Delivery and Deployment

VT11 From Han Solo to Jean-Luc Picard: A Nerd's Guide to Technical Leadership & Career Growth


1:30pm - 2:45pm

Level: Intermediate

Benjamin Day

Author, Trainer, Developer

Whether you realize it or not, every company is a software company and, for all the computers, software is a human endeavor. So how do you strengthen your leadership skills to evolve and compete?

In this session, we're going to talk about technical leadership and career growth using two fictional characters from sci-fi: Han Solo, the heroic leader of a very small team and Jean-Luc Picard, the understated & thoughtful (but perhaps more boring) leader of a large organization. Along the way, we'll talk about the strengths and weaknesses of each, the idea of leader vs. manager, and the role of fear, motivation, and delegation inside of tech organizations. (Oh and also why Han Solo would stink at DevOps.)

Careers have an arc. In software development, it often goes something like junior developer to senior developer to tech team lead. It might even continue on to director of engineering, CTO, or even CEO. But the skills and habits that helped us succeed in one role might not help us in the next. Which one you are determines much of what you can achieve.

You will learn:

  • Are you a leader or a manager?
  • How do you lead a small team vs. a larger organization?
  • How do you think about your career and career growth?
  • What do you need to start thinking about developing (skills-wise) as you move "up"