Track: Optimizing You


Day of week:

How can you maximize your impact as an engineer, as a leader, and as a person? Too frequently we don't realize that the things which limit our ability to grow technically or organizationally are often not themselves technical or organizational. It's usually not about mastering one more language idiom or learning one more new framework; it's almost always about bringing more energy, purpose, and focus to our work. It's not about working harder; it's about working smarter.

This track explores the critical personal force-multipliers that can help us all to Optimize Ourselves: physical health and exercise, stress management, mentoring and leadership, empathy and emotional intelligence, career choices, etc. All of the sessions in the track are led by engineers who will talk from personal experience about how they achieve and maintain their edge, and how you can do the same.

Track Host:
Randy Shoup
VP Engineering at Stitch Fix
Randy is a 25-year veteran of Silicon Valley, and has worked as a senior technology leader and executive at companies ranging from small startups, to mid-sized places, to eBay and Google. Randy is currently VP Engineering at Stitch Fix in San Francisco. He is particularly passionate about the nexus of culture, technology, and organization.
10:35am - 11:25am

by Richard Kasperowski
Author of The Core Protocols: A Guide to Greatness

Open Space
11:50am - 12:40pm

by Phil Nash
Independent consultant and coach

Our minds and bodies do not exist in isolation. Even the Romans knew that. What the Romans didn't know was how our modern lifestyles - especially in sedentary professions such as ours - would throw the balance between them into crisis! But when we talk about healthy lifestyles many people have a negative reaction. And no wonder! For years this label has been associated with miserable, restrictive, diets (which don't seem to work) and long hours of exhausting exercise (which doesn't seem to...

1:40pm - 2:30pm

by Katherine Kirk
Agile Coach and Researcher

Rock star developers, charismatic leaders, star players, genius specialists, baby-faced risk takers... just put them in a room, add agility and press go – right? If you’ve ever tried to do it, you know the results are as about as successful as egotistical scientists collaborating themselves out of a paper bag.

So how do we operate effectively in this crazy environment? How can we make great decisions? How do we deal successfully with big egos and political hell? Playing politics and...

2:55pm - 3:45pm

by Martin Thompson
High Performance & Low Latency Specialist

What are the characteristics of a good software engineer? It's a topic many people would argue endlessly about. This is not surprising given we are effectively living in the era of software alchemy.

Some of the best programmers draw on strong scientific and engineering background and combine this with craft like coding skills in a virtuous feedback cycle. In this talk we explore the individual practices and techniques that can help bring out the engineer in you.

4:10pm - 5:00pm

by John Willis
Director of Ecosystem Development @Docker

Over the past few years, there seems to have been an increase in suicides in our sector of the IT industry. With complexity and responsibility ever increasing in the creation and support of digital services industries, we have seen a correlated increase in stress levels. We have come to know this as a term we call “Burnout.” Burnout was coined by German-American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in 1974. The Japanese have a word for burnout that leads to death -- "karoshi." When suicide is...

5:25pm - 6:15pm

by Dan North
Originator of BDD

Feedback is one of the most important skills when collaborating with others. Giving and receiving feedback with honesty, integrity and empathy is hard. Doing so consistently takes practise and requires learning and practising feedback and listening techniques.

In this session, Dan discusses a number of feedback models and techniques and shows you where and how you can apply them. He explains the infamous and much-misunderstood “sandwich model” of feedback, how it works and why it...


Covering innovative topics

Monday, 7 March

Tuesday, 8 March

Wednesday, 9 March