Session 2

Building motivation

 Creating and retaining engaged teams

April 27, 18:00 - 21:00 BST
10am–1pm PDT / 1–4pm EDT / 6–9pm BST / 7–10pm CEST

April 28, 14:00 - 17:00 BST
6–9am PDT / 9am–12pm EDT / 2–5pm BST / 3–6pm CEST

See session details

Meet our session contributors

HOST

Anjuan Simmons

Engineering Coach

Help Scout

co-HOST

Camille Fournier

Author

'The Manager's Path'

SPEAKER

Mikal Lewis

Senior Director Product Management 

Mozilla Firefox

SPEAKER & PANELIST

Laura Thomson

VP of Platform Engineering 

Fastly

SPEAKER & PANELIST

Ronnie Chen

Senior Manager 

Twitter

Plus more speakers to be announced soon!

Meet our session contributors

Experience all of last year's sessions

Get full access to 29 videos from the debut series in 2020. Enjoy talks and panels on coaching, difficult conversations, career vectors, and more.

Session overview

As an engineering leader, motivating your teams is one of your biggest priorities – but can also be one of your biggest challenges. And while many people are familiar with frameworks like "Mastery, Autonomy, Purpose" for breaking down motivation, actually applying these concepts to your team can be challenging. 

In this session, you’ll hear talks on:

Getting your team excited about business critical work, and not just the shiny new technical problem

Frameworks for aligning your team around current strategy and long-term vision   

How to create the culture and values of your team - and how these can be harnessed as a tool of motivation and retention  

What motivation anti-patterns exist for engineering leaders and how you can avoid them  

Hosted by 

Camille Fournier

Author of The Managers Path

Camille is an engineering executive and author of The Manager’s Path, as well as the editor of the new book 97 Things Everyone Should Know About Engineering Management.   

She is a member of the engineering leadership team at Two Sigma Investments and is the former CTO of Rent the Runway. She resides in New York City with her husband and two children.

Talk

Save us from the new shiny: 

Motivating yourself and others to work on the less exciting systems

Everyone wants to work on the new stuff. Building new things is what gets you promoted, and funded, and it’s where you learn. Right? It’s the glamor job. Nobody wants to work on the boring but important things -- the vintage systems, the invisible systems, the ones that just work, or that everyone is afraid will stop working. As an engineering leader, you know that somebody is going to have to do that work. So how do you motivate people to want to do it and keep doing it? 

In this talk I’ll talk about how we motivate ourselves and others to work on the less shiny parts of systems that pay the bills and keep the network running, while balancing career development needs.  

Laura Thomson

VP of Platform Engineering

Fastly

Laura Thomson is VP of Platform Engineering at Fastly. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society. Previously, she spent more than a decade at Mozilla, leading engineering and operations teams. Laura has spoken at many conferences worldwide over the last 20 years and is the author of best-selling software development books.

Talk

Building culture intentionally  

A strong team culture is an important tool in recruiting, retention, and maintaining employee engagement, but many engineering leaders experience a gap between the culture that they have and the culture that they want. If not executed carefully, driving team culture can come across as heavy-handed and even work to increase dissatisfaction within the team instead of producing the outcomes that you're looking for.  

This session will help you identify some key values that have outsized effects on team engagement and give you strategies to shape your culture with intention.

Ronnie Chen

Senior Manager

Twitter

Ronnie Chen is a senior engineering manager at Twitter. Previously, she was a data engineer at Slack and Braintree, and a backend engineer at PayPal. 

She is a deep sea technical diver and was also the sous chef of a Michelin-starred restaurant in a previous life.  

Talk

Vision– Influencing human behavior with an inspired shared why

This online talk reviews how Vision works to inspire and align human behavior and the two foundational frames to align to find yours: a shared why, and a hypothesis of the future. 

We’ll step through what it takes to find and define each, and close with a concrete example from Nordstrom Looks to make the concept of Vision approachable and actionable. 

Mikal Lewis

Senior Director Product Management

Mozilla Firefox

Mikal Lewis joined Mozilla as a Product Leader during COVID in 2020. Since then, he’s helped Firefox integrate experience as a core principle, beginning with a new visual language that rolls out in H1 2021. 

Prior to joining Mozilla, Mikal served in various product leadership roles at RetailMeNot, Nordstrom, and Microsoft.

Panel

The engineering leaders’ guide to motivational anti-patterns

MODERATOR

Camille Fournier

Author of The Manager's Path

In the session so far, we’ve talked about strategies for creating and sustaining motivation in your engineering teams. But there are also ideas that sound great in principle, but turn out not to be so great in practice. 

In this panel, we’ll discuss some of the mistakes our panel have made when trying to motivate people so that you can avoid them. 

  

PANELIST

Laura Thomson

VP of Platform Engineering • Fastly

Laura Thomson is VP of Platform Engineering at Fastly. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society. Previously, she spent more than a decade at Mozilla, leading engineering and operations teams. Laura has spoken at many conferences worldwide over the last 20 years and is the author of best-selling software development books.

PANELIST

Ronnie Chen

Senior Manager • Twitter

Ronnie Chen is a senior engineering manager at Twitter. Previously, she was a data engineer at Slack and Braintree, and a backend engineer at PayPal. She is a deep sea technical diver and was also the sous chef of a Michelin-starred restaurant in a previous life.

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