Dev Executive & Engineering Management

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

- PDT
5 Ways to Boost the Strength and Flexibility of Your Organization
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Elisa Hebert
Elisa Hebert
Fairwinds, VP Engineering Operations

Cloud native technologies give us exciting opportunities to modernize, accelerate, and grow. But new technologies can introduce massive change, and startups or small teams aren’t always ready for it. The go-to-market strategy, tech stack, leadership team, funding, M&A positioning are all BIG CHANGES that require an antifragile approach and emotionally elastic team. As your organization undergoes change, how can you position yourself for success? What’s the best organizational structure to drive the outcomes you want - for your team and your customers - today AND tomorrow? How can you be antifragile and emotionally elastic to continue to drive innovation, enjoy your work and the humans you work with daily, and create a robust business? This talk offers insights into how to embrace change instead of fear it as your business evolves. It offers a chance to look at your personal growth opportunities so we as a community can embrace change, evolve and mature even further. 

- PDT
Managing Growth Pains
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Amir Shaked
Amir Shaked
PerimeterX, SVP R&D

As your team scale and grows, so do your practices of managing it. Every aspect of the team will be affected. Some can be fixed along the way - such as the processes of work. Others need to be planned from the first day to support scale - mainly culture. And of course, you, from time management to expectations and management style, must also evolve.
This talk will cover all of the above, with examples and stories, reviewing how a (fast) growing team affects culture, processes, technology, and yourself, hoping you will have a better experience managing the growth pains. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Building a High-Performing Interrupt-Driven Team
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Mariena Quintanilla
Mariena Quintanilla
Foursquare, Director of Client Solutions Engineering

Finding the balance in your organization between project work and servicing ad-hoc stakeholder requests in a timely manner is a hard problem. Done wrong, it can lead to burn-out, increase attrition and slow innovation in your organization. Done right, your team will feel the value they provide daily -- increasing engagement and meeting the needs of stakeholders. In this session, Foursquare’s Director of Client Solutions Engineering Mariena Quintanilla will provide practical guidance for managing agile dev teams, from structuring your organizing and hiring the right talent, to maintaining work-life balance and resolving friction points. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Metrics Driven Prioritization for SRE
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Christina Tan
Christina Tan
Blameless, Founding Team Member

Leading an SRE organization can be overwhelming - whether you are building the SRE function from scratch, diving in when everything’s on fire, or leading an existing SRE team into a new direction. The goal of this talk is to give SRE leaders a metrics-driven framework for prioritization that will propel them toward needle-moving impact.

First, we'll cover the challenge of prioritization. Engineers can identify what's broken, but that doesn't mean everything can (or should) be fixed instantly. Then we'll go over the Holistic Prioritization Method (HPM). This approach helps you categorize work, ask the right questions, measure what's most suitable for your organization, and analyze gaps. We know that every organization is at a different phase in their SRE journey and priorities will change over time. This framework is meant to help organizations get started with SRE, prioritize what will make the most impact based on real data, and highlight successes throughout their journey. Following this, we'll talk about building a dashboard as a single source of truth, which is important for transparency and building alignment across the business. Finally, we'll provide real-world examples of HPM and the subsequent cultural transformation it engenders. 

- PDT
Getting Past the Password
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Julianna Lamb
Julianna Lamb
Stytch, Co-founder and CTO

Any company doing business on the internet needs to authenticate their users. As the number of online accounts that each user needs to access has increased, the pains of password based authentication have reached a tipping point.

Passwords create problems both from a user experience perspective and a security perspective. From a user experience perspective, it is cumbersome to manage dozens if not hundreds of passwords for various accounts. From a security perspective, users end up cutting corners and reusing the same passwords across many of their online accounts. When one of those passwords is breached, then every other account using that same password is susceptible to an account takeover attack.

Passwordless authentication enables frictionless user experiences and an increased security posture, but navigating which of the myriad different authentication options to go with can be incredibly confusing. Passwordless can mean so many different things, such as email based verification like a magic link, SMS one time passcodes, biometrics, hardware keys, and SSO.

This session would discuss how to navigate the transition to a passwordless future. The session would discuss:
-Why passwords have to go.
-How to simultaneously increase conversion and decrease security risks.
-How to match your business needs to passwordless authentication options.
-When to choose email magic links, SMS one-time passcodes, WebAuthn (TouchID/FaceID and YubiKey support), OAuth, and multifactor flows, or use a combination of these methods.
-The present (and future) of biometric authentication. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Essential Strategies for Managing Distributed Teams
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Alex Oliveira
Alex Oliveira
Code Climate, Engineering Manager

The dynamics of a distributed team — whether remote or hybrid — differ significantly from those of an in-office team. Managers must adjust their tactics to account for those differences and lead their team to success. In this talk, Alex Oliveira, Engineering Manager at Code Climate, walks through essential strategies for gaining visibility, boosting alignment, and driving progress on a distributed team. 

- PDT
How to Use Vendor Technical Due Diligence/Exit Prep to Maximize the Valuation of Your Tech Company
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Federico Fregosi
Federico Fregosi
Contino, VP of Engineering

The need to include an IT review during M&A due diligence is more significant than ever on both sides of a transaction. VC/PE firms, on the buy side, are looking to maximize the value of their investment. Tech companies, on the sell side, are eager to maximize their valuations.
Execs and Tech Leads in startups, however, usually participate in only a few transactions in their careers and are unprepared for the process. This talk aims to help them in their journey: we will start with a thorough analysis of the technical Due Diligence process for tech companies from the first introduction to the final DPA (Definitive Purchase Agreement).
We'll do a deep dive on each core pillar: Strategy, System Architecture, Product, People, Process&Workflows & IT/Governance. Then, we'll see "why" we look at these topics, the most common questions and the necessary document disclosures.
We'll look at strategies how to maximize the value and minimize the time spent in DD.
In the last section, we'll see how to do "dry runs" to identify any possible issues before starting a major funding round. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Promoted from Dev to Team Lead: 8 Things They Didn't Tell Me
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Yishai Beeri
Yishai Beeri
LinearB, CTO

Three years into my software engineering career (that I was loving), a freight train hit me. I was promoted to dev team lead. This is a common trend in the engineering world - where many times the sole paths to success for excellent engineers are through management paths. However, the skills that make great developers do not always translate to great management. In fact, it’s usually quite the opposite, they often hold us back from succeeding in leadership roles, and I, unfortunately, learned this the hard way.
This talk will expose some of the surprises and common mistakes that developers transitioning into leadership roles often face. Over the years I have compiled a list of 8 tips that I wish my engineering lead would have shared with me before I took the job. This talk will focus on things like the “superhuman mode” fallacy and knowing your limitations, how to be data-driven without being a performance tyrant, and other mistakes I myself have made in my engineering leadership roles.
Developers, if you are considering pursuing a management role, this talk will help you understand what it takes to be successful. If you are already a team lead, after this talk you’ll walk away with my personal playbook and all of my best tips for becoming a more effective leader. CTOs, VPs, and Directors of Engineering will learn how to set up new managers for success as they transition from individual contributors to team leads. 

- PDT
Developer Learning Patterns & Fostering High-Performance Teams
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Ben Matthews
Ben Matthews
Stack Overflow, Director of Engineering

The tech industry resignations rank among the highest with a 4.5% increase in departures compared to 2020 (HBR). Yet, the last two years have seen unprecedented growth across nearly every technology-driven industry. High growth and turnover compounded make for even more go-to-market challenges. How can we solve for this as leaders? We found that developers rank “opportunities to learn” in the top three reasons they stay with an organization or decide to move on. In this talk, Ben Matthews will discuss how cultivating agile thinking and learning can transform teams built for high-performance. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Why Engineers Ignore You: The Care and Feeding of Software Developers
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Jonathan Oliver
Jonathan Oliver
Smarty, Founder, CEO, & CTO

Software developers are a unique bunch. We are highly protective of our creations, while any attempts to consider alternatives that better align with business outcomes and objectives are met with silence or backroom contempt. Further, attempts to correct the situation almost inevitably create additional layers of resistance among software development teams and which pit management against engineering.

In this session, we will look at a few ways to obtain better outcomes by considering the needs, challenges, and objectives of engineering, while at the same time helping to align all involved with organizational goals. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Distributed SQL and Operational Analytics
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Andrew Oliver
Andrew Oliver
MariaDB, Senior Director of Product Marketing

Your business has changed, moved online, and requires handling massive numbers of customer interactions per second. Uptime requirements are absolute and it is no longer feasible to scale an "engagement database" separate from the system of record. Several times a day your business needs to know what customers are doing and why. Your business needs to know that NOW – not in the next hour, tomorrow, or next week.
Distributed SQL databases are modern scalable databases that support a relational model. Nearly all support SQL. They can serve as a system of record while scaling to hundreds of thousands of queries per second and tens of thousands of transactions per second. Meanwhile, new technologies are making it possible to run ad hoc, real-time operational analytics, and personal analytics against a production system.
In this session, we'll look at the best places to use a distributed SQL database, the way they work, and how they are evolving new capabilities. 

- PDT
Digital Transformation Through a Design-first Approach to APIs
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Steve Rodda
Steve Rodda
Stoplight, CEO

You wouldn't build a house without a blueprint. Why build APIs without a plan? But you also can't build a house without the proper infrastructure. It'll take work to get your organization ready to shift left into a design-first API strategy. Learn how to prepare your organization to create a winning API program. We'll answer why organizations are turning to APIs in droves, what is holding organizations back, and why a design-first approach to your API design matters. 

- PDT
Supercharge Your Team with Software Engineering Analytics
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Julius Uy
Julius Uy
Kydon Group and Zillearn, Chief Technology Officer

Successful organizations tend to generate better decision quality in the optimal amount of time. In the age of information, data is your best friend. Data, not intuitions, must inform decisions. Hence, organizations must always be conscious around improving two important elements: the time to make decisions and the correctness of the decisions.

In this talk, we'll cover how Hubble addressed observability problems in the Software Engineering department and what data we are using to improve our internal processes 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Why Can't We Build Secure Software
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Tanya Janca
Tanya Janca
Bright, Director of Developer Relations and Community

A lot is expected of software developers these days; they are expected to be experts in everything despite very little training.  Throw in the IT security team (often with little-to-no knowledge of how to build software) telling developers what to do and how to do it, and the situation becomes strained. This silo-filled, tension-laced situation, coupled with short deadlines and pressure from management, often leads to stress, anxiety and less-than-ideal reactions from developers and security people alike.
This talk will explain how job insecurities can be brought out by IT leadership decisions, and how this can lead to real-life vulnerabilities in software. This is not a talk about “feelings”, this is a talk about creating programs, governance and policies that ensure security throughout the entire SDLC.

No more laying blame and pointing fingers, it’s time to put our egos aside and focus on building high-quality software that is secure. The cause and effect of insecurities and other behavioral influencers, as well as several detailed and specific solutions will be presented that can be implemented at your own place of work, immediately. No more ambiguity or uncertainty from now on, only crystal-clear expectations. 

- PDT
How Cognitive Biases and Ranking Can Foster an Ineffective DevOps Culture
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Evelyn Van Kelle
Evelyn Van Kelle
Xebia, Strategic Software Delivery Consultant & Behavioral change consultant
Kenny Baas-Schwegler
Kenny Baas-Schwegler
Xebia, Trainer & Coach of Engineering managers

The effectiveness of working in a DevOps way and be able to progressively deliver software and gain insights comes from having a diverse group of people who, together, have a lot of wisdom and knowledge. You would expect that all this knowledge and all the feedback from progressively delivery software will be put to use co-creating and to design a model. In reality, we don’t actually listen to all the available input and perspectives due to cognitive biases and ranking. Because not everything that needs to be said has been said, we will end up with building sub-optimal software. Even worse, people don’t feel part of the solution and don’t commit to it. Good software needs all the insights and perception. If you are not aware, cognitive biases and ranking kills those insights and wisdom and kills the effectiveness of your DevOps culture!
Join us in this talk where we will explore how we can improve our facilitation skills and focus on neuro-inclusiveness. We will let you leave with the knowledge on how to observe sabotage behaviour, battle oppression, and to create safety in exploring alternative perceptions. We will show you how you can really let the group say what needs to be said and take a collective autocratic decision in creating software. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: You Can’t Code Career Development - A Technical Professional’s Guide to Soft Skills in the Workplace
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Vanky Kataria
Vanky Kataria
Turing, Evangelist - Global Communities

Technical aptitude will take an engineer far in their career but ultimately it's the ability to navigate workplace environments through the refinement of soft skills that will determine the heights that your career can scale.

In this session, Vanky Kataria (Evangelist - Global Communities) will share how focusing on soft skills can play an instrumental role in your career development and explain how engineers benefit from thinking about their workplaces beyond their roles and responsibilities as technical professionals. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Why and How to Roll Out OpenTelemetry
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Ted Young
Ted Young
Lightstep, Director of Developer Education

Organizations benefit from a consistent observability. But as teams are added, legacy codebases, technology changes, and acquisitions can lead to a fractured landscape containing multiple observability systems. Ripping and replacing instrumentation can be costly and time consuming, making it difficult to move towards a unified observability solution.
OpenTelemetry helps manage the mess by providing a consistent OSS standard, supported by every major observability and monitoring solution. In this talk, we'll go over what tools OpenTelemetry provides, how it can affect your bottom line, and helpful strategies for a successful company-wide roll out.
Learn how to put operators in charge of a scalable observability pipeline, avoid making developers the accidental gatekeepers to configuration changes, and easily run bakeoffs between different observability providers using production data. We'll cover quick wins to power through a rollout, as well as organizational practices to ensure long term success. 

- PDT
OPEN TALK: Driving Value into Your DevOps
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Stephen Walters
Stephen Walters
Everbridge, Field CTO for CEM Digital

Organizations are becoming mired in DevOps transformations that are stuck in a middle ground according to the latest Puppet State of DevOps Report (2021). Value stream management aims to kick these organizations on by applying the necessary cultural and lean changes required, and by applying the principles directly to ITSM, we can add new efficiencies to team workflows and incident resolution. This session will demonstrate why applying Value Stream Management to Incident Management is as important as its application to Software Delivery and how that can be achieved through a Digital Operations Platform 

- PDT
“Tech Hiring Is Broken” Is Broken
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Nicole Tibaldi
Nicole Tibaldi
The New York Times, Senior Engineering Manager

Google the phrase “Tech hiring is broken” and you’ll find roughly 21 million results. You’ll walk away from those articles with more questions than answers. Does whiteboarding really evaluate a candidate’s practical skills? How do you respect a candidate’s time? How do you avoid being exclusionary to minority groups? How do you hire junior candidates? How do you _really_ hire for culture fit? I’ve spent significant time shaping the interview process at the companies I’ve worked for, and I have learned some valuable lessons, You’ll learn about crafting an inclusive hiring process, efficiently evaluating technical skills, patterns in candidate submissions, and how your code is a reflection of culture.