Session 6

Personal Development

Strategies for your own career development

June 22, 18:00 - 21:00 BST
10am–1pm PDT / 1–4pm EDT / 6–9pm BST / 7–10pm CEST

June 23, 14:00 - 17:00 BST
6–9am PDT / 9am–12pm EDT / 2–5pm BST / 3–6pm CEST

Meet our session contributors

HOST

Anjuan Simmons

Engineering Coach

Help Scout

co-HOST

Meri Williams

CTO

Healx

SPEAKER

Meri Williams

CTO

Healx

SPEAKER

Nick Caldwell 
VP of Engineering
Twitter  

SPEAKER

Rick Boone

Investor & Advisor

SPEAKER

Joy Ebertz

Senior Staff Software Engineer  

Split

PANELIST

Kesha Williams

Software Engineer & Principal Training Architect  

A Cloud Guru

PANELIST

Alice Goldfuss

Staff Engineer

Panelist

Jared Jordan

Director of Engineering

YouTube

Panelist

Uma Chingunde

VP of Engineering

Render

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

Over the past five sessions, we’ve covered the core tenets of being an engineering leader – but you can’t grow and nurture your teams without also growing yourself. And as leaders, it’s also harder for you to receive actionable feedback on your own work. In this session you’ll hear talks on: 

How to journey map your own career on both the people management and technical track 

Strategies for deciding your next career move, and how to switch between being a people manager and senior IC, and back again  

Tips and tricks for your own personal development, including how to dedicate time to invest in yourself and the strategies that actually work

Hosted by 

Meri Williams

CTO

Healx

Meri is a geek, a manager, and a manager of geeks. She’s CTO of drug discovery startup, Healx and also runs micro-consultancy ChromeRose, helping digital & technical teams be brilliant.  

An alumna of Procter & Gamble and the Government Digital Service, she has had a career spanning development, project, programme & product management and more recently engineering & operations leadership. She’s led teams ranging in size from 30 to 300, mostly with folks spread across the world.

Talk

Career vectors for technical leaders  

The more experience you gain as a technical leader, whether an individual contributor, a tech lead/lead dev or in a management role, the more varied the roles seem to get. Almost every CTO seems to have a different flavour of the role, VP Eng can mean multiple different things, and it isn't even consistent whether Staff or Principal is regarded as more senior! Amongst this contradiction and complexity, how can we develop ourselves and others?  

In this talk, Meri will share a framework of "career vectors" that she has used when coaching over a hundred technical leaders over the years. Rather than trying to pin to a single concrete definition of a particular role, we'll discuss the vectors one can choose to mix and match to become the best technical leader that you can be, and then find organisations that want someone with that mix of skills and experiences.  

Meri Williams

CTO

Healx

Talk

Moving from manager, to director, to leader 

The journey of the first time engineering manager is starting to become more discussed - but what about the jump from manager to director, or above? As you become more senior at any organisation, there are fewer peers for you to turn to for advice and fewer resources at your disposal.

Nick Caldwell

VP of Engineering  

Nick Caldwell is a VP of Engineering at Twitter with responsibility for all consumer-facing products. Previously he was Chief Product and Engineering Officer at Looker (acquired by Google) and VP of Engineering at Reddit. He spent 13 years at Microsoft, culminating in a role as General Manager of the Power BI product family. 

Nick holds a degree in computer science and electrical engineering from MIT and an MBA from UC Berkeley. He's a board member of /dev/color, a non-profit whose mission is to maximize the impact of Black software engineers. Nick is a native of P.G. County Maryland, but is happy to call San Francisco home. 

Talk

Just keep moving

A look at the unorthodox journey of my career as an engineering IC, as I work across a variety of teams, domains and challenges. 

Centered around the theme of "Never stop moving, growing, evolving, learning and adapting", the audience will see how self-awareness, bold risks + choices, betting on one's self, and doing what one loves can lead to a thrilling + fulfilling IC career.

Rick Boone

Investor + Advisor

Rick Boone most recently worked at Uber for 5.5 years, where he spent 4 years as a Senior SRE + software engineer in Infrastructure, and 1.5 years as a strategic advisor to the VP of Infrastructure Engineering. Prior to Uber, he worked at Facebook for 3 years as a production engineer. 

He is currently taking time off from corporate work to focus on gymnastics training, traveling and gaining a deeper understanding of how to broaden his impact on businesses + society via advising startups and investing in public + private companies.

Talk

There and back again: why I entered and left management

Historically, people have talked about having a career ladder where you advance vertically from one job to the next.  However, more and more, people talk instead about a career lattice, where some role changes may be horizontal or diagonal instead of only up. As we think about careers in software, most companies have parallel management and IC tracks and many people move between them, sometimes many times.

In this talk, I will discuss my own choice to go into management, why I ultimately left management and what I learned along the way.  I will also talk a bit about how I was able to leverage learnings from one track for the other.

Joy Ebertz

Senior Staff Engineer

Split

Joy is a Senior Staff Software Engineer at Split.io, focusing primarily on back-end.  Prior to Split, she worked at Box, where she worked on a lot of projects including leading the effort to transition Box's monolith to microservices and revamping their authorization framework.  While there, she also spent several years managing before deciding her real passion was on the technical side and transitioned back. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading and running ridiculously long distances (mostly on trails).  

PANEL

Tips & tricks for your own personal development 

In this panel discussion we’ll explore a number of senior leaders’ perspectives on how to approach one’s own personal development. In addition to sharing their experiences, they will also contribute key tips and tricks that they use to invest in and develop themselves and their teams and colleagues.

Plenty of great advice here for ICs and managers alike!

PANELIST

Alice Goldfuss

Staff Engineer

Alice Goldfuss is a systems punk with years of experience working on large-scale container platforms. She’s an international speaker who enjoys digging into the guts of high-throughput edge networks and marveling at the knots within.  

Alice has written articles, consulted on publications, built communities, and sipped many cups of tea. 

MODERATOR

Meri Williams

CTO

Healx

PANELIST

Jared Jordan

Director of Engineering

YouTube

Jared has been leading engineering teams for over 10 years. He currently integrates premium sports and entertainment at YouTube: leading feature development and building an inclusive high-performance team. Jared also helps to drive diversity efforts in engineering organizations and is a member of Dev Color’s A* Program where he empowers fellow Black engineers to help them achieve their career goals.  

PANELIST

Uma Chingunde

VP of Engineering

Render

Uma leads engineering at Render. She has more than 15 years of experience building and managing teams focused on cutting edge cloud computing technologies. Most recently, she built and led Stripe’s Compute group that supported the internal compute platform during the company’s hyper-growth phase. Prior to Stripe, she was an engineering leader at Delphix and VMware.  

PANELIST

Kesha Williams

Software Engineer & Principal Training Architect  

A Cloud Guru

Kesha is an award-winning software engineer and technology leader teaching others how to transform their lives through technology. Forbes, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Oracle have applauded her contributions to the technology community, and she has spoken on the TED stage about the transformative power of artificial intelligence (AI). 

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