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5 leadership skills every engineer needs - North Bay Python

Key leadership skills needed by individual contributor engineers, and ways to develop these skills

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5 leadership skills every engineer needs - North Bay Python

  1. 1. 5 Leadership Skills Every Engineer Needs 1 North Bay Python December 2017 Kathleen Vignos @kathleencodes
  2. 2. 2 kathleencodes @kathleencodes Question for engineering tech leads and managers: what made you want to be a leader on your team? 16 16 Nov 20178 18 Taylor Leese @taylorlesse 0 16 Nov 20170 5 I didn’t want to lead but nobody else was doing it.
  3. 3. Why does leadership matter for non-managers? recognition compensation promotion respect influence satisfaction of helping others
  4. 4. Survey data from 100+ senior software engineers
  5. 5.
  6. 6. Worst qualities of least favorite leaders
  7. 7. Best qualities of favorite leaders
  8. 8. Leadership challenges for engineers
  9. 9. Communicate clearly “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” - James Humes
  10. 10. To: Kathleen From: Sam Subject: Doc (Which doc?) Hi Kathleen, In yesterday’s meeting, Claire was concerned about the schedule. She says we should be able to be finished by noon on Wednesday, but I think it will take longer. The problem is that we have to change where we make the call to the widget service. I’ve attached the doc. Instead of making the call after the foobar loader, we need to move it to the (wat??) beginning so that the queue gets populated with the data before we make the request to component service. (What am I supposed to do?) <attachment.doc>
  11. 11. To: Kathleen From: Sam Subject: Image cropping feature requirements Hi Kathleen, I’ve attached the draft of the product requirements doc for the image cropping feature we’ve been working on. We need to finalize by Friday, so please add your comments and questions to the doc by EOD Thursday. Thanks, Sam <attachment.doc>
  12. 12. Widget Service Changes Doc Author: Sam Reviewers: Ja, Claire, Parak Status: Reviewable Estimate: 3 weeks Feature overview [....] Foobar Loader Widget ServiceComponent Service Component Service Foobar LoaderWidget ServiceProposed Solution Current State
  13. 13. Email/doc communication checklist ❏ Audience ❏ Context ❏ Intent and/or Call to Action ❏ Length and Format ❏ Visuals ❏ Customer Service Tone #teamwork
  14. 14. Code review communication checklist ❏ Don’t be a jerk. This is wrong…. You might want to consider...
  15. 15. Master your time “The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” - Lin Yutang
  16. 16. ● How to Say No ● What to Say No To ● What to Say Yes To Prioritize ruthlessly
  17. 17. 6.7 Brainstorming and collaborating 5.8 Email and meetings + 3.7 Waiting for tests 3.5 Waiting for builds 2.7 Environment management = 22.4 hours / 41.5 hours for admin Estimating engineering hours/week
  18. 18. 46%19.1 hours: Design and coding
  19. 19. 2XHours needed to design and code
  20. 20. Share candid feedback “Why didn't you tell me? Why didn’t anyone tell me?” - Bob
  21. 21.
  22. 22. Situation-Behavior-Impact Situation At yesterday’s meeting... Behavior You interrupted me multiple times when I was sharing my design with the customer. Impact I wasn’t able to effectively share my designs with the customer, and the customer may interpret your behavior as a lack of confidence in me and our team. Important: Be specific!
  23. 23. Build trust “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” - Bill Gates
  24. 24. ● Teaching others ● Listening to others ● Coaching others ● Giving credit to others ● Soliciting ideas from others Focus on others
  25. 25. ● 1:1s, coffee, lunch ● Eye contact ● No distractions ● Ask questions, be curious ● Paraphrase ● Try it tonight at dinner! Then test yourself. Active listening
  26. 26. Increase your technical competence “Control without competence is chaos.” - L. David Marquet, author of Turn the Ship Around
  27. 27. ● Pair program ● Validate your approach ● Read articles, attend conferences ● Rely on design patterns, frameworks, first principles Expand your skillset
  28. 28. ● 5 whys to determine root cause ○ ● Start with Why: Simon Sinek, TED Talk ○ ● Why leads to how: impact, purpose Get to WHY
  29. 29. ● Communicate clearly ● Manage your time ● Share candid feedback ● Build trust ● Increase your technical competence 5 leadership skills
  30. 30. Leadership is not just for managers - it’s about influencing and directing others for positive outcomes and high impact.
  31. 31. Thank you! North Bay Python December 2017 Kathleen Vignos @kathleencodes Slides: Photo credit: Fox Grom (huskies on ice)