Talks

Making developers on support work for everyone

Oftentimes, the choice for a smaller startup is between hiring no one for technical support and just letting the developers/founders field all questions or hiring a support person and expecting them to handle it all (while that poor support person sits alone, feeling dreadfully concerned about “bothering the developers”). Using her Medium post, “Eyes Wide Widened: My ‘Evolving View’ of Developers on Support” as a starting point, Clubhouse’s Customer Success Lead, Camille Acey will talk about how to implement a “Some Hands Support” system (as opposed to an “All Hands” system) so that Support can leverage some of the developers on the team, some of the time. She will also cover strategies for creating and iterating on a process and selecting the right “collaborators” from the developer team so that the experience benefits the users, the product, and the organization.

About Camille Acey

Camille E. Acey is the Customer Success Lead at Clubhouse Software, and for the last six years she has worked in user-facing roles at tech organizations. Over the past two decades and across two continents, Camille has committed herself to projects that draw in new people, promote unique ideas, and foster cooperation. She is also a dedicated 24/7 support person to a precocious and demanding three year-old boy. You can find her talking startups, support, and social justice as @kavbojka on Twitter.

Camille Acey

Camille Acey

VP, Customer Success at Clubhouse Software

About Camille Acey

Camille E. Acey is the Customer Success Lead at Clubhouse Software, and for the last six years she has worked in user-facing roles at tech organizations. Over the past two decades and across two continents, Camille has committed herself to projects that draw in new people, promote unique ideas, and foster cooperation. She is also a dedicated 24/7 support person to a precocious and demanding three year-old boy. You can find her talking startups, support, and social justice as @kavbojka on Twitter.

Growing an engineering organization with effective DevOps

Most of us hope that our engineering organizations will grow and scale with the success of our businesses, but that growth is often easier said than done. The strategies that worked when all your engineers could all sit and work in the same room won’t necessarily be successful when your engineering org has grown to hundreds of people. How can you scale up your engineering organization and still maintain an effective collaborative culture?

This talk will look at organizational scaling through the lens of Effective Devops, introducing the four pillars of Collaboration, Affinity, Scaling, and Tools, and then focusing on scaling specifically within engineering. We will examine the idea of the devops compact and how it can serve to guide growth throughout the organizational lifecycle. This talk will use the ideas of effective devops to help the audience consider questions such as:

  • What are the benefits of single-function teams versus cross-functional teams?
  • How can you prevent unhealthy silos from forming?
  • When do you need a dedicated team for X?
  • How do you balance scaling technical skills with growing “soft” skills?

Organizational growth is a complex topic with no one-size-fits-all answer, but listeners will learn how to apply the principles of effective devops to find solutions that fit their own organizations.

About Katherine Daniels

Katherine Daniels is a senior operations engineer at Etsy who got their start in programming with TI-80 calculators back when GeoCities was still cool. These days, they have opinions on things like monitoring, on-call usability, and devops. Before escaping to the world of operations, Katherine spent a few years doing R&D and systems engineering in the corporate world. Katherine lives in Brooklyn with a perfectly reasonable number of cats and in their spare time can often be found rock climbing or handcrafting knitted server koozies for the data center.

Katherine Daniels

Katherine Daniels

Senior Operations Engineer at Etsy

About Katherine Daniels

Katherine Daniels is a senior operations engineer at Etsy who got their start in programming with TI-80 calculators back when GeoCities was still cool. These days, they have opinions on things like monitoring, on-call usability, and devops. Before escaping to the world of operations, Katherine spent a few years doing R&D and systems engineering in the corporate world. Katherine lives in Brooklyn with a perfectly reasonable number of cats and in their spare time can often be found rock climbing or handcrafting knitted server koozies for the data center.

The hitchhiker's guide to serverless

“Serverless”. It is already being called the buzzword of 2016. Steve is going to bring “serverless” back to reality by showing how Bustle has built a fully serverless application platform. Real production examples handling millions of API calls a day. You will leave knowing if the hype is justified.

About Steve Faulkner

Steve is the Director of Platform Engineering for Bustle. You can find him on twitter @southpolesteve. He lives in Philadelphia.

Steve Faulkner

Steve Faulkner

Director of Platform Engineering for Bustle

About Steve Faulkner

Steve is the Director of Platform Engineering for Bustle. You can find him on twitter @southpolesteve. He lives in Philadelphia.

Rebooting culture

Talk details coming soon!

About Camille Fournier

Camille is the former CTO at Rent the Runway, where she led the team of over 60 engineers building the world’s first short-term high fashion rental site. She is a frequent writer and speaker on the topics of engineering management, leadership, and distributed systems. She serves on the oversight committee for both the Dropwizard web framework and Apache ZooKeeper, and is currently in the early stages of founding her own company.

Camille Fournier

Camille Fournier

Founder at stealth

About Camille Fournier

Camille is the former CTO at Rent the Runway, where she led the team of over 60 engineers building the world’s first short-term high fashion rental site. She is a frequent writer and speaker on the topics of engineering management, leadership, and distributed systems. She serves on the oversight committee for both the Dropwizard web framework and Apache ZooKeeper, and is currently in the early stages of founding her own company.

Leading by Speaking

In our work, we each have moments of saying some prepared words under a spotlight - whether it’s during team standups, giving a presentation to a client, or pitching your promotion to your boss - and yet we all have different fears about those moments. In this talk, we’ll walk through the spectrum of public speaking fears and learn tactics to address them, so you can feel confident and equipped to step into the spotlight.

About Lara Hogan

Lara Hogan is an Engineering Director at Etsy and the author of Designing for Performance and Building a Device Lab. She champions performance as a part of the overall user experience, helps people get comfortable giving presentations, and believes it’s important to celebrate career achievements with donuts. Follow her on Twitter.

Lara Hogan

Lara Hogan

Engineering Director at Etsy

About Lara Hogan

Lara Hogan is an Engineering Director at Etsy and the author of Designing for Performance and Building a Device Lab. She champions performance as a part of the overall user experience, helps people get comfortable giving presentations, and believes it’s important to celebrate career achievements with donuts. Follow her on Twitter.

Finding the right ingredients for the perfect team

A great team is a like a great dish, balanced flavors, tastes, textures and smells combine to create something unique and delicious. I’ve made the mistakes of trying to build unbalanced teams either with poor distributions of experience, bad combinations of temperament, clashing skill sets or lack of diversity. I’ll share those mistakes. I’ll also share some of the things I did right (either intentionally or unintentionally) to create the teams that have worked very well. I’ll provide some things to look out and consider for as you build a team or just expand the one you have.

About Kevin Goldsmith

Kevin Goldsmith oversees the development and IT teams at Avvo. Prior to joining Avvo, Kevin was the VP of Engineering at Spotify, the popular digital music service, where he led a team of 175 engineers for the company’s mobile, desktop and web platforms. He also served as the Director of Engineering for Adobe Systems for nearly a decade. Kevin has been an industry forerunner in the areas of GPGPU for commercial applications, leading development teams for both Adobe and Microsoft’s Virtual Worlds (later social computing).

Kevin Goldsmith

Kevin Goldsmith

CTO at Avvo

About Kevin Goldsmith

Kevin Goldsmith oversees the development and IT teams at Avvo. Prior to joining Avvo, Kevin was the VP of Engineering at Spotify, the popular digital music service, where he led a team of 175 engineers for the company’s mobile, desktop and web platforms. He also served as the Director of Engineering for Adobe Systems for nearly a decade. Kevin has been an industry forerunner in the areas of GPGPU for commercial applications, leading development teams for both Adobe and Microsoft’s Virtual Worlds (later social computing).

Observable microservices

Think of this talk as a Microservices 201. You know the basic of microservices and their pros and cons, but can you successfully maintain them in production? Microservices can make your code cleaner and more decoupled but they can be a pain to maintain in production: services writing logs in different places, requests that need to be tracked through multiple endpoints, circuit breakers going off… In this talk I’ll review these and other operational concerns and I’ll explain how making your microservices “observable” will help you maintain a healthy production environment without driving you crazy.

About Maria Gomez

Maria has worked with many different technologies and domains, which has helped her lead teams and advise stakeholders in making the right technology decisions. She has a real passion for coaching and for reducing the gender gap in the technology field.

Maria Gomez

Maria Gomez

Tech lead and lead consultant at ThoughtWorks

About Maria Gomez

Maria has worked with many different technologies and domains, which has helped her lead teams and advise stakeholders in making the right technology decisions. She has a real passion for coaching and for reducing the gender gap in the technology field.

A clear-eyed look at distributed teams

Distributed teams offer many benefits for employers and employees alike. Having a distributed team can make recruiting and retention easier, and it can help you build a diverse team. Depending on your circumstances, it might reduce costs, and it can improve productivity. As an employee, it offers increased flexibility, improved work-life balance, and broader employment opportunities.

However, success with a distributed team requires changes to work practices and style — and not just from the remote employees. Even the people who still come to the office every day will experience changes, and team leads perhaps most of all. We think it’s a fabulous way to go, but it helps to be prepared … and most of what we see being written and discussed is focused on remote workers, not the organization that supports them.

In this talk, we will look at the challenges and rewards of working in a distributed team setting, with a focus on team leadership and management.

About Maria Gutierrez

Maria Gutierrez is VP of Engineering at FreeAgent, one of the UK’s largest and most popular, online accounting software providers.

About Glenn Vanderburg

Glenn Vanderburg is VP of Engineering at First.io, a North Carolina-based startup building software to amplify the effectiveness of residential real estate agents.

Glenn and Maria each have many years of experience in the software industry, and worked together at LivingSocial where they led large, globally distributed teams from Dallas and Edinburgh, respectively. Both continue to manage remote workers at First and FreeAgent.

Maria Gutierrez

Maria Gutierrez

VP of Engineering at FreeAgent

About Maria Gutierrez

Maria Gutierrez is VP of Engineering at FreeAgent, one of the UK’s largest and most popular, online accounting software providers.

Glenn Vanderburg

Glenn Vanderburg

VP of Engineering at First.io

About Glenn Vanderburg

Glenn Vanderburg is VP of Engineering at First.io, a North Carolina-based startup building software to amplify the effectiveness of residential real estate agents.

Glenn and Maria each have many years of experience in the software industry, and worked together at LivingSocial where they led large, globally distributed teams from Dallas and Edinburgh, respectively. Both continue to manage remote workers at First and FreeAgent.

A Swift introduction

Since its initial release in 2014 and subsequent open-sourcing in 2015 Swift has become one of the most popular programming languages in the world — used everywhere from mobile to Macs to microservices. We will examine the various similarities and differences between Swift and other languages, and take a peek at the unique community that has formed around it.

About Neil Kimmett

Neil Kimmett is a Senior iOS Engineer at Harry’s. He is passionate about crafting delightful user experiences, pushing himself just outside of his comfort zone, and riding his beautiful bicycle.

Neil Kimmett

Neil Kimmett

Senior iOS Engineer at Harry's

About Neil Kimmett

Neil Kimmett is a Senior iOS Engineer at Harry’s. He is passionate about crafting delightful user experiences, pushing himself just outside of his comfort zone, and riding his beautiful bicycle.

Retrospectives - Look back, move forward

Retrospectives are one of the most powerful tools in a team lead’s toolkit. They can help uncover hidden problems and blockers, improve processes, increase morale, and even make your products better. However, a lot of teams go through the motions of retros without really understanding the method behind the madness. They end up doing the same old “What went well, what didn’t go well” format over and over again, with diminishing returns.

It’s important to use the right tool for the right job - there are actually a variety of different types of retrospectives you can use, and each one has unique strengths and weaknesses. I’ll discuss five different types of retros you can add to the mix to keep things fresh. I’ll explain when, how and why to use each type of retro with your team, along with some tips on how to best facilitate the event.

About Jessie Link

Jessie is a Director of Engineering at Twitter. She currently heads up the engineering team based in Twitter’s London office, where she oversees a variety of teams working on projects like TweetDeck and Twitter Live. Jessie is passionate about building diverse teams with a happy and inclusive culture. In her spare time, she enjoys gaming, movies and working on coding side projects.

Jessie Link

Jessie Link

Director of Engineering at Twitter

About Jessie Link

Jessie is a Director of Engineering at Twitter. She currently heads up the engineering team based in Twitter’s London office, where she oversees a variety of teams working on projects like TweetDeck and Twitter Live. Jessie is passionate about building diverse teams with a happy and inclusive culture. In her spare time, she enjoys gaming, movies and working on coding side projects.

Leads go home - and take your reports with you!

In this talk it is shown that some features of work addiction are similar to other addictions, and how workaholism relates to burnout, low job satisfaction, high levels of job strain and health complaints.

Leads need to facilitate work engagement, making sure they and their reports are satisfied and committed, and find their jobs interesting, enjoyable, and satisfying, instead of creating an environment which promotes and rewards long hours.

About Rafael Lopez Diez

Rafael is a high-energy, self-motivated professional manager, with more than ten years practice delivering the best user experience through carefully crafted applications and websites. As Head of Mobile Engineering in Badoo, the largest worldwide social network for meeting new people, with more than 300 million users, he is in charge of motivating, mentoring and tracking the professional development of four teams of Mobile, QA and Release Engineers (~100 indirect reports).

Rafael Lopez Diez

Rafael Lopez Diez

Head of Mobile Engineering at Badoo

About Rafael Lopez Diez

Rafael is a high-energy, self-motivated professional manager, with more than ten years practice delivering the best user experience through carefully crafted applications and websites. As Head of Mobile Engineering in Badoo, the largest worldwide social network for meeting new people, with more than 300 million users, he is in charge of motivating, mentoring and tracking the professional development of four teams of Mobile, QA and Release Engineers (~100 indirect reports).

Why I < heart-polymer >

As a Senior Principal Engineer for Comcast I’ve been doing web development for a long time, and over the course of my career I’ve spent a lot of time keeping up with the evolution of the web platform. While HTML and JavaScript have been incrementally changing, I consider web components to be the greatest leap forward for the web platform thus far. Find out why I love working with Polymer and web components and why their use within Comcast has exploded.

About Chris Lorenzo

Chris has worked at Comcast for 9 years – currently as a Senior Principal Engineer. He enjoys building/motivating teams and ramping up new projects. Besides coding in Javascript, He loves spending time with his family and helping out in the community. Chris is also heavily involved with local colleges and schools to mentor the next generation.

Chris Lorenzo

Chris Lorenzo

Senior Principal Engineer at Comcast

About Chris Lorenzo

Chris has worked at Comcast for 9 years – currently as a Senior Principal Engineer. He enjoys building/motivating teams and ramping up new projects. Besides coding in Javascript, He loves spending time with his family and helping out in the community. Chris is also heavily involved with local colleges and schools to mentor the next generation.

The building built on stilts

In the summer of 1978, structural engineer William LeMessurier got a phone call that terrified him. An undergraduate student claimed that LeMessurier’s acclaimed 59-story Citicorp Center in Manhattan, just completed the year prior, was dangerously unstable under certain wind conditions. The student was right, and it was almost hurricane season.

The key to building a culture of innovation in your team is learning how to respond when mistakes inevitably happen. Let’s let Bill LeMessurier teach us how to respond when it all goes wrong so that our creations can thrive despite our mistakes.

About Nickolas Means

Nick hails from Austin, TX, the Taco Capital of the World. When he’s not busy eating tacos, he’s the VP of Engineering at Muve Health, working with an incredibly talented team of developers to change how healthcare is delivered and paid for in the US. He’s a huge believer that software development is mostly human interaction and that empathy is the key to building great software.

Nickolas Means

Nickolas Means

VP of Engineering at Muve Health

About Nickolas Means

Nick hails from Austin, TX, the Taco Capital of the World. When he’s not busy eating tacos, he’s the VP of Engineering at Muve Health, working with an incredibly talented team of developers to change how healthcare is delivered and paid for in the US. He’s a huge believer that software development is mostly human interaction and that empathy is the key to building great software.

You can't always get what you want: A year of leading change

February 2017 will mark a year since I started in a role aimed at radically changing how Indeed thinks about front-end engineering. In this talk, I’ll share some hard-earned lessons – and likely a regret or two – about my experience influencing developers, managers, and product owners across a large engineering organization; identifying a Plan B on those occasions when Plan A wasn’t working out; and prioritizing a seemingly endless stream of demands and opportunities as I worked to grow the front-end specialization at Indeed beyond a team of one.

About Rebecca Murphey

Rebecca Murphey is a senior software engineer at Indeed, where she works to evangelize, facilitate, and implement front-end best practices across applications that reach hundreds of millions of job-seekers every month. She lives in Austin, TX with her partner and their son.

Rebecca Murphey

Rebecca Murphey

Senior software engineer at Indeed

About Rebecca Murphey

Rebecca Murphey is a senior software engineer at Indeed, where she works to evangelize, facilitate, and implement front-end best practices across applications that reach hundreds of millions of job-seekers every month. She lives in Austin, TX with her partner and their son.

You're the tech lead! Now what?

You’ve been programming for a while now. You know your way around the code, and you’re becoming a go-to for technical advice. And it looks like someone else noticed, because you’re the technical lead on your next project. Congratulations! But now what? It’s a lot more than just coding: The technical lead can be responsible for designing software architecture, writing requirements, interfacing with clients or management, or dividing work amongst the team– and those are just the parts of the job they tell you about ahead of time.

We’ll talk about how to oversee the technological vision for the project without losing sight of what’s happening on the ground, how to motivate your team members without overstepping your bounds, and some tactics to deal with challenges you might not anticipate, but will almost certainly encounter.

About Eryn O'Neil

Eryn O’Neil is a Minneapolis-based freelance PHP developer and tech lead. Grounded in the agency world, she has worked on everything from e-commerce and online promotions to a proprietary framework and CMS. Her philosophy is to build software by placing humans first: both the people who will use it and the developers who will build it with you (and maintain it afterward).

Living in Minnesota, Eryn spends most of her free time teaching blues dancing, flying on a trapeze, and wishing it weren’t snowing.

Eryn O'Neil

Eryn O'Neil

Independent PHP Developer and Tech Lead

About Eryn O'Neil

Eryn O’Neil is a Minneapolis-based freelance PHP developer and tech lead. Grounded in the agency world, she has worked on everything from e-commerce and online promotions to a proprietary framework and CMS. Her philosophy is to build software by placing humans first: both the people who will use it and the developers who will build it with you (and maintain it afterward).

Living in Minnesota, Eryn spends most of her free time teaching blues dancing, flying on a trapeze, and wishing it weren’t snowing.

Lending privilege

Diversity and inclusion have become hot topics in technology, but you may not know how you can make a difference. This talk will help you understand that, no matter your background, you have privilege and can lend it to marginalized groups in tech.

About Anjuan Simmons

Anjuan Simmons is a technologist with a successful track record of delivering technology solutions from the user interface to the database. He is an energetic and informative speaker who presents at conferences, seminars, schools, and community centers around the world on topics including Agile software development, diversity, and leadership. Anjuan has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Texas A&M University.

Anjuan Simmons

Anjuan Simmons

Technical Program Manager at Questback

About Anjuan Simmons

Anjuan Simmons is a technologist with a successful track record of delivering technology solutions from the user interface to the database. He is an energetic and informative speaker who presents at conferences, seminars, schools, and community centers around the world on topics including Agile software development, diversity, and leadership. Anjuan has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Texas A&M University.

Blocking and chaining the Blockchain hype

If you’ve not been hiding under a rock, you must have heard about Blockchain. This session will throw some light on why it matters to businesses and techies, and how is it chaining the world one block at a time.

About Arushi Srivastava

Arushi Srivastava is the Senior Director of NTT DATA’s Advance Tech Initiatives Practice. She advises corporate leaders on architecting next generation solutions that result in Immersive User Experience. At present, she is leading several internal and customer specific Digital Strategy, Digital Engagement, Design Thinking, IoT and Blockchain initiatives for NTT DATA.   She has ~12 years of professional IT experience in large-scale software projects, leading Digital Strategy, Enterprise Architecture, Business Analysis, Solution Design and development areas. Early in her career, she worked with NTT Data’s Telecommunication and Public Sector clients, where she lead several Enterprise, Solution and System Architecture engagements.

Arushi Srivastava

Arushi Srivastava

Senior Director, NTT DATA Americas

About Arushi Srivastava

Arushi Srivastava is the Senior Director of NTT DATA’s Advance Tech Initiatives Practice. She advises corporate leaders on architecting next generation solutions that result in Immersive User Experience. At present, she is leading several internal and customer specific Digital Strategy, Digital Engagement, Design Thinking, IoT and Blockchain initiatives for NTT DATA.   She has ~12 years of professional IT experience in large-scale software projects, leading Digital Strategy, Enterprise Architecture, Business Analysis, Solution Design and development areas. Early in her career, she worked with NTT Data’s Telecommunication and Public Sector clients, where she lead several Enterprise, Solution and System Architecture engagements.

Welcome from your conference chair

About Meri Williams

Meri is a geek, a manager, and a manager of geeks. She’s a CTO 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.

Meri Williams

Meri Williams

Conference chair

About Meri Williams

Meri is a geek, a manager, and a manager of geeks. She’s a CTO 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.

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