It's a tough job being a technical leader. You're always managing complexity, there are often changing requirements. You often have to communicate over and over again to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Still, one of the biggest challenges of being a leader is that you often have to solve problems that other people have failed to solve. We've been covering this topic every year at QCon San Francisco so expect to see talks around leadership at this year's event as well.

Past Presentations

Microcultures and Finding Your Place

If you've worked for more than one company in your career, you know that culture can vary from one company to the next. If you move from one team to another team within the same company, you may have observed that different teams within the same company have different cultures. Why is that,...

Mike McGarr Engineering Leader, Frontend Infrastructure @Slack
Six Things I've Learned as a Manager I Wish I Knew Before

I am a software developer with almost 15 years of experience. But I also was an engineering manager for 3+ years. And you know what? While being a manager I've learned some things I wish I knew in the beginning of my career. When you are a developer, it may seem that writing good code...

Georgiy Mogelashvili Lead Developer @bookingcom
Optimizing You Panel: Path to Awesomeness

The panelist discuss their own choices and events from personal histories that propelled their careers, improved their circumstances, and generally helped them achieve awesomeness in one or more areas of their lives. Come listen to the group and get inspired on your path as well.

Christie Wilson Software Engineer @Google
Daniel Bryant Independent Technical Consultant
Justin Ryan Playback Edge Engineering @Netflix
Optimizing Yourself: Neurodiversity in Tech

The difference between a programmer and a software engineer is their understanding of soft skills. The problem many of us face is that as members of neurodiverse communities, we must find different ways to build these skills. In this session, Elizabeth will talk about the issues she has...

Elizabeth Schneider Consultant @Microsoft
Empathy: A Keystone Habit

Do you struggle to build trust, influence others, give effective feedback, and enable collaboration? This session will explore how empathy – the ability to understand others' needs and ensure that they know that you understand them – is what Charles Duhigg calls a "keystone...

Paul Tevis People Development Manager @AppFolio
Baby Got Feedback: How to Give and Take Feedback Like A Boss

Giving--and receiving--feedback is hard, especially when we perceive the feedback to be negative. We put it off, and then make the feedback conversation a bigger deal than originally intended. How can you avoid this pitfall and learn to be more comfortable with feedback? This talk uses empirical...

Sarah Hagan Research Manager & Data Scientist, People Analytics @gatesfoundation


Elizabeth Schneider Consultant @Microsoft

Optimizing Yourself: Neurodiversity in Tech

What are your goals for the talk?

My goal is to make it clear that soft skills mater for everyone. Then to share some tips and tricks to help grow your soft skills as an individual that may not see these skills as default.

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Sarah Hagan Research Manager & Data Scientist, People Analytics @gatesfoundation

Baby Got Feedback: How to Give and Take Feedback Like A Boss

What is the motivation for your talk?

People suck at giving feedback. People suck at taking it, and they suck even more at giving it. There seems to be, across every domain--not just technology or software--this reticence to have a vulnerable conversation about performance, behavior, or attitude. Welcoming that feedback actually makes you a better person, as well as a...

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Less than


weeks until QCon San Francisco 2021

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