Session 1

Developing your Team

Coaching, sponsoring, and providing actionable feedback

April 13, 18:00 - 21:00 BST
10am–1pm PDT / 1–4pm EDT / 6–9pm BST / 7–10pm CEST

April 14, 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

Lara Hogan

Founder

Wherewithall

MODERATOR

Neha Batra

Director of Engineering

GitHub

SPEAKER

Nik Knight

Head of Releases 

JHC Systems

SPEAKER

Catt Small

Product Designer

Asana

SPEAKER

David Yee

Executive Director of Engineering

The New York Times

Panelist

Lynn Wallenstein

VP of Engineering

GitHub

PANELIST

Billy Griffin

Staff Engineering Manager 

GitHub

PANELIST

Katie Delfin

Senior Engineering Manager

GitHub

PANELIST

Pamela Corbin-Audoux

Global People Engagement Director 

Doctolib

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

If you look for resources on how to develop your engineers, the skill that’s most often talked about is probably mentoring; but studies have shown that often mentoring doesn’t help to progress people in the way that we hope. In this session you’ll hear talks and panels on:

The fundamentals of coaching, how this differs from mentoring, and the skills you need to develop to be an effective coach for your team

How to provide growth opportunities through sponsorship and the strategies you can take to move from an advisor to an investor in your team’s careers

Strategies for providing clear, equitable, actionable feedback 

How and when to utilise the skills of mentoring, coaching, sponsorship, and feedback within your own organisation

Hosted by 

Lara Hogan

Founder • Wherewithall

Lara is an author, public speaker, and coach for managers and leaders across the tech industry. As a founder of Wherewithall, Lara and her team run workshops, roundtables, and training on core management skills. Before Wherewithall, Lara spent a decade growing emerging leaders as the VP of Engineering at Kickstarter and an Engineering Director at Etsy.

Talk

The Leader as Coach 

The term ‘coaching’ gets bandied about a lot when we talk about growing and developing our teams – but do we really know what we mean by it? Do we know how to coach, or why and when we should employ this skill?

Nik will give an overview of what it means to coach as a leader, and the foundational skills you need to develop in order to be an effective coach for your team. 

You will come away from this session with some practical ideas for adding this essential skill to your leadership toolkit

Nik Knight

Head of Releases

JHC Systems

Nik has spent the past 20 years leading various tech teams and her experiences have led her to conclude that technology is all about solving ‘people’ problems. Her greatest source of work-related joy is helping people and teams in tech achieve more than they think is possible. She unwinds by applying the 'fail fast' principle to yoga, child-rearing, and karaoke.

Talk

Their career: sponsored by you!

Individual contributors often seek ways to grow but don’t have access to opportunities that might stretch their skills. 

That’s where you, with your birds-eye view, come in! Sponsorship is an important part of growing the people on your team. 

Catt Small will walk you through the difference between sponsorship and mentorship

You’ll learn strategies to move from an advisor in your reports’ careers to an investor.

Catt Small

Product Designer 

Asana

Catt is a product designer and frontend web developer, currently helping people work better with Asana. She graduated from SVA with a BFA in Graphic Design in 2011 and received an MS in Integrated Digital Media from NYU in 2016. Catt also makes awkward video games, writes about professional development, and draws comics about interpersonal experiences of all kinds.  

Talk

Building healthy feedback 

environments

Feedback is one of the key skills of engineering management, and yet we fail to use it well. We see it as a disciplinary practice, which prevents us from offering both positive and negative feedback with the frequency our colleagues require and deserve—but research shows us clearly how dramatically our teams and the work they do can improve when we create environments that are conducive to fluid and dynamic feedback. How can we navigate between these approaches to feedback?

In this talk, we’ll learn about the importance of frequent, specific, meaningful, and achievable feedback; we’ll walk away with a better understanding of how healthy feedback environments work, and how to build your own feedback environment with those factors in mind.  

David Yee

Executive Director of Engineering

The New York Times

David Yee is Executive Director of Engineering at the New York Times. As an engineering leader, he’s built and scaled teams at both small and enormous companies in the worlds of journalism, music, and art – with an emphasis on product-oriented engineering and humane management.

Panel

Coaching, sponsorship, and feedback in your organisation

We’ve invited panelists from the same organisation to reflect on what people with different managerial responsibilities and spheres of influence can do to actively change the way that individuals are developed

They’ll consider when and how to use the skills of mentoring, coaching, sponsoring, and feedback; how their use varies depending on your own seniority and that of the people you’re interacting with; and discuss how they’ll take their newly learnt skills back to their organisation.

MODERATOR

Neha Batra

Director of Engineering 

GitHub

Neha is a Director of Engineering at GitHub, where she leads the Communities Department that focuses on tools for open source communities like Discussions, Sponsors, and Interaction Limits. Her passion lies in making the tech industry easier and more inclusive to work in, which is why she focuses her talks and blogs on action-oriented tips and tricks. 

PANELIST

Billy Griffin

Staff Engineering Manager 

GitHub

Billy Griffin is the Engineering Manager for GitHub Desktop and GitHub CLI, GitHub’s two largest open source products. Billy began his career as a surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy and co-founded a company whose product, Base Directory, helps service members and their families find information on military bases around the world.

PANELIST

Lynn Wallenstein

VP of Engineering 

GitHub

VP of Engineering at GitHub, leading product engineering teams building app core, coding and community features. Started at GitHub 8 years ago as an independent contributor, reluctantly became a manager and was bitten by the leadership bug. Previously LivingSocial and various enterprise tools companies. Cat person living in Las Vegas.

PANELIST

Pamela Corbin-Audoux

Global People Engagement Director  

Doctolib

When Pamela isn’t dissecting words to find anagrams, she combines them to tell stories about the human side of innovation and technology. After 20 years navigating tech and recruitment, she now focuses on people-centered topics ranging from DevRel, to Employer Branding, and Diversity & Inclusion. She joined Doctolib, the European health tech unicorn, in 2020 as their People Engagement Director.

PANELIST

Katie Delfin

Senior Engineering Manager 

GitHub

Katie Delfin is a Sr. Engineering Manager at GitHub with a passion for creating psychologically safe teams with trauma-informed processes that make doing your best work accessible to everyone. Before joining GitHub, Katie worked as an engineer primarily in higher education and ed-tech startups where she eventually fell in love with people management.

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