Session 1

Onboarding and retention

Setting up new talent for success and growth opportunities

October 19, 18:00 - 20:30 BST
10am–12.30pm PT / 1–3.30pm ET / 6–8.30pm BST / 7–9.30pm CEST

October 20, 14:00 - 16:30 BST
6–8.30am PT / 9–11.30am ET / 2–4.30pm BST / 3–5.30pm CEST

See session details

Meet our session contributors

HOST

Anjuan Simmons

Engineering Coach

Help Scout

co-HOST

Neha Batra

Director of Engineering

GitHub

SPEAKER

Rebecca Miller-Webster 

Engineering Manager 

Venmo

SPEAKER

Abel Martin

Senior Engineering Manager

Rhino

SPEAKER

Cate Huston

Engineering Director, Native Apps

DuckDuckGo

Panelist

Lynn Wallenstein

VP of Engineering

GitHub

PANELIST

Billy Griffin

Director of Engineering

GitHub

PANELIST

Denise Yu

Senior Engineering Manager

GitHub

PANELIST

Pamela Corbin-Audoux

People Engagement Director 

Doctolib

Meet our session contributors

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Session overview

You’ve got an awesome team filled with talented engineers, but how are you going to ensure that they’re happy and want to stick around?  

Retention starts from day one; with a sound onboarding process that sets your engineers up for success, and develops into you providing them with an environment that facilitates learning and self-growth.  

We explore how to make sure you are providing a safe and engaging environment for your engineers

Establish frameworks to set your engineers up for success

Strategies for getting your new engineers up to speed

Best practices for fostering an environment of self-growth

Hosted by 

Neha Batra

Director of Engineering • GitHub

Neha Batra 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. 

Talk

Onboarding: setting the foundation for growth

Of course, the diving save is too late to think about retention, but when should we begin? 

Why not at the start of everything: onboarding. We’ll talk about onboarding for retention through the dual lenses of belonging and accomplishment.

Cate Huston

Engineering Director, mobile 

DuckDuckGo

Cate is an Engineering Director at DuckDuckGo and an advisor at Glowforge. She previously worked at Automattic, where she led the mobile, Jetpack, and Developer Experience teams. Cate admins the New-(ish) Manager Slack and writes regularly for Quartz.

@catehstn

cate.blog

Talk

Utilizing the tools in your toolbox for onboarding and retention 

Onboarding and retention often define an employee's experience at a company. They are critical and yet many of us either aren't spending enough time or the right kind of time to onboard and retain effectively. 

Maybe you think that you don't know what you should be doing or what you think you should be doing isn't something you have the time or skill for. 

What you definitely have is yourself and your life story - your career path, your experiences, and the stories of those around you. From there you can identify and fill the gaps in order to ensure you are successfully onboarding and retaining the best people for your team and company.

Rebecca Miller-Webster 

Senior Staff Engineering Manager 

Venmo

Rebecca Miller-Webster is a software engineer, educator, and engineering manager. She is the founder of Write/Speak/Code and Engineering Manager at Venmo. Rebecca has been developing software professionally for almost 20 years, previously organized GORUCO, and was the founding teacher at Dev Bootcamp NYC. Rebecca's hobbies include playing guitar, being quasi-successful at having plants, cuddling pugs, & wearing all the colors.  And she changes her hair A LOT.

Talk

Successful onboarding and retention is a team effort

This submodule is a conversation with Abel Martin on ways to scale successful onboarding & retention actions based on his current adventures at Rhino and his 16 years of experience in the field.

Abel Martin

Senior Engineering Manager

Rhino

Abel Martin is a husband & father of 2 young boys.  

He has 16 years of experience building N-tiered websites; handling implementations & optimizations across all tiers. Abel feels blessed that those 16 years have been spent solely on missions helping either people directly or the environment. Beyond web projects, Abel has also made desktop apps, mobile apps & machine learning models. 

Whenever he has free time, Abel tries to demystify software engineering via mentorship & friendly conversations. Abel also enjoys sharing his love of Marvel comics, video games & anime with his family & friends.

Panel

Onboarding and retention in your organization

Group discussions are such a powerful tool in problem-solving and decision-making, and they help you build confidence in yourself. But openly discussing challenges you are facing and mistakes you might have made in front of a group is not that easy.  

So to help you structure the discussion time with your group and turn your conversation into actionable insights, a group of engineering colleagues will be joining the panel and will role model some of the discussions you will be having later.

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

Director of Engineering 

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. Lynn 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

Denise Yu

Senior Engineering Manager 

GitHub

Denise is a Senior Software Engineer at GitHub, where she builds tools to make Open Source software development better for communities. She has previously delivered conference talks on topics ranging from continuous delivery to functional programming to scaling company culture. When she's not coding, she is often doodling sketch notes that break down technical concepts into digestible pieces at deniseyu.io/art.

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