Engineering with a Growth Mindset

What makes a hacker successful? When we say that we’ve hacked something together, or that an implementation is “kind of a hack”, we’re referring to messiness or a lack of design, but there’s striking beauty in the inherent ingenuity of a good hack. It’s fresh and creative… Where does this come from?

In our occupations and endeavors, we often find ourselves running into unexpected issues or grappling with hindrances that are difficult to define. It’s in these moments that we test the human will. Do we accept our environment, or do we choose to work and improve? Successful engineers choose improvement, and renown psychologist, Carol Dweck, calls this trait the difference between a growth and fixed mindset.

In this talk, we will examine some of the results of Dweck’s studies, and apply them to technical systems and process. We’ll examine Proposals and Pull Requests from the kubernetes community and consider the verbiage used. I’ll also share personal anecdotes of how I learned that my tools are an extension of me – how applying a growth mindset to my tooling can grow the capabilities of myself and others around me.

We’ll use these examples as proof to declare a statement: Your capacity isn’t a fulfillable quantity but rather an uncapped rate of progress. This attitude is fortified by the support systems of personal belief and collective mentorship through the many mediums of our digital age.

Technical individuals can expect to identify the examples provided throughout this session as opportunities for growth that they regularly encounter. Leaders will be empowered with data supported techniques that will improve their ability to mentor and encourage others, and all audience members can expect to take away actionable steps to become more self-aware in our learning and creative journeys.

Businesses will receive strong value from the content shared in this exhibition.



Leigh Capili


Leigh is a young Cloud Engineer local to Denver who is passionate about Distributed Systems and OSS. Leigh contributes to Kubernetes and likes Golang and functional Javascript.

At AT&T, Leigh