Lead Dev Meetup - London - October 2019
Welcome to the meetup for those who are currently (or soon to be) leading and managing technical teams!
- 6:00pm - Arrival, refreshments, networking
- 6:45pm - Welcome
- 6:50pm - Talk: Maria Ntalla
- 7:20pm - Talk: Blanca Garcia Gil
- 7:40pm - Break
- 7:50pm - Talk: Nicky Wrightson
- 8:20pm - Networking
- 9:00pm - Close
Host: Maria Gutierrez (Head of Engineering, Intercom London)
Speaker: Maria Ntalla (Engineering Manager, Pivotal)
Talk: Productise your project's technical quality
We have successfully applied product principles to developing, well, products; listening to users, delivering the highest value features first, measuring success. What if the same principles apply to the “non-user facing” aspects of the software your team writes; architecture, codebase health and technical debt? In other words, what if your product’s technical quality...is a product?
In this talk, I’ll go through a framework that you can use as a reference when deciding what aspects of tech debt to address, in what order, and in what way. You can adjust that to match your team’s special context and challenges, but I’ll also take you through some implementations that I’ve seen in engineering teams as examples. By the end of the session, you’ll have tools that will help you choose the most effective way towards engineering setup and decision making that works for your team, but also grow your team’s muscles towards identifying these areas in the future.
Speaker: Blanca Garcia Gil (Principal Systems Engineer, BBC)
Talk: Getting excited about maintaining legacy systems
In any big organisation, there are a number of applications that have been running in production for many years but still need maintaining. Sometimes those systems are in limp home mode and we can only make small changes to help them across the finish line. This is not a very appealing scenario to an engineer with a can-fix attitude, but there are still many benefits to getting involved in troubleshooting live issues.
I used to think that greenfield projects and new features are the most important areas that would give me opportunities for learning, but I have realised looking back at my experience that digging into code that I had not written or from a project I was not part of has given me many benefits: confidence in stepping into the unknown, a better understanding of systems that seemed to be a black box and also the ability to predict possible pitfalls when implementing new systems and prevent failures!
In this talk, I would like to share the steps I went through when I could no longer avoid diving into the unknown, some anecdotes of things I’ve learnt and how I have been trying to get my team excited about sharing the brunt of helping production systems continue running.
Speaker: Nicky Wrightson (Principal Engineer, Skyscanner)
Talk: An Engineer's Guide to a Good Night's Sleep
As organisations look to empower engineers more, and embrace DevOps practices, we have seen the support role change quite a bit too. Developers are moving from being purely third line support, to working more collaboratively with engineers and operational staff. Also as we move to cloud native microservice solutions, the increased complexity and diversity of our production landscape means operational staff may well rely more heavily on the engineers, in particular out of hours.
I have spent the last 18 years working across a plethora of industries utilising a myriad of technology and approaches. From working on everything from trading applications to content enrichment APIs, I have seen a lot of approaches and processes try to help minimise operational support for developers.
In this talk, I will be exploring and discussing some of my top approaches and techniques to help reduce the risk of that dreaded 3am call! You will gain some practical insight into how to handle failure in today's more complex distributed microservice systems. This will include looking at approaches to resiliency, understanding your system, understanding the requirements for fault tolerance, and the developers' mindset necessary for this. I will be peppering this talk with real world examples, and an occasional war story along the way too.
The Lead Developer is an international series of conferences and meetups for technical leaders in London, Berlin, Austin, New York and San Francisco. Find out more and check out 100+ talk videos on imposter syndrome, leading and scaling technical teams, and lots more at TheLeadDev.com.