Agile + DevOps East 2020 Tutorial: Developer First: A New Leadership Mindset

Conference archive


Monday, November 9, 2020 - 10:00am to 1:30pm

Developer First: A New Leadership Mindset

Developer First Leadership is the drive to focus on the growth and advancement of your team members before yourself. Kate Wardin will demonstrate how developer-first leadership can translate directly to the daily lives of technical leaders. Participants will leave with tactical methods to truly embrace the human side of software development and serve your teams as intentional, respectable, and inspiring leaders. Participants will be required to step outside their comfort zones as they share personal experiences and discuss challenging topics such as: giving feedback, working with different communication styles, facilitating effective (non-awkward) 1:1s, practicing authenticity, empowering developers to reach their full potential, and establishing powerful and bullet-proof morning routines to maximize your busy schedules. Be prepared to challenge your preexisting perspectives of technical leadership as we explore non-traditional approaches and techniques in these immersive, hands-on workshops and presentations.

According to a CareerBuilder study, only 40% of new tech leaders receive formal training when they become a boss for the first time. The rest are forced to get scrappy to quickly equip themselves with new skills, techniques, and mindsets to effectively transition into their new roles.

This workshop was designed to fill this gap; providing tactical techniques and resources for both new and seasoned technical leaders!

Course outline: 

Purposeful leadership
Time management & empowering your team
Social styles
Giving feedback
Diversity & inclusion
Recruiting, interviewing, & onboarding

Interactive group exercises will help you practice these new ideas and techniques in a safe and engaging environment.

You will leave with new perspectives on Engineering Management, as well as handouts and plenty of resources to grow and further develop skills in your daily work.

Kate Wardin
Developer First

Kate Wardin is a currently a Senior Engineering Manager at Target Corporation in Minneapolis, MN. She leads a team of amazing engineers who build front end applications for Supply Chain HQ and Field users. Outside of her day job, she enjoys organizing events that enable young women to develop a passion and build confidence for future careers in technology. She also enjoys disrupting the norms of traditional leadership by spending time researching, testing out, and advocating for various techniques to tenaciously put developers first. In 2019, she founded Developer First LLC and continues to partner with organizations to research and implement new techniques for effective technical leadership.