VP of Engineering
There will come a time when every engineering leader will be faced with engineers who are underperforming in their roles. And this is always tough for the underperforming person but also you as a manager. Underperformance, if not addressed correctly, can have tangible consequences both for an individual and your team. So how do you tackle these situations with integrity and ensure that you’re doing all you can to help people succeed?
In this session, we’ll help you set out a plan of action to manage underperformance effectively, looking at how to set expectations, drive performance, and deal with any aftershocks.
You'll leave this session with:
Frameworks to help you define performance and to set realistic goals
Tools for being able to manage underperformers
Communication methods to treat the person with dignity
The ability to make hard choices confidently
Strategies for creating communication plans
We’ll be exploring how to address underperformance in this session - but how can you even tell if someone is underperforming? For underperformance to be genuinely established - both you and the person you’re managing need to have clearly defined metrics for success and failure.
We’ll outline how to set clear expectations for your reports in this talk. We’ll look at how you need to write and communicate these expectations and set out what to do when your report is missing them. We’ll identify traps that new managers fall into, how to avoid them, and how to gain the confidence to say ‘you’re not meeting the expectations of the role’.
Senior Director of Engineering
Rod Garcia is Senior Director of Engineering at Slack, focusing on the developer platform to automate and simplify work. Previously he led engineering organizations at Squarespace, Shutterstock, and American Express.
When not working, Rod can be found spending time with his family, reading sci-fi books, or cooking BBQ.
You’ve identified that a person is underperforming, you’ve set expectations, and you’ve communicated to your report that they’re not meeting the expectations of their role. What comes next? Truthfully, a lot of work for both you and your report. Successful performance management only works when there is a clear action plan that you regularly check upon.
In this talk, we’ll identify what you should do to help manage someone out of underperformance. We’ll look at how to turn expectations into practical actions, how and when to check in, and how to provide the best support and give your report the best chance of improvement.
Senior Engineering Manager
Adrienne is an experienced engineering leader and director of distributed development and ops teams, and a keynote speaker beloved for her ability to inspire and motivate.
Her recent work experience includes directing engineering and ops at an early-stage startup and before that, at a mature SaaS company. Open-source and community work is important to Adrienne. She is a mentor at CollabLab, where she guides co-horts of early career developers in the role of tech lead and product owner as they work remotely to collaboratively build a real-world software project.
She is also the author of the Imposter Syndrome Disclaimer, a framework for open-source Contributing Guides which has been adopted by projects as diverse as Netflix's Cloud Security Team, the BeeWare Project, and MetPy. She also served as Director of Advancement of the Django Software Foundation, the non-profit behind Django. Adrienne is an O'Reilly contributor and technical editor of Head First Python 2nd Edition. Adrienne is based in Music City: Nashville, Tennessee.
Unfortunately, there will be times when even the most thought out improvement plans don’t work out. And in these situations, it will sometimes be necessary to let a person go. This is painful for you as a manager and will have material effects on the life of your report - and as such, it can’t be a decision that is made lightly.
In this talk, we’ll provide three safeguards that will allow you to make this tricky choice confidently. We’ll ask: Were you transparent with this person? Did you support this person and give them the tools to succeed? And did you act with integrity? We’ll then outline practical advice on how to hold a firing conversation.
Chief Technology Officer
Kevin Goldsmith has been a developer, software architect, technology manager, and senior technology executive for over 28 years. He is the Chief Technology Officer at Anaconda, overseeing innovation for Anaconda’s current open-source and commercial offerings, as well as developing new solutions to bring data science practitioners together with innovators, vendors, and thought leaders in the industry.
Formerly, Kevin was the Chief Technology Officer at Onfido; Chief Technology Officer at Avvo; the Vice President of Engineering, Consumer at Spotify; a Director of Engineering at Adobe Systems; and, development lead at Microsoft.