Developer First: a New Leadership Mindset (Room 1M)

ABSTRACT Be prepared to challenge your preexisting perspectives of technical leadership as we explore non-traditional approaches and techniques in this immersive, hands-on workshop.

You will be required to step outside your comfort zone as you share personal experiences and discuss challenging topics such as: giving feedback, working with different communication styles, facilitating effective (non-awkward) 1:1s, practicing authenticity, empowering developers to reach their full potential, and establishing powerful and bullet-proof morning routines to maximize your busy schedules.

AUDIENCE This workshop will cater to all career levels - those who are formally or informally leading people, those who are interested in leading people in the future, or those who want to establish their criteria of characteristics and behaviors to look for in their own future bosses.

Participants must be willing to practice vulnerability, respect, and openness. The more willing we are to openly share and discuss, the stronger our connections will be and the more diverse perspectives we can take back to our schools and organizations.

Attendees: Please bring a device with internet access, a pen, and paper

INTRODUCTION Have you ever worked for a horrible boss? Or, a boss that didn’t seem invested in you or your career growth? If so, you know how demoralizing it can feel, even for the strongest and most driven individuals and teams.

Research from a 2015 Gallup study based on 4+ decades of research showed that 50% of Americans left a job because of their manager/supervisor at some point in their career.

Therefore, there is a dire need to significantly change our approach to leadership if we want to continue building and retaining strong, empowered, motivated, and loyal teams.

Enter developer-first leadership.

Developer-first leadership is the drive to focus on the growth and well-being of others before one’s self.

This approach is centered around the idea that developers should not work for their leaders. Instead, their leaders must work for them!

OUTCOMES/CONCLUSION In this talk, Kate will demonstrate how developer-first leadership can translate directly to the daily lives of technical leaders.

Participants will leave with tactical methods to truly embrace the human side of software development and serve your teams as intentional, respectable, and inspiring leaders.



Kate Wardin

Kate Wardin is a currently a Senior Engineering Manager at Target Corporation in Minneapolis, MN. Outside of her day job, she enjoys organizing events that enable young women to develop a passion and ...