DeveloperWeek 2021 DeveloperWeek 2021
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PRO SESSION: Engineering Culture: Why Ownership Is the Secret Ingredient

DeveloperWeek PRO Stage C
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Eric Rabinovitch
Aspectiva - A Walmart company, VP of Engineering

Eric Rabinovich is a results-driven VP of Engineering with over 19 years of experience in technology and problem solving, and more than ten years of experience holding different management positions. He has worked with small startups, mid-size companies, and large enterprises in industries including biotech, smart cities, IoT, e-learning, and e-commerce. He is experienced in both B2B and B2C in mobile & web environments. Eric believes in and loves mentoring and training developers and leaders, and setting clear objectives for the continuous improvement of knowledge, processes, and personal growth.

When starting to build your team, what are you looking for in a candidate? Technical skills? Leadership skills? Ability to get things done? Over the past decade, I have built and managed many engineering teams, and when I looked back on my 10x developers and looked at what differentiates them from the others, I noticed that it wasn't necessarily superb technical skills or years of experience, but rather their sense of ownership.

In this talk, first, I will convince you why ownership is so essential to your engineering culture. I will explain why, if you own something, it makes you care a bit more about it. Why once you feel accountable for your deliveries and your domain will welcome responsibility gladly. And why ownership might starts with your territory and field but tend to grow and to increase your influence globally, not just locally.

Having people that care about the value they bring to your team, to the entire R&D, and your company’s goals are so fundamental, I believe it is one of the critical building blocks for creating a healthy and prosperous engineering culture. So, I will share how to look for a sense of ownership in a candidate. What kinds of questions you should ask in an interview to spot it, and how to make the right recruiting choices. And will share some tips and tricks, how to define and measure ownership in your existing team members, how to encourage them to take more responsibility for themselves, and why this is important - not just for the company's sake but also for their own.

Building a team of individuals with a sense of ownership who can work together will genuinely make the whole more significant than the sum of its parts and will maximize your team's full potential.