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We share the most critical perspectives, habits & examples of great software engineering leaders to help evolve leadership in the tech industry.

Join our community of software engineering leaders @ www.sfelc.com!

The Engineering Leadership Podcast ELC

    • Ledarskap

We share the most critical perspectives, habits & examples of great software engineering leaders to help evolve leadership in the tech industry.

Join our community of software engineering leaders @ www.sfelc.com!

    "The Imperfect Path" with Erica Lockheimer VPE, LinkedIn Learning @ LinkedIn #28

    "The Imperfect Path" with Erica Lockheimer VPE, LinkedIn Learning @ LinkedIn #28

    Erica Lockheimer shares with us her imperfect path to engineering leadership, why the unconventional path matters, and what you can do as an individual leader & organization to empower engineering leaders with unconventional backgrounds. Plus you’ll also hear how to overcome self-doubt and launch an apprenticeship program!

    “Whether you're a manager or whether you're an individual contributor, you are a leader in your role. Use the voice that you've earned in the seat that you own.  What can you personally do to create a different outcome. And all of us have that power  in a role that we have.” - Erica Lockheimer

    ERICA LOCKHEIMER, VP OF ENGINEERING, LINKEDIN LEARNING @ LINKEDIN

    Prior to LinkedIn Learning, Erica served as the VP of Engineering heading the Growth Engineering team, where her focus was on increasing growth in new members and deepening engagement with members across LinkedIn's products.  She started the Growth Team from the ground up to now a high performing 120-person team.

    She is also responsible for LinkedIn's Women In Tech (WIT) initiative that is focused on empowering women in technical roles within the company.  Prior to LinkedIn, she worked at Good Technology as Director of Server Engineering, In 2014 and 2015, Erica was also voted amongst the top 22 women engineers in the world by Business Insider.  Erica is a San Francisco Bay Area native, has 2 kids, loves to run and is a graduate from San Jose State University with a B.S. in Computer Engineering.

    RESOURCES

    About REACH: https://careers.linkedin.com/reach/AboutReach

    Shalini Agarwal, LinkedIn REACH Lead & Eng Leader https://www.linkedin.com/in/shalini-agarwal-5b735b2/

    SHOWNOTES


    Erica’s first experience on a hiring committee (2:28)
    Erica’s imperfect path to engineering leadership (6:51)
    Erica’s career decision-making criteria (12:01)
    How to overcome self-doubt (13:32)
    Jerry’s personal story of the “imperfect path” (16:25)
    Other "unconventional paths" to engineering leadership (17:27)
    How Erica evaluates potential in people (25:03)
    What type of support to provide when you’re pushing people outside their comfort zone (27:44)
    How to create more opportunities for unconventional candidates in the hiring funnel through LinkedIn REACH (30:20)
    About apprenticeship programs (35:41)
    How to start launching your apprenticeship program (39:25)
    How diverse teams impact product and change outcomes (41:12)
    How to have a conversation about bias in your algorithm (43:44)
    Final words of wisdom for those with “unconventional” backgrounds (45:07)

    ELC SUMMIT 2020

    Accelerate your growth as an engineering leader at the ELC Summit! Learn from 100+ incredible speakers. Talks cover tons of well-rounded curated topics. There will be opportunities for hands-on practice through workshops (+ other programs),  and speed networking with other eng leaders through our own custom-built platform!

    Details & tickets @ http://elcsummit.com

    Join our community of software engineering leaders @ https://sfelc.com/


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    • 52 min
    Leading AI/ML Teams with Craig Martell Head of LyftML @ Lyft #27

    Leading AI/ML Teams with Craig Martell Head of LyftML @ Lyft #27

    Craig Martell shares the biggest mistakes leaders of ML teams make, what to do if you have no experience leading an ML team, key skills your ML team needs, plus different models/approaches to building an ML team. You’ll hear the most expensive and time-consuming parts of ML, how to estimate timelines, unique tech debt, and how to manage expectations.

    “If I had to give one piece of advice about starting AI in your company, one of the first people I would hire is a really great data scientist, even if they can't code. Just so they're the one who's going to start training you and helping you think about, how to gather data, how the modeling is going to work, what you're going to need, whether that feature that you want to build is even modelable in the first place..." - Craig Martell

    Craig is Head of Lyft Machine Learning. He’s also an adjunct professor of Machine Learning for Northeastern University’s Align program.

    Prior to joining Lyft, he was Head of Machine Intelligence @ Dropbox, and led a number of AI teams and initiatives at LinkedIn, including the development of the LinkedIn AI Academy. Before LinkedIn, Craig was a tenured computer science professor at the Naval Postgraduate School specializing in natural language processing (NLP). He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania and is the co-author of the MIT Press book Great Principles of Computing.

    RESOURCES


    (ML training) Galvanize: https://bit.ly/3ckF6Gz
    (website) Andrew Ng: https://bit.ly/3cgerdU
    (courses) ML: https://bit.ly/3iNB9gf | AI for Everyone: https://bit.ly/2HeZKwl
    (course) Fast.AI: https://bit.ly/35SPwMD
    (book) "Hands-On ML with Scikit" : https://amzn.to/35SbGyh

    SHOW NOTES


    An overview of the machine learning lifecycle (2:49)
    The most expensive and time-consuming aspect of the machine learning lifecycle (6:07)
    The key skills of a machine learning team (7:21)
    How do you build an AI/ML Team and what are the different models? (8:41)
    What to do If you’re an engineering manager with no AI/ML skills or experience (15:19)
    How deep does your understanding of AI/ML have to be in order to lead effectively? (18:48)
    How do you estimate project timelines for AI/ML teams? (19:15)
    What are the biggest mistakes engineering leaders make managing AI/ML teams? (20:52)
    How do you manage expectations in an organization that’s in the early days of AI/ML development? (21:33)
    What are sources of technical debt unique to AI/ML systems? (22:13)
    How do machine learning teams interface with product teams? (23:55)
    AI/ML resources for executive engineering leaders (25:44)
    When’s the right time to invest in AI/ML? (26:10)
    Can you apply the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) to AI/ML development? (26:40)
    Takeaways (28:12)

    ELC SUMMIT 2020

    Accelerate your growth as an engineering leader at the ELC Summit! Learn from 100+ incredible speakers. Talks cover tons of well-rounded curated topics. There will be opportunities for hands-on practice through workshops (+ other programs),  and speed networking with other eng leaders through our own custom-built platform!

    Details & tickets @ http://elcsummit.com

    Join our community of software engineering leaders @ https://sfelc.com/




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    • 32 min
    Give Up Control and Expand Your Impact with Maria Latushkin CTO @ Omada Health #26

    Give Up Control and Expand Your Impact with Maria Latushkin CTO @ Omada Health #26

    “Giving up control” is about empowering other people to scale yourself, and scale your effectiveness. Maria Latushkin shares with us why you need to give up control as an engineering leader and what holds people back. Plus you’ll learn tons of different ways to influence and manage your performance when it’s dependent on other people’s effectiveness.

    “You are responsible for the delivery of the team. At the end of the day, nobody really cares like how much YOU work. You can be working around the clock. And it's not how great you are or what you produce. It stops being about you and it starts being about the function that you lead.” - Maria Latushkin

    Maria is responsible for leading Omada Health’s technology vision and team. Prior to joining Omada Health and moving to the healthcare space, Maria has spent over 15 years in eCommerce, retail, and enterprise SaaS companies ranging from series B startups to large companies, such as Walmart.

    SHOWNOTES


    Why you need to give up control as a senior engineering leader (2:07)
    What holds people back from giving up control? (9:27)
    The impact and trade-offs you make when you avoid or resist giving up control (15:31)
    How to influence and manage your performance now that it’s dependent on your team’s effectiveness (23:49)
    How to make sure people heard you, so that you know you’re on the same page (29:04)
    Does the discomfort of “giving up control” happen at every transition to a new leadership level, or is it a one-time thing? (32:44)
    How to regain “control” and empower your team (39:40)
    The Impact -  how you feel when you give up control (41:25)
    Takeaways (43:36)

    This episode is brought to you by our friends at Lohika. Lohika helps high-growth tech startups engineer the next Big Thing. Lohika’s distributed engineering teams work with the most demanding technology clients in the world, including Okta, Twilio, and Airbnb, to help VPEs and CTOs accelerate their time to market.

    Learn more at Lohika.com - https://hubs.la/H0wjqfz0

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    Join our community of software engineering leaders @ https://sfelc.com/


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    • 48 min
    Growing Into a VPE - Patterns & Anti-Patterns ft. Cathy Polinsky, Jerry Krikheli, Richard Wong, Erica Lockheimer & Claire Lew #25

    Growing Into a VPE - Patterns & Anti-Patterns ft. Cathy Polinsky, Jerry Krikheli, Richard Wong, Erica Lockheimer & Claire Lew #25

    A dynamic conversation between 4 current and past VPs of Engineering who cover tons of patterns and anti-patterns about being a VPE! You'll hear how leadership is different in large vs. small companies, mental models to determine your greatest leverage, why you DON’T need to act like an owner, how to put trust into practice when you’re transitioning into a new role, and about the imperfect path to become a VPE. 

    SPEAKERS:

    CATHY POLINKSY CTO @ Stitch Fix

    JERRY KRIKHELI VP of Engineering @ Houzz

    RICHARD WONG SVP of Engineering @ Coursera

    ERICA LOCKHEIMER  VP of Engineering @ Linkedin Learning

    And CLAIRE LEW CEO @ Know Your Team

    SHOWNOTES


    What Cathy means by “the best leaders spot patterns, understand problems, then build systems to solve them” (3:55)
    Jerry’s view on how the practice of leadership is different at large companies vs. small companies (7:30)
    Erica’s perspective on how the transition to VPE is different than other eng leadership roles and how to put trust into practice (12:27)
    Why Richard resonates with “act like an owner” and what it actually looks like in practice as VPE (16:40)
    Cathy’s top 3 priorities as VPE that determine how she spends her time and how to refocus your team (23:50)
    Richard's mental model to determine where he has the most leverage for impact and why being technical isn't always about writing code (26:16)
    Jerry's 3 key hiring traits and how to create an environment where you're the first to know when something's wrong (30:10)
    The imperfect path to become a VPE and Erica’s advice for engineering leaders with an “unconventional” background (34:01)
    The common struggle to balance being a problem solver and being the bottleneck as a VPE (39:11)
    How they cope with and manage stress (42:55)
    Takeaways (45:00)

    ELC SUMMIT 2020

    Accelerate your growth as an engineering leader at the ELC Summit! Learn from 100+ incredible speakers. Talks cover tons of well-rounded curated topics. There will be opportunities for hands-on practice through workshops (+ other programs),  and speed networking with other eng leaders through our own custom-built platform!

    More details and tickets @ http://elcsummit.com

    Join our community of software engineering leaders @ https://sfelc.com/


    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/engineeringleadership/message

    • 49 min
    *Bonus* Optimizing Productivity for Remote Engineering Teams with Doug Gaff, VPE @ Zapier & Emma Tang, EM @ Stripe #24

    *Bonus* Optimizing Productivity for Remote Engineering Teams with Doug Gaff, VPE @ Zapier & Emma Tang, EM @ Stripe #24

    We were overwhelmed by questions from our event with Doug and Emma! This is a bonus follow up conversation that further digs into measuring productivity through “Waterlining” and Kaplan Meier estimating, hashtags in communication, remote 1:1 best practices, and Doug shows us some of the creative ways he applies Zapier integrations for his personal productivity!

    "What it does is it forces a debate as to A what's most important and B do we really want that thing below the line waterline? Because what happens sometimes is people are super excited about this thing. And then when you see this rank list of stuff, you're like, Oh, but wait a second. There's like running the business stuff below the water line. We actually have to get that up and staff that..." - Doug Gaff

    DOUG GAFF - VP of Engineering @ Zapier

    Doug is the VP of Engineering at Zapier, the software solution that helps your other software work together more effectively. As the leader of an organization with over 100 engineers, he has learned a lot about effective management and leadership. Doug currently resides in the Greater Boston Area.

    EMMA TANG - Engineering Manager @ Stripe

    Emma is an Engineering Manager in Data Infrastructure at Stripe based in San Francisco. Her team focuses on building distributed computation infrastructure to support Stripe's business. At Stripe, we believe in investing in our remote culture, and have built out the remote engineering hub, and tripled the number of remote engineers in the last year.

    SHOWNOTES


    How to Measure Productivity - Waterlining and Kaplan Meier (2:44)
    Waterlining as a tool to discuss priorities (9:10)
    Using hashtags to understand intent and to increase the bandwidth of communication (11:02)
    Best practices for remote 1:1’s when you don’t see the productivity levels you want (17:37)
    Tips for onboarding new grads (23:03)
    Doug’s remote work routine and lifestyle (24:47)
    Doug’s favorite Zapier integrations to increase productivity (29:21)
    Takeaways (33:45)

    ELC SUMMIT 2020

    Accelerate your growth as an engineering leader at the ELC Summit! Learn from 100+ incredible speakers. Talks cover tons of well-rounded curated topics. There will be opportunities for hands-on practice through workshops (+ other programs),  and speed networking with other eng leaders through our own custom-built platform!

    More details and tickets @ http://elcsummit.com

    Join our community of software engineering leaders @ https://sfelc.com/


    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/engineeringleadership/message

    • 36 min
    Optimizing Productivity for Remote Engineering Teams with Doug Gaff, VPE @ Zapier & Emma Tang, EM @ Stripe #23

    Optimizing Productivity for Remote Engineering Teams with Doug Gaff, VPE @ Zapier & Emma Tang, EM @ Stripe #23

    Doug Gaff and Emma Tang discuss high-bandwidth communication, innovation accounting, preventing developer burnout, influencing teams, and communicating priorities. They’ll help you move from frustration and survival in remote work, back to optimized productivity!

    “Personal stuff is totally in bounds and people just listen. And they don't try to solve a problem for you. And I might be like, I'm red today. I didn't get any sleep. I'm stressed about this thing. I'm not sure I'm going to get it done or this thing's happening personally. I'm worried about a friend who's not well...  and it requires a certain level of vulnerability and you've got to have a trust, comfort level, but, that's another thing like as leaders, the best thing you can do is demonstrate this kind of behavior so that other people know it's okay to do it.” - Doug Gaff

    DOUG GAFF - VP of Engineering @ Zapier

    Doug is the VP of Engineering at Zapier, the software solution that helps your other software work together more effectively. As the leader of an organization with over 100 engineers, he has learned a lot about effective management and leadership. Doug currently resides in the Greater Boston Area.

    EMMA TANG - Engineering Manager @ Stripe

    Emma is an Engineering Manager in Data Infrastructure at Stripe based in San Francisco. Her team focuses on building distributed computation infrastructure to support Stripe's business. At Stripe, we believe in investing in our remote culture, and have built out the remote engineering hub, and tripled the number of remote engineers in the last year.

    SHOWNOTES


    Ideas for Remote “Offsites” (3:27)
    How to ensure clear, high-bandwidth communication (5:44)
    How to make engineers feel connected to the mission and company (9:44)
    Measuring productivity with “Innovation Accounting” and “Waterlining” (15:03)
    It's time to trust your people and fix your cultural anti-patterns (21:19)
    How to prevent developer burnout (25:03)
    How to influence leadership teams remotely (28:26)
    How to communicate priorities to multiple groups and teams (33:00)
    Health metrics to track your team - Happiness surveys, pull requests, and “innovation accounting” (35:11)
    Takeaways (38:34)


    ELC SUMMIT 2020

    Accelerate your growth as an engineering leader at the ELC Summit! Learn from 100+ incredible speakers. Talks cover tons of well-rounded curated topics. There will be opportunities for hands-on practice through workshops (+ other programs),  and speed networking with other eng leaders through our own custom-built platform!

    More details and tickets @ http://elcsummit.com

    Join our community of software engineering leaders @ https://sfelc.com/


    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/engineeringleadership/message

    • 41 min

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