SimpleLeadership Podcast

SimpleLeadership Podcast

SimpleLeadership specifically focuses on improving the craft of software engineering leadership. As a VP of Engineering & CTO I am acutely aware of the lack of good resources available for new and existing software engineering managers. SimpleLeadership is designed for both new and experienced software & technology managers who want to build high-performing teams, better motivate & mentor their employees, reduce attrition and advance their career. It is for people who want to go beyond just being a manager and become a true leader. In this interview based show I ask each guest to share their journey from individual contributor to software engineering manager and provide any guidance on the transition. The SimpleLeadership Podcast will present real and actionable stories from people who have navigated their way from being an individual contributor into a software engineering manager. We will also hear from experts on specifics of team dynamics, motivation, feedback, leadership and many more aspects of being a successful engineering manager.

Episodes

January 11, 2021 41 min

How do you build an engineering team of A-players? What does a well-rounded high-performing team look like? Why is engineering for impact more important than solving hard problems? In a world where engineers are looking to pad their resume and solve cutting-edge problems, Ashish Aggarwal shares the one thing that is far more important: solving your customer’s problems. In this episode of Simple Leadership, he walks through building...

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Jon Thornton worked at some small companies in NYC before he ended up at Squarespace. He’s been able to build a new product and new team—their email marketing product. He launched that and has since been supporting other products. Throughout his career, he’s learned how to manage technical debt. What is the difference between technical debt and good technical debt? What is a framework for using technical debt? Listen to this episod...

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Being in a management position in any industry can often leave you overwhelmed. Striking a balance between your work and personal life is already difficult. So how does a manager take parental leave? Matt Newkirk—the engineering lead for Etsy’s International Customer Experience initiative—has worked out some of the kinks. 

I’m the father of three girls. During their birth, I was fully involved in startups and was never able to take...

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If you’re an engineer in a leadership role where you’re dealt with the task of developing teams, the hiring process can be daunting. Do you hire junior engineers that you can shape and mold? Or senior engineers who are experienced, but come with baggage? And how do you throw boot camp graduates into the mix? Johnny Ray Austin joins me to lend his thoughts on the hiring process, including what he looks for in an engineer. Don’t miss...

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Today’s guest—Emad Georgy—is passionate about technology leadership. He’s a CTO Consultant and the Founder and CTO of Georgy Technology Leadership. Emad has been in the tech industry for over 25 years. His hybrid approach to technology management—focusing on both the practical and cultural elements of leadership—makes Emad a trusted and valued partner helping both domestic startups and global enterprises scale and grow. 

In this ep...

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Transitioning an engineering leadership position to a work-from-home model can be a challenge. For some engineers, working remotely is the norm. For others, such as those working for Shopify, being forced to work from home because of the Coronavirus is a whole new ballgame. In this episode of Simple Leadership, Farhan Thawar joins me to chat about his transition into working from home and how Shopify has made the process manageable...

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If you’re in a leadership position in the engineering industry and have suddenly been thrust into working remotely, it may feel like your world has been turned upside down. In this episode of Simple Leadership, Dana Lawson and I discuss a few tips to help you manage remote teams. You want your team to thrive and be successful during a time of great uncertainty.

Dana describes herself as an atypical engineer. She wanted to attend co...

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A management role in software development can be difficult to navigate. You need to keep a high-level perspective on projects while making sure they go smoothly. Eric Elliott, today’s guest on the show, believes that you need to implement coding quality practices such as test-driven development. In this episode, we talk about why software development processes such test-driven development makes an impact and why it’s important to r...

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If you are transitioning into an executive or leadership role in an organization, you can find yourself dealing with incredible loneliness. You also deal with a change in power dynamics, gaps in information, and a lack of support systems. It is difficult to prepare for the change from “getting work done” to being an “influencer”. As a former COO, today’s guest, Suzan Bond, understands the struggle of the transition. She joins me to...

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Effectively leading a team through an acquisition or merger can be shaky ground to navigate. You aren’t just dealing with merging teams, tech stack, and processes—but also a culture. Your team needs leadership that is open, honest, and transparent about the process. If your company is going through a merger or acquisition and you want to arm yourself with some tools to manage your team efficiently through the process, learn from th...

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Cultivating diversity in the workplace is at the forefront of challenges that starts-ups face. Creating diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, and even opinions and skill sets is something every business must implement. You need to build a team with diverse perspectives in different backgrounds. Tess Hatch from Bessemer Venture Partners and Jess Mink with Auth0 lend me their expertise in today’s episode of Simple Leadership. We’ll c...

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Being an effective leader is about more than just managing people efficiently. Krister Ungerböck (unger-bahk) joins us today to talk about why being a leader is about changing the language you use. Krister is a keynote speaker, CEO Coach, and global expert in The Language of Leadership. Prior to retiring at age 42, Krister was the award-winning CEO of one of the largest family-owned software companies in the world. His expertise in...

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What does it take to up your game and improve your management skills? Do you need to read better books or get around the right environment? Here to help us dig in and understand some key aspects of an effective manger is, Jocelyn Goldfein.

Jocelyn is a technology executive and investor. She is the managing director and a general partner at venture capital firm Zetta Venture Partners. Previously she was a director of engineering at ...

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What does it look like to create a work environment where employees can succeed and thrive? Are there steps you can take as a leader to encourage and support your team members in a meaningful way? Here to help us understand what makes Asana a, “Top 5 Best Place to Work” is my guest, Scott Carleton.

Scott is currently the Site Lead of Asana’s NYC office, dedicated to enabling all teams to collaborate effortlessly. Previously, Scott ...

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As the economy and various business sectors continue to evolve, many leaders are looking at how transitioning to a distributed company might be the best option going forward. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Zapier’s Bryan Helmig to discuss all the benefits and some of the challenges involved with running a distributed company.

Bryan co-founded Zapier in late 2011 with his friends Mike and Wade, and they were soon admitted t...

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There’s good news for all you tech leaders who feel you got thrown into management without much preparation - leadership can be learned. My guests on this episode of SimpleLeadership are Johnathan and Melissa Nightingale, the founders of Raw Signal Group - a company with a simple promise, “We Build Better Bosses.” They are also best-selling authors of the book, “How F*cked Up Is Your Management?: An Uncomfortable Conversation About...

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Steph is the Head of Publications at Toptal, a serial maker, and a supporter of women in technology.  Outside of leading a remote team of a few dozen, she is a self-taught developer that builds projects related to women in technology, remote work, and self-improvement.    She’s launched products that have hit #1 on Product Hunt, articles that have trended the top of Hacker News, and was nominated for Maker of the Year in 2018.  She...
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Patrick has spent his career applying his engineering talents to the healthcare industry.  In that time he’s focused on learning and growing as an engineer, a teammate, team lead, and more recently as an engineering manager.  He considers himself a people gardener and coalition builder and believes in people-first leadership. Patrick loves teaching and tackling people and process opportunities to help teams and individuals grow.

On...

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February 25, 2019 38 min

Jason Wong is a proven engineering leader, diversity & inclusion consultant, and doughnut enthusiast. With almost two decades of experience in building and scaling web applications, he has worked in a range of industries from academia to online media and e-commerce. He helped establish web development and administrative computing at Columbia College, led development of premium video streaming services at Yahoo! Sports, and spen...

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Eric Elliott is a distributed systems expert, and author of the books "Programming JavaScript Applications" and "Composing Software". He builds and advises development teams for crypto projects, and has contributed to software experiences for Adobe Systems, Zumba Fitness, The Wall Street Journal, ESPN, BBC, and top recording artists including Usher, Frank Ocean, Metallica, and many more.

He spends most of his time i...

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