Insights from LeadDev Together

Sheree Atcheson
Insights from LeadDev Together

At Peakon, we are always excited about new ways to get involved with communities, both locally and globally. Engineering and technology is a crucial part of our organisation and supporting current and future people in these roles from all different backgrounds is directly aligned to our mission of making work work for all people.

At the end of 2020, a group of Peakon’s Technology team attended LeadDev Together, a seven-part virtual event series hosted by Anjuan Simmons. Each session featured talks and panels from engineering leaders that aimed to provide knowledge and present new ideas. LeadDev is a globally-renowned community of software engineering leaders that come together to learn and get inspired on all things team, tech, process, and personal development.

We caught up with some of our Peakons who attended to find out what they enjoyed the most about the conference, their most impactful session, and how attending LeadDev Together helped widen their approaches in their day-to-day work.

Insights from the event: Read what Peakons have to say

Silviya Dimitrova

Senior QA Engineer in Copenhagen

What was the most impactful session you attended and why?

Scaling up sustainably talk by Maria Gutierrez.

As Peakon’s engineering team is growing rapidly, we are always looking for better ways to coordinate and align within and across teams. We have to be intentional when setting up new processes and consider our values, principles, and business goals. 

This talk provided some key points on how to define a process that not only helps us build a better product and improve team performance, but also improves engagement. 

  • Involving people earlier who are closer to the problem and gathering feedback from a diverse representation of people.
  • Focusing on factors that drive process adoption. 
  • Setting feedback loops to access its effectiveness and making adjustments.

I’d consider the value of these practices when implementing new processes.

How has attending LeadDev helped with your work?

This is the first LeadDev event I’ve attended. I found all the tracks very useful to anyone who wants to level up their leadership skills. The specific examples and tools provided in Jill Wetzler’s session about coaching were very valuable and I’ll be using them in my daily work.

Chris Class

Engineering Manager in London

What was the most impactful session you attended and why?

Personal Development. As an Engineering Manager, you’re often focused on supporting the development of those who report to you and it’s easy to forget that your personal development is just as important.

Your own development can also impact more than just yourself — your own growth as a manager can help you discover new tools and techniques that will enable you to provide even better support to your team. The talks in this session gave a lot of practical advice to help me prepare for the next transition in my career

How has attending LeadDev helped you with your work?

I always get a lot from LeadDev, whether that’s new tips or insights that I can apply in my current role or things I can add to my manager’s toolbox. I can then later share these insights with other managers or engineers who are on the management track and want to start building their leadership skills.

From LeadDev Together in particular, I’ve already used the spider diagram Meri Williams shared to coach one of my reports who is working to develop their technical leadership skills.

Zoé de Moffarts

Senior Frontend Engineer in Copenhagen

What was the most impactful session you attended and why?

Leading Big Projects. It was very impactful for me personally because it’s highly relevant to what I do in my daily work and something I feel I have not always been really good at (and let’s face it, many engineers struggle with that)!

I really liked the idea brought forward by Juan Pablo Buriticá that delivering software is akin to cooking in a professional kitchen: you need to do a lot of prep work before you can start delivering anything to customers. Another idea that gave me food for thought is that you should not communicate bad news without letting people know what you want them to do about it and how to correct course, otherwise you’re just creating panic and no one knows what to do about it.

How has attending LeadDev helped you with your work?

Overall, it’s really hard to find THE one thing to take away from this course, because there’s so much wisdom on so many topics in there. I’m not a manager, but learning and thinking about all these topics make me a much better software engineer overall anyway, better able to handle the problems that are thrown at me every day.

A lot of it is also very transferable in non-tech/engineer situations, even in non-professional ways. So I feel like soaking this kind of knowledge in can only be a net positive for me as an individual.

Tomas Prochazka

Engineering Manager in Copenhagen

What was the most impactful session you attended and why?

I really enjoyed Jill Wetzler’s talk on coaching. It is like a superpower. Coaching allows you to help solve problems by actually not solving them, but rather by guiding the individual towards a realisation. I find this really fascinating.

I also want to mention David Yee’s talk about difficult conversations. It is just a matter of time when you’ll need to have these type of conversations and you have to be ready! Knowing all the possible biases like pattern matching and catching yourself not really listening is only the start.

How has attending LeadDev helped you with your work?

I think I am at the point of my career where I just need to soak up knowledge and ideas like a sponge. I really enjoy the format of the talks. Most of the videos are 15 minutes long, which is perfect. It allows me to quickly get the idea and evaluate how and when to apply it.

What’s next?

We are super excited to continue our work with LeadDev as their first Diversity and Inclusion Partner for LeadDev Live.

LeadDev Live is a one-day virtual conference with 20+ amazing talks, panels, and demos. We are proud to sponsor and work to create a more equitable tech industry by providing 1:1 coaching with our fantastic frontend and backend engineers, QA testers, and engineering managers — and for anyone who is interested in igniting their career, getting top tips on succeeding in the industry, striking a work-life balance, and anything else they may want to ask.

Does that sound like you? You can sign up for free here, where you can also join our raffle to win an official Raspberry Pi 4 Desktop Kit!

If you’re also interested in joining our tech team and want to work with people like Anne-Sofie, our Chief Technology Officer, we’re hiring across Product, Engineering, Testing, and Engineering Management. Join us on our mission to make work work for everyone!

We’re hiring!

Autor - Sheree Atcheson