EL SIG Vision: We are a vibrant and valuable part of the careers and lives of Bay Area engineering leaders, improving the quality of their performance and enabling them to realize their full career potential. Our areas of focus are: Leadership, Strategy, Tactical Nuts & Bolts and Career Management.
EL SIG – ProjectConnections Partnership: ProjectConnections.com supports EL SIG members with a wide range of resources for managing organizations, projects, and people. Members will get recaps of EL SIG meeting topics and Q&A, along with links to related ProjectConnections templates, checklists, articles, and more. All Premium resources are available to the EL SIG members who signed up for a special partner account in April of 2010. If you have questions about this partnership, please contact the EL SIG chairs at ELSIG@sdforum.org.
This gutsy and creative startup founder shared the straight scoop on what he's learned about business, leadership and himself during the long, challenging, sometimes bone-crunching - always exhilarating - journey from wage slave to founder of his own successful company.
Andy Do is founder and President of Embedded Works Corporation, an integrator of wireless technologies for the OEM embedded space. Embedded Works is a value-added technology distributor and integrator aimed at the RF and wireless market, offering a full spectrum of wireless products and services to help engineers, marketeers, sales and executive management succeed in overcoming the challenges of wireless integration.
Agilis Solutions provides software development, maintenance and testing services for companies who build software, primarily Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) serving the high technology, security, healthcare, financial, distribution, transportation, telecommunications, and manufacturing industries.
Many companies have by now likely considered migrating their software from its current on-premise basis to an on-demand deployment model. What might not have been considered in detail are the key issues that must be planned for in order to successfully make this this move. Companies also wrestle with the best approach or selecting the right architecture.
To address these questions and help the audience prepare for the move to SaaS, this presentation discussed:
Rob Myers has been recently working on a variety of larger, multi-team Agile transitions, and shared stories of what has worked well, what went very badly, and how to avoid many of the pitfalls of transitioning multiple teams towards Agile software development methodologies. His stories were primarily derived from first-person experience and as promised, there was little Death By PowerPoint in the presentation.
For 12 years, Rob has played a pivotal role in many successful Agile, Scrum, and Extreme Programming (XP) projects. He has 25 years of professional experience on software development teams, and has consulted for leading companies in the aerospace, government, medical, software, and financial sectors. Through Agile Institute and the Agile Cooperative, Rob teaches a variety of courses, including Essential Test-Driven Development, and Essential Agile Testing.
SDForum Engineering Leadership SIG and Tech Women Group were proud to co-sponsor a special panel on leadership, moderated by Mala Devlin, the author of "The Software Soul". The panel consisted of seasoned executives who shared their experiences and words of wisdom.
The panel was especially designed for anyone who is tired of "Executing to a plan that makes no sense, with an organization that is not set up for success, with people who cannot work with each other and a leader who is unprepared to lead." It examined how a leader can tap into a project's most important element – the people – to maximize the odds for project success. It examined the unique and critical cultural values of teams (project teams in general, and software engineering teams in particular) that fuel greater vitality, productivity – and ultimately profitability and success.
This panel covered subjects such as recognizing signs of trouble in your teams, formulating strategies to overcome them and transform a project team, and utilizing leadership to navigate the inevitable project challenges and unleash the full energy and potential of your teams.
Mala Devlin, Moderator: Mala is the author of "The Software Soul." She has over 20 years of software engineering experience as a software engineer, product manager, and engineering manager. Mala has led many large, complex, cross-functional projects to successful completion. She enjoys developing strong software teams.
Anne Hardy: Anne is the VP Technology Strategy at SAP Labs. She leads Technology Innovation initiatives where she assures SAP's early awareness and planning with respect to all critical enabling technologies that might disrupt SAP's platform business. Prior to joining SAP in 2003, she held technical and management positions at Alcatel, Nortel Networks and Sophia Euro Lab fund.
Bob McDonald: Bob is a senior executive with over 35 years of broad-ranging management experience, with extensive background in corporate restructuring, new product development, operations enhancement and profitability improvement. He was a CEO of Entrepo, President of Commodores's Computer Division, and General Manager of General Instrument's Memory and Microprocessor Division.
Michelle Fisher: Michelle, the founder and CEO of Blaze Mobile, is a visionary leader who has conceived and launched over a dozen online initiatives in dial-up, broadband and the wireless space, including MSBET.com and Microsoft Network in Europe. While at SBC, she launched Media Park, a broadband service for creative professionals in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and New York.
John Welder: John is the Director of Engineering Operational Excellence at Ericsson. He has managed and helped grow the careers of international engineering and operational teams for over 10 years. John also enjoys spending time with his family and playing acoustic guitar.
Moderator: Ron Lichty, VPE of Fix-It;
Panelists: Chris Sims, Agile Learning Labs Founder, Trainer, Coach; Earl Everett - Lyris, Director of Engineering Practices; Rafat Alvi - Eduify, CTO and VP Engineering; Ted Young - Guidewire Software, Dev Mgr, BillingCenter team
This meeting was composed of an introduction to the topic, a period of interactive brainstorming about it, and a panel discussion to dive deeper into areas of questions and disagreements. At the beginning of the brainstorm session, all attendees came up with what they believe the most important job of a software development manager to be. Then in round-robin form everyone relayed their item to the group and it was written on a large post-it, and the group collectively decided where to place that item among these categories: Related to Agile - is this a responsibility that goes away for the development manager? remains the same under Agile practices? Or remains but gets adjusted somehow?
The large room of attendees (over 70) brought up a huge range of expected responsibilities including everything from ensuring staff development to ensuring design quality to developing technology roadmaps and many more and had a lively discussion.
The following quotes from several Agile luminaries were shared in Ron Lichty's closing presentation slides — and were very consistent with the group's brainstorming results.
Jeff finally talked about one of his major focus areas: preparing young people to function in this new world, and how they're already in a place where they share information more freely, do not understand our hierarchical structures, and have no patience for all our organizational nonsense. If we train them for multi-disciplinary work, strong communication skills, and other soft skills, they'll be able to marry their already-collaborative mindsets with strong skill sets to help make this new model possible.
Learn more from the book, Bust the Silos: Opening Your Organization for Growth.
Shane Hughes is CEO of Learning as Leadership and spoke about what we have to know about ourselves in order to be able to lead others. Some key points from his talk:
Jeff covered principles and process designed to transform your networking into process that generates results, based on the seminars he puts on through his company Empowered Alliances. He used a very active experiential approach to get everyone engaged in and comfortable with practical networking approaches. To get the full story see the presentation "Secrets of Successful Networking - Jeff Richardson" in the EL SIG Resources Library. Three main points that came out of the session as Jeff's main admonitions to people working to put the networking approaches into use:
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