Session 2

Growing teams sustainably

Empowering your team in times of growth 

February 1, 18:00 - 20:30 GMT
10am–12.30pm PST / 1–3.30pm EST / 6–8.30pm GMT / 7–9.30pm CET

February 2, 14:00 - 16:30 GMT
6–8.30am PST / 9–11.30am EST / 2–4.30pm GMT / 3–5.30pm CET

See session details

Meet our session contributors

HOST

Anjuan Simmons

Engineering Coach

Help Scout

Co-HOST

Christian McCarrick

Engineering Leader

Facebook

TuTOR

Brianna McCullough

Infrastructure Program Manager

Google

Tutor

Daniel Burke

Senior Engineering Manager

Twitter

Tutor

Milena Talavera

VP of Engineering, Infrastructure

Slack

Meet our session contributors

Session overview

So you’re scaling your team? Congratulations! But while scaling can be an exciting time, it can also bring a lot of chaos. And without clear objectives and a strategy for achieving them, you run the risk of creating uncertainty, increasing ineffective communication and decreasing productivity. 

 

This session will help you navigate your team through this transition and take the necessary action to get qualified and experienced engineers on your team. 

Tips to avoid some of the top traps that scaling teams fall into

Approaches for a good hiring & onboarding process and how to set one up

Frameworks to structure and formalize roles and career ladders

Tips on preparing for what’s next for your growing team

Talk

Eliminating Hero Culture while growing and scaling your team

When you’re a first time manager, it’s easy to rely on who you might think of as “highly talented, or hardworking” but this has proven to be extremely inefficient. Hero-based culture lacks the agility for us to grow teams in the right direction, and haulers career growth for most professionals. 

In this talk I will discuss how to grow, scale and lead a team that doesn’t have a “hero culture”. 

Brianna McCullough

Infastructure Program Manager

Google

Brianna McCullough is an authoritative force conquering dynamic duality as an Infrastructure Program Manager at Google and founder of the lifestyle empowerment brand, Bri Limitless. 

In her daily mission to diversify the engineering industry, the innovation leader and Detroit, Michigan native, resiliently shares her voice and vision for inclusivity across STEM fields, simultaneously serving youth and fellow millennials with mentorship and enthusiastic encouragement to live life without limits. Brianna’s dedicated discipline and knowledge has led her to captivate audiences at Google Developers Fest, Ernst and Young, Afrotech and so many more. Her engineering milestones earned her the Minnesota Pioneer Women in Tech award in 2017. She is a graduate of Michigan State University.

Talk

Hiring and onboarding in times of growth

An essential part of scaling is growth - and when you’re growing your team’s headcount the most common way that you’ll be doing this is through hiring. But hiring to grow teams rapidly is different to hiring to replace an engineer. It’s essential to think about how to extend the strengths and support the weaknesses of your team whilst thinking about future progression.

 

In this talk, we’ll explore how to approach hiring in times of growth. We’ll think about how to assess your team’s current skills, identify traits you’d like to hire for and think about how to build this into interview processes. We'll then touch on strategies for quickly integrating new hires into your team.

Daniel Burke

Senior Engineering Manager 

Twitter

Daniel Burke has more than 12 years of software development experience and has 6 years of engineering leadership working at companies on the east and west coasts including Yelp, Handshake, and currently Square. Burke, as he likes to be called, leads a team of backend and Android engineers building elegant ways for businesses to take payments with Square.

Burke has also invested time in organizing and facilitating coding events for underestimated youth across the country, partnering with organizations like Boys & Girls Club, Mission Bit, and SFUSD.

Burke also draws experience from his past time as a small business owner, a traveling preacher, and a father of a 8 year-old princess and a 13 year-prince. He currently leads his team remotely from sunny Virginia Beach, VA.

Talk

Demystifying the Re-Org

As your team grows, either through hiring or through inheriting other teams, organizational structure can either help or hinder the ability to scale the team.  

Re-org, a tool loved by leaders but often feared by many, can be an effective way to help scale the team if done well and for the right reasons.  In this talk, we will explore how team size and structure can help scale an organization and how to mitigate the fear and uncertainty that often comes with a re-org.

Milena Talavera

VP of Engineering, Infrastructure 

Slack

Milena Talavera is a VP of Engineering at Slack. Milena leads the Core Infrastructure group that is responsible for building scalable and reusable systems and components that lay the foundation that Slack is built on top of. 

Prior to Slack, Milena was Director of Engineering at Talkdesk, VP of Engineering at Twelvefold Media, and began her career as a software engineer for the US government. She studied at The John Hopkins University and MIT.

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