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Presentation: How to Build an Engineering Culture That Focuses on Business Impact

Track: Driving Full Cycle Engineering Teams at Every Level

Location: Mountbatten, 6th flr.

Duration: 11:50am - 12:40pm

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What You’ll Learn

  1. Learn about the need for a healthy engineering culture that prioritises momentum and business impact.
  2. Find out what are some ideas you can implement in order to embed day to day company values, engineering principles and priorities to improve your team’s results and to encourage a culture of growth and inclusivity.


Intercom London has been around for two years. In this short period, and as a brand new and growing team, we have been in the critical path of several highly impactful product releases for the company. In this talk, we will discuss how we apply our company values, engineering principles and development processes to build an engineering culture that focuses on solving customers’ problems, fosters collaboration and promotes a continuous shipping cadence. 

Leave with a good understanding of how you can get your engineering team to operate cohesively and demonstrate full alignment with your business goals while encouraging a culture of inclusion and growth.


What is the work you're doing today?


I am head of engineering and co-site lead for Intercom London. In collaboration with my product partner, I’m responsible for the programs of work and teams in London. We are one of the three global product and engineering offices at Intercom and closely collaborate with our peers in Dublin and San Francisco. Intercom’s mission is making internet business personal through enabling better relationships with customers. In London, we are focused on evolving how our customers can provide great support to their users through both delightful and efficient agent and automated solutions.

As part of the global product and engineering leadership group, I also lead our Growth and Recognition program for all of engineering and operational initiatives to evolve how the group can operate more effectively at scale and in collaboration with other functions in the company.  


What are the goals you have for the talk?


Over the years, running different engineering organisations, I’ve learnt that to build a healthy and effective engineering organisation, in addition to technical expertise, you need clear values and principles, effective processes and a clear understanding of your customers’ needs and the goals of your company. During this talk, I’ll explain how we’ve embedded all those in our day to day to quickly build a high performing site responsible for critical aspects of our products and our strategy. My goal is demonstrating that intentionally focusing on aspects of our work other than writing code and architecting systems can maximise the velocity and impact of your organisation and improve your outputs and outcomes. 


What would you want people to leave the talk with?


Specific techniques they can implement at their work to create a fast-moving engineering organisation that is fully aligned with company goals and is delivering clear and increasing value to the business and customers while maintaining high employee engagement. These ideas will be applicable to both leaders of an organisation that want to improve how their group operates but also to individuals looking to have the biggest impact and opportunities of growth in their role.

Speaker: Maria Gutierrez

Senior Director of Engineering @Intercom

With over 20 years of experience in the software industry, Maria Gutierrez is the Head of Engineering and co-site lead at Intercom London. Maria was formerly the VP of Engineering at Edinburgh-based FreeAgent, one of the UK's largest and most popular online accounting software providers. She previously worked at LivingSocial leading globally distributed teams, and at Adobe where she worked in the developer technologies group. Maria is one of the founders of the Women Who Code Edinburgh network.

Find Maria Gutierrez at

Preliminary tracks

Discover some of the topics you will see at QCon London. *The schedule is subject to change

Event-Based Architectures: The Hard Parts

Architectures You've Always Wondered About

Building High Performing Teams

Scaling Security, from Device to Cloud

From Remote to Hybrid Teams: Return to Office?

Performance/Mechanical Sympathy

Next Generation Microservices: Building Distributed Systems the Right Way

Modern Data Pipelines & Streams

The Cloud Operating Model

Chaos and Resilience: Architecting for Success

Scaling Frontend

Modern JVM Innovations

Crafting the Developer Experience

MLOps: Implementing ML Across the Enterprise

Architecting a Modern Financial Institution