Notes from The Lead Developer London 2019

On 11th and 12th of June, I attended The Lead Developer London 2019 conference. This was my fourth time attending Lead Dev. I’ve also attended it in 2015, 2016 and 2017. I went alone to the first Lead Dev ever in 2015. Every subsequent time I brought more and more co-workers from Vinted Engineering. The conference itself grew too. It’s now in multiple countries around the world and welcomes multiple times more participants.

The things my co-workers and I learned over the years in Lead Dev have greatly influenced how we work and lead at Vinted. As one of us said this year - “it’s the most useful conference I’ve ever attended”. Lead Dev is also the conference that inspired the existence of Vilnius Tech Leads.

I came to this year’s conference in London without getting familiar with the schedule. I didn’t have to. The conference is a two-day single-track event, and I trust the organizers with their curation skills. Even if I have never been able to get invited to speak myself. Not for lack of trying. The bar is high, and I hope to be someday able to clear it.

The videos from the conference will be uploaded in a couple of weeks, I recommend to check them out. In the meanwhile, I share some of my notes from the talks. I don’t agree with everything I share here, but I found all of it interesting and compelling. Hopefully, they’ll give you the sense of what Lead Dev is about and inspire you to visit also. Listed in chronological order.

Lara Hogan, Navigating team friction

The first day started with the wonderful Lara Hogan taking the stage. Her book on Resilient Management came out during the conference. I’ve already bought it and started reading it.

Asim Hussain, I can’t do that for you Dave: undefined is not a function

José Caldeira, Engage teams to achieve high performance

Whitney O’Banner, Bottoms up with OKRs

Ronald Ashri, The developer’s conundrum: what on earth does it mean to build AI software

Rebecca Hill, Guiding self-organizing teams

Heidi Waterhouse, 12/10, Excellent doggo: the power of positive transformation

Angie Jones, The reality of testing in an artificial world

Steve Williams, A team in ten minutes

Melinda Seckington, Level up: developing developers

Bethan Vincent, What I learn about hiring diverse teams from conducting a fully-anonymous recruitment process

Brian Scanlan, Volunteers, not conscripts: fixing out-of-hours on-call

Kate Beard, Give 10%, Get 110%

Nickolas Means, Eiffel’s Tower

Pat Kua, Flavours of technical leadership

Dora Militaru, Inclusion starts with an I

Jonathan Stott, Business as usual: how to stop drowning and learn to swim

Ola Sitarska, Behind the scenes of an effective & inclusive hiring process

Miriam Busch, Mobile development in 2019: native vs. cross-platform

Franklin Hu, Building security culture on infrastructure teams

James Birnie, Why we should be scared of Shor’s Algorithm right now

Julia Nguyen, Navigating front-end architecture like a Neopian

Jonathan Rigby, How long is a piece of string: the key to solving the conundrum of software estimation

Paula Kennedy, Silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly!

Joanna Chwastowska, Leading the team through a rapid growth

Neha Batra, Facilitation techniques 202

Sal Freudenberg and Clare Sudbery, A button to pause time: how to live outside the clock

At this point, I opened work Slack to check something. Instead of a quick open-and-close, I got distracted and engaged in a discussion about tech leadership and project management. Sadly, I missed the whole talk. Luckily, I will be able to watch all of it in a couple of weeks, when it’s going to be uploaded.