Letting the best ideas win

Letting the best ideas win

I’m an engineering leader with a few years experience of providing technical leadership to multiple teams, and my biggest weakness is a tendency to evangelise my great ideas to teams before they’ve even had a chance to consider the problem I’m trying to solve. This talk will explain why this is generally a pretty bad idea; it won’t surface the best ideas and it doesn’t let more junior engineers develop their skills. Instead, there are steps you can take to make sure that the idea adopted to solve a problem is the best idea available, even if you aren’t the one who came up with it.

Is efficiency a good thing?

Is efficiency a good thing?

Busywork hasn’t gone away, our systems are stretched so thin any disturbance destabilises them, our people are burning out, and IT consumes more resources than ever before. What’s going on? Holly explores if efficiency is the wrong goal, or if we are just doing it wrong.

Chromosomes in the cloud: Building a scalable genomic matching algorithm

Chromosomes in the cloud: Building a scalable genomic matching algorithm

In this case study, Ben will walk you through the technical journey of building Atlas - the first open-source, cloud-hosted, genetic matching algorithm - comparing the genetics of patients and donors, and returning a list of donors who could be a match for transplantation.

Have AI Got News for You

Have AI Got News for You

Katie shares eight prompting techniques designed to leverage LLMs towards crafting first drafts that meet the quality of Financial Times journalism.

Tips on scaling your leadership outside of your comfort zone

Tips on scaling your leadership outside of your comfort zone

In this talk Michael will talk through lessons and tips he's learnt when working on a project that pushed him outside of his comfort zone, and how you can effectively utilise the skills and knowledge of those around you to build alignment when leading across a broad set of teams who are often using very different technologies.

Architecting for scale: Revisiting fundamentals for sustainable growth

Architecting for scale: Revisiting fundamentals for sustainable growth

In tech, the conventional approach to building systems often assumes planet-scale requirements from the outset, often resulting in architectures that might scale up smoothly but can often burden organisations with unnecessary complexity and costs from the get-go regardless of whether the anticipated user scale materialises or not. In this talk, Viktor challenges this approach by advocating for adaptability and a return to basics in system design.

Filling the void: Operating as a staff engineer in a leaderless scope

Filling the void: Operating as a staff engineer in a leaderless scope

In this talk, Sami and Guillaume detail their experiences as Staff Engineers functioning as Tech Leads, Glues and Facilitators in a leaderless role. They will discuss the real-world problems they faced, their solutions, and the lessons learned which allowed them to grow as leaders and as an organization.

Training machines to see scenic beauty

Training machines to see scenic beauty

Is beauty truly in the eye of the human beholder, or can we teach machines to appreciate aesthetics just like humans do? Chanuki explores the captivating journey of using computer vision to train computers to recognise and evaluate beauty in various environments.

Influencing through getting your carrots in a row

Influencing through getting your carrots in a row

Staff+ engineers often talk about the struggle of influencing without authority. One less talked about method of influencing is understanding and aligning incentives. In this talk, Joy will go through some of the common incentives and motivators as well as real examples that she has encountered.

Uncover the invisible ceiling

Uncover the invisible ceiling

Invisible biases can hinder senior ICs from advancing, especially to Staff+ roles. Oussama highlights the bias that mobile app engineering is less complex than backend or infrastructure engineering, helping individuals recognise and address this bias, and encouraging a fair evaluation of skills and contributions in all engineering disciplines.

Effective delegation without authority

Effective delegation without authority

As a Staff Engineer, delegating work is essential to getting things done and empowering colleagues. Without direct authority, you must rely on trust, vision, clear communication, and finding the right people. In this talk, Ziad shares tips on influencing and inspiring fellow engineers to collaborate effectively.

Deming's wisdom for staff+ engineers: A modern take on timeless principles

Deming's wisdom for staff+ engineers: A modern take on timeless principles

Annie delves into how Staff+ Engineers can embody Deming's timeless wisdom to enhance quality, productivity, and both employee and customer satisfaction within the modern engineering landscape.

Debug like a scientist

Debug like a scientist

Some bugs haunt the team for weeks. Recurring, hard-to-track, embarrassing. They ruin the road maps, kill morale and undermine stakeholders' trust. If you ever seen them, you know the nightmare. In this talk, share how you can enhance your programming toolbox for the hardest bugs. Not only this - but you'll see how to scale effective debugging to the entire team and leave with a set of habits to share with your fellow engineers to help them step up their debugging game.

Fitness functions: Creating consistency across hundreds of services

Fitness functions: Creating consistency across hundreds of services

In this talk, Bijan shows the different ways fitness functions are employed at Jimdo to keep track of the state of over 200 services.

Sunsetting legacy: Navigating the shop merchant eligibility data pipeline migration

Sunsetting legacy: Navigating the shop merchant eligibility data pipeline migration

Let's talk about migration, especially the less spotlighted part: the process of dismantling the legacy system. How do you go about it? How did others approach it? In this talk, Dianing will share the strategies used to disassemble Shopify legacy data pipelines responsible for managing merchant eligibility on the Shop apps.

Mastering visual communication for software development

Mastering visual communication for software development

Communicating software architecture is a crucial aspect of being a successful software architect, however, this is a skill you don't get taught. Learning by trial and error is not ideal, so how do you create inclusive diagrams and visuals that successfully communicate to your audience? In this talk, learn from a hands-on solution architect - and thought leader in communication design and documentation - on how to tailor your visuals to your audience, choose the most appropriate standards (or not) and level of detail, and apply patterns to improve accessibility for all audiences.

Modeling complex systems

Modeling complex systems

Unexpected issues often arise when interacting with production systems. Comprehensive dashboards that capture the entire system and link to monitoring can help. In this talk, Rita explores examples of these dashboards and their benefits.

Navigating complex projects: Finding the right mode of operation

Navigating complex projects: Finding the right mode of operation

In this talk, Mahmut shares his journey of deciding on an effective mode of operation when engaging with complex projects.

Is staff engineering valuable at a small company?

Is staff engineering valuable at a small company?

Glen shares some of his experiences from moving to a smaller company with his Staff+ experience, sharing some of the things that are very effective but only really possible at a smaller scale.

Tactical tech: Short-term solutions for long-term strategy

Tactical tech: Short-term solutions for long-term strategy

As software engineers, we’re reluctant to build short-term tactical solutions that subsequently need to be torn down and replaced with a ‘proper’ solution. The short-term solution is often heavily criticised (and often rightly so) because of the pain of the migration and cleanup. This talk will explore how tactical tech has an important part to play and can inform much bigger and more expensive decisions. A ‘hacky’ solution can mean you’re getting data from real customers much sooner and unearthing details would have otherwise remained unknown.

Idea to innovation

Idea to innovation

Join Christina on a journey to dissect the anatomy of innovation, uncover strategies to unlock the full potential of ideas, and transform them into impactful realities. Build a strong culture of innovation, and make sure that it is not just a buzzword but a tangible outcome.

Scaling yourself by helping your colleagues grow

Scaling yourself by helping your colleagues grow

In this talk, Lukas will share different techniques that help you grow your colleagues to a level where they can do a part of your job. He will explain the difference between delegating, mentoring, and teaching, demonstrating with examples how little effort it takes to turn your everyday tasks into teaching moments, improving your understanding of your own skills in the process.

Scaling leadership: Insights from the first staff technical program manager in the room

Scaling leadership: Insights from the first staff technical program manager in the room

In this talk, Tom offers the perspective of a Staff Technical Program manager as the first one hired in a company, deconstructing the evolutionary journey that paved the way for hiring more of them. Explore the essential elements in crafting your leadership journey incrementally, culminating in the ability to influence at scale without formal authority. The talk will feature practical tips and tricks gleaned from Tom's two-year experience at Back Market.

Doing "the most important thing" is a trap

Doing "the most important thing" is a trap

Join James Ford for a talk on the importance of saying "No" in your career. Learn why you shouldn't always take on "the most important thing" and how doing so can prevent you from focusing on your critical IC Leadership responsibilities. Discover strategies to delegate effectively and avoid burnout, especially in times of change.

IPv6 - Did we just win

IPv6 - Did we just win

Feeling burnt out from the push for IPv6? Anna Wilson explores the current state of our dual-stack world, reflects on why the original end-to-end vision didn't fully materialise, and discusses the lessons learned for tackling large-scale changes in the future.