responsible for that are outside our area of expertise. This discussion will center around the skills and insights needed to develop competency in leading those areas and avoiding the pitfalls and mistakes common to new managers.
Emotions, some use them, some get used by them, but we all experience emotions. As leaders, the internal emotional battle all too often prevents us from driving innovation within our organizations. We will learn how to be aware of and engage emotions as you drive sustainable results, inspire those you lead to see their true potential and use empathy to help them reach it as a fundamental aspect of leadership development.
The term "Disagree and Commit" is often used to end a discussion, but Paw believes that with the right approach it is much more valuable as a way to make the best timely decisions and bring people along. What is a quality disagreement? When is it time to move to a decision? How should you ask for a commitment? Paw will present the frameworks he uses to answer these questions and how to practically use them in our daily work as engineering leaders.
An engineering leader’s raison d’etre is to maximize company impact, taking into account the short-term and long-term implications of their decisions. However, at any given point in time, the most impactful work for the business may not align with their engineers’ career growth goals. In this session, Jean-Denis Greze, Head of Engineering at Plaid, will explain how a great manager should think about balancing these (sometimes misaligned) end-goals, drawing on and sharing examples from his experiences at Dropbox, Plaid, and before that in investing, law, and finance. The session will look at how great managers rely on team culture and values, a hiring philosophy that looks beyond technical signals, and building deep trust with their reports to bridge the gap between company impact and personal growth. Jean-Denis will also explain how this calculus changes as a company goes through different stages of growth, and attracts different archetypes of employees.
Organizations succeed through great process, but process design is often an afterthought. In this session, we’ll step through the rollout of a new process at Stripe, uncovering a framework for process evolution as we go. You'll leave with tools to help you spend more time developing effective process, so that you can spend less time enforcing and advocating.
It’s hard enough to build a great engineering team, but it’s even harder when you have to do it in a hyper-growth environment. Naveen Gavini has been a critical part in building and leading the Pinterest Engineering team from its earliest days. Hear about the lessons he’s learned in building and scaling the team
This panel of engineering leaders will discuss defining moments in their own lives—key turning points, both professional and personal, that have helped shape them into the leaders they are today.
This panel will bring together talent partners and CEOs who have hired and worked with multiple engineering leaders to talk about what makes a great VP of Engineering.
What is influence without authority? Why does it matter? Do you need it if you lead an organization already?
Is your CEO balking at funding a big investment in services? CFO fighting you on that migration to the cloud? Why does everyone's eyes glaze over whenever you utter the words "tech debt"? In this fireside chat, Joe and Scott will discuss valuable tools for influencing executives while learning to avoid the common pitfalls engineering leaders make.
With over a decade of experience working from distributed offices and recently having launched several remote offices from scratch, Jerry will cover practical advice and considerations for how to identify, build, and grow a distributed team. The talk will cover issues like considerations for identifying a location, recruiting and building a team, effective and efficient communication channels, and ensuring remote offices are set up for success.
Management mindset has traditionally translated the size of the organization to the seniority of a manager. However, there is nothing as challenging and good for learning as taking an organization of zero size, and successfully growing it. In this talk, Xavier will draw on his experience going from very large organizations to founding a startup. He will describe those principles that he has found to remain invariant as well as the many things that change depending on the size and the focus of the organization, and reflect on how these experiences can help anyone grow as a manager.
Say you find yourself without the bandwidth to manage individual contributors. Or, you're becoming the bottleneck in decision making. Or, you need to scale your team further and add additional layers of management. This session will share insights into building teams and advice on managing managers.
In this session, Christian will interview Nick about his experience transitioning from engineering leadership to product management leadership.
Developing self-driving technology is one most difficult engineering problems of our time — and in order to succeed, you need to build a team that matches the scale of this enormous challenge. And even if you do manage to hire an ideal team in a hurry, how do you ensure that productivity scales with this growth? In this talk, Anantha will share how Lyft managed to build a successful and sizable self-driving car team that is extremely diverse in its expertise. He will draw on inspiration from his previous experiences working on cutting edge/emerging technology that ran for multiple years and predicting what the "final" shape, processes and culture of a team should be.
A common misconception about agile is that managers are unnecessary. After all, agile is based on self-organizing teams. If the teams organize themselves, what do managers do? Agile has shifted the old roles and responsibilities. Managers bent on command-and-control are clearly a barrier to agile adoption. But managers who take a hands-off approach or think their roles are just H.R. will almost certainly stymie adoption, as well. This talk is about manager roles and about success.
Influencing the technical practices of our fellow engineers is a special topic, and requires pairing the general advice around leading through influence with a solid grounding in technical reality. Scaling this influence up to an org that is too big to personally effect requires storytelling and flirting with the infamously sensitive BS-detectors of tough-minded engineers. Hear from Keith Adams, Slack's Chief Architect, about how senior technologists must lead in a purely influence-driven style - often without the management superpower of directing human effort.
No one sets out to be a bad boss. But it’s easy to become one. After years of research from 15,000+ people and 25 countries, Claire Lew, CEO of Know Your Team, shares the biggest, most counterintuitive mistakes that leaders unintentionally make – and what to do about them.
The hardest business problem has a soft solution. Scientists and engineers display a (well-deserved) skepticism toward touchy-feely ideas such as leadership. In this talk, Fred will show that there's a very technical way to understand why most organizations, from couples to multinational corporations, die a premature death... and what can be done to extend their lifespan.
What should be the role of engineering leaders in recruiting? What levers do they have at their disposal? In this fireside chat, you'll hear the perspectives of two recruiting heavy-hitters on how engineering leaders can optimize for successful hiring outcomes.