Engineering Leadership Summit 2019

The Pearl, 601 19th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

The Code Climate Engineering Leadership Summit is an annual one-day conference for engineering leaders. Focus on achieving high performance for you and your teams. Sold Out


Michael lopp

Michael Lopp

VP of Engineering, Slack

Michael Lopp is a veteran Silicon Valley-based engineering leader who builds both people and product at historic companies such as Borland, Netscape, Palantir, Pinterest, and Apple. While he’s not deeply worrying about staying relevant, he writes about backpacks, bridges, people, leadership, and werewolves at the popular weblog, Rands in Repose. He currently works as the VP of Product Engineering at Slack in San Francisco where he’s furiously working on reinventing work.

Lara hogan

Lara Hogan

Coach and Trainer

Lara is an author, public speaker, and coach for managers and leaders across the tech industry. As a founder of Wherewithall, Lara and her team run workshops, roundtables, and trainings on core management skills like delivering great feedback and setting clear expectations. Before Wherewithall, Lara spent a decade growing emerging leaders as the VP of Engineering at Kickstarter and an Engineering Director at Etsy. She champions management as a practice, building fast websites, and celebrating your achievements with donuts (and sometimes sushi).

Bryan helmkamp

Bryan Helmkamp

CEO, Code Climate

Bryan Helmkamp is the founder and CEO of Code Climate, where he helps software development teams improve code quality. Over the past six years, Code Climate has helped thousands of organizations improve their code review workflows and ship better code in less time. Prior to Code Climate, Bryan was CTO at Efficiency 2.0, a company focused on using science to help people lower their energy use, and also an engineer at Gilt Groupe. He has given talks on software engineering principles and practices around the world. Bryan co-authored the book “Service Oriented Design with Ruby” and also “The RSpec Book”.

Ale paredes

Alexandra Paredes

Head of Engineering, Code Climate

Ale is the Head of Engineering at Code Climate where she helps engineering leaders with actionable metrics. With over 9 years of technical experience, she is passionate about growing an inclusive team and help foster an environment where everyone can grow their skills, do their best work, build resilient and scalable systems and deliver impactful solutions. Also, Ale is one of the founders of Latinas in Tech NYC. 

Ushashi headshot

Ushashi Chakraborty

Director of Engineering for Backend Engineering, Mode Analytics

Ushashi Chakraborty is a Director of Engineering for Backend Engineering at Mode Analytics in San Francisco. She moved to California in October 2018 from Chicago where she worked in Groupon for 5 years as an Engineering Manager for Consumer Applications and before that as a Software Development Engineer in Test. She has also worked in Microsoft and Thomson Reuters. She holds a Masters degree in Computer Science from North Dakota State University. Ushashi has been involved with theater since high school and, especially, with improv since 2015. She is a Second City Training Center, Chicago alumni and has performed improv, sketch and stand up across several small theaters in Chicago.

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Mike Dalessio

VP of Engineering, Pivotal

Mike is an NYC-based engineering leader who's worked in a variety of domains, including energy management systems, bond pricing, high-performance computing, and agile consulting. Currently he's at Pivotal as the VP of Engineering, where he's growing the people and the organization who build Pivotal Cloud Foundry a tool built for deploying and operating modern applications. Mike is also an active member of the Ruby open-source community, where as a maintainer of a few popular libraries he occasionally still gets to code.

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Juan Pablo Buriticá

VP of Engineering, Splice

Juan Pablo is the VP of Engineering at He's spent the last 10 years building effective distributed engineering teams and Latin-American open-source software communities. When not in meetings, he listens to hardcore punk. He was born in Bogotá, lives in New York and loves empanadas.

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Gordon Diggs

Senior Director of Smart Cities Product Engineering, Intersection

Gordon is a record collector, home cook, and Senior Director of Smart Cities Product Engineering at Intersection. He thrives on helping members of his teams be successful, and loves eating sandwiches and digging through bins of records. He dreams of someday doing those 2 things at the same time.


9:30am Registration and Light Breakfast

Improvisational theater teaches a lot more than quick wit and "yes, and". This talk covers specific areas of the craft that actors learn when they put a scene on stage like developing beats, reacting instead of acting, making a co-performer look good, and knowing when to speak when several actors are on stage. The speaker talks about how her extensive improv experience had instilled in her skills and habits that, surprisingly, were useful for running engineering meetings. Attendees can learn about some interesting aspects about driving meetings with influence rather than authority, building team camaraderie, being aware of silent players, nonverbal cues from attendees, all of which ultimately leads to effective yet enjoyable meetings.

Friction is a common, and necessary, part of team growth—but when left unchecked, team friction is unhealthy for you, your coworkers, your company, and ultimately your end users. Lara Hogan draws on her experiences at organizations large and small to illuminate the sources of team tension, how you can better understand and manage unexpected teammate reactions, and the best ways to give actionable feedback without escalating drama. Your coworkers, your organization, your users, and you will reap the benefits.

12:30pm Lunch Rooftop

The context for the talk is that Pivotal is facing some interesting challenges, including: IBM and RedHat merging and coming after our core market; the kubernetes ecosystem being a disruptive technology; AWS evolving quickly and eroding the market. These are scary, and all have the potential to be extremely disruptive. So, in that context, the talk is about how we are evolving to become an Organization That Embraces Change, similar to how on a small scale we try to create teams that embrace change, XP-style. What does an \"XP\" approach look like at the organizational level? I use Kent Beck\'s \"3X\" description as a framing for product lifecycle, and talk about how early exploration is a very different context than late \"extraction phase\", and how our practices need to be different in each phase in order to learn and appropriately respond. Mixed in is a lot of emphasis on empowering balanced teams, psych safety, and making values-based decisions to play the infinite game. So, I\'m drawing a lot from Simon Sinek, Kent Beck, and others to weave a connected vision.

The Splice Engineering team grew almost ten times in eighteen months. The delivery practices that worked for us when we were five broke way before we got to fifty. We wanted our organization to learn faster than the market; to do this, we had to find a way to unlock our delivery. We used insights found on the State of DevOps Report and Accelerate, the book. With this knowledge and the help of metrics to visualize our delivery, we were able to get back on a high-performance track. This talk tells the story of how we used data to engineer the performance of our engineering organization and gives you practical takeaways on how you can do it too.

3:45pm Afternoon break Ground floor

Leading and managing an evolving group of musicians is not unlike leading a team of engineers. People come and go, everyone has interests and skills they are developing, and there are projects to deliver. John Coltrane was an incredible leader, a master at finding opportunities for the people he worked with, and this shows in both his legacy and the legacy of those that played with him. In this talk, you will learn about ways to continue growth of your team as both individuals and as a whole, how you can use your position to find opportunities for your team members, and hopefully learn a little about John Coltrane!

In this talk, Lopp walks us through a story where a new manager successfully performs every single common mistake in their new role. The New Manager Death Spiral is a cautionary tale full of good advice

5:30pm Cocktail Party Rooftop

Practical tips, inspirational advice

“I was amazed at the quality of speakers and presentations.”

- Will Osser, Future Advisor

Unwind and connect

“Food was great, cocktail hour was fantastic as well.”

- Phil Long, BrightBytes

Beautiful venue with roofdeck

“Really setting the bar high for conferences.“

- George South, Kuali
“I could go through and mention all the talks because they were all really good, everyone really well-prepared with something on their heart, kudos for that selection!”


San Francisco — May 22, 2019

The Pearl, 601 19th Street,
San Francisco, CA 94107
The Pearl is easily accessible by public transportation (T-Third Street Light Rail; 22 and 48 Muni Bus Routes; 22nd Street Caltrain Station), and by car via Highway 280, Mariposa Street Exit)



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