You are viewing content from a past/completed QCon Plus - November 2020


What Engineering Teams Need From Leaders Right Now

Technical leadership. Hands-on coding. Process management. Project management. Delivery. People management & development. Architecture decisions. Product oversight. Hiring.—With so many things on an engineering manager’s plate, what do they actually need to be successful? And how can they best help engineers, teams, and organizations succeed? –  

In this talk, I will review skills and tools for engineering managers to help them lead teams successfully, and explore what it means to show up as a leader now. You will leave this talk with frameworks to guide your thinking and execution, as well as away practical tips that you can apply in your daily work with individual engineers, teams, and organizations.

Main Takeaways

1 Hear about how CircleCI deals with engineering management issues.

2 Learn what it takes these days to be a successful engineering manager.

What is the work you're doing these days?

I'm VP of Product Engineering at CircleCI and the main work that I have at the moment is twofold. One big thing I think about is scale. Growing our organization further from a technical perspective when it comes to things like organizational structures and support structures for people, making sure that everyone in my team has it, The context they need to navigate those kinds of changes, but also to lead in those changes themselves and support their teams through it. I mean, especially in a time like this, of course, where a lot is changing, not only in the workplace, but also in the world around us. I think supporting teams through that, basically helping my management team be able to do that is the biggest thing that I'm doing.

What is the goal for your talk?

I want to help managers and other leaders believe that leadership is a thing at all levels and not just for those in manager roles. I want to give people tools to understand human core needs and how they factor into what makes teams high performing. There is so much that leaders  can do every day to drive change at the individual level in their organization, and also with their teams and then at the organizational level. 

What do you want people to leave the talk with?

Mostly with a better understanding of how to lead during times of high uncertainty and change. Along with a better understanding of how to shape their role as a leader, no matter if they are a formal manager or if they're in a more informal leadership role.


Lena Reinhard

Vice President of Product Engineering @CircleCI

Lena Reinhard is VP Product Engineering at CircleCI, the leader in continuous integration and delivery for developer teams. In her 15+ year career, she’s been building and scaling high-performing engineering organisations and helping distributed teams succeed, starting with her own startup...

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