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Emerging Technical Leaders: Build, lead and scale an effective engineering team | Zambesi

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Emerging Technical Leaders: Build, lead and scale an effective engineering team

Chris Iona | Founder FuturePass, Former VP Engineering Hipages

Course overview:

Becoming a successful technical leader requires a new set of tools, experiences and skills that compliment your natural talents. This intense one-day workshop uncovers the common pitfalls in transitioning from engineer to leader and will equip you with the skills and knowledge to build, grow, scale and lead an exceptional engineering team.

Course outcomes:

  • A technical plan for your team to achieve its short, near and long term outcomes
  • Structures and processes to balance speed versus quality, and lead a productive and motivated team.
  • The ability to bridge between engineering and business dialects, justify and pitch engineering initiatives to achieve win–win outcomes.
  • Knowledge of where to source engineering talent and the ability to employ various forms of recruitment tests to select the right candidates for your project.
  • Career development plans for you and your team, with short, near and long term outcomes.
  • A plan to advance the abilities and culture of your engineering team.

This workshop is suitable for:

  • Emerging technical leaders looking to move from being an individual contributor, to leading projects and teams.
  • Technical entrepreneurs looking to build, scale or improve the productivity of their engineering team.
  • Technical product managers who want to improve their ability to collaborate and motivate their engineering colleagues.

About the expert: 

Chris Iona is the founder of Future Pass, and has spent the past 14 years building, leading and scaling some of Australia’s best startups. His most recent role was VP of Engineering at Hipages, which saw him grow the team from 5 to 30, transforming the technology stack and tech culture to leverage cloud and modern practices. This led to a significant increase in service availability, deployments and velocity. Prior to that, Chris was an Engineering Director at Bigcommerce, and in that time helped grow the team through fast and strong growth. Chris was listed on AIM’s 30–under-30 list for excellence in Management, and often presents at meetups, workshops and conferences.

Mentorship curriculum

Module 1: Fundamentals of Growth, Scale and Leadership

  • Discover the power of starting, and ending, with the “why”
  • Understand the 4–stages of growth, and map your organisation’s journey and future
  • Understand how scaling needs change as your organisation moves through each stage of growth
  • Discover how the expectations on you change from your previous, current and future roles
  • Breakdown the myths of “change” and discover how to manage it
  • Discover how to align technical and organisational changes
  • Discover and navigate the competing gravities of growth and operations
  • Harness the power of the “4 P’s” of successful delivery teams
  • Understanding the components of building a strategy
  • How to harness the power of the technology adoption life cycle to make better decisions

Module 2: Building People, Teams and Culture

  • Understand the typical roles in technology, and what is expected of them
  • Breakdown and define typical “tech personalities” and discuss how to get the best out of them
  • Discover when you should go cross functional team or tech functional team
  • Lean to create and articulate a motivational environment for win–win outcomes
  • How to attract and keep the right people at your organisation
  • Define the right technical culture for your organisation
  • Better understand hiring in–house, remote or outsourced
  • Learn how to build and empower your star performers
  • Discover when and how to have tough conversations
  • Learn to better navigate behaviours, hard skills, and soft skills in your team
  • Learn how to take your people and teams along for the journey, as your company grows
  • Discover which tech team structure is right for you today, tomorrow and in the future

Module 3: Scaling your Tech, Product and Process

  • The evolution of the tech stack, from startup to enterprise
  • How to make the “least wrong” technical decisions as you grow
  • Discover the impact fear has on change, and how to combat it
  • Better understanding technical debt, and how to gain business buy in
  • Understand some of the common hurdles in architectural design
  • The pros and cons of microservices, and why it’s important
  • The active role of technology in product management
  • Unpacking Agile, Scrum, Kanban, Lean and MVP to create the right process for your teams
  • How to better align, define and deliver “value”
  • How to create a culture of setting meaningful goals

Module 4: Align, Define and Measure Success

  • Breakdown the 3 types of value and use them to balance your tech roadmaps
  • Learn how to create a common organisational language between technical and Non–Technical people to reduce assumptions and improve expectations
  • Understand “Objectives by Key Results” (OKRs), the organisational methodology used by Google, Intel, Twitter, LinkedIn, Zynga amongst others
  • Discover how to make the most of company, product and tech roadmaps to define and successfully deliver on expectations
  • Discuss the importance of celebrating successes, reviewing failures and creating feedback loops
  • How to use activities like hackathons to “engage everyone” and build a culture of innovation across your organisation
  • Discover a pragmatic approach to the ‘ol adage — time vs quality and cost vs scope

Mentorship logistics

This workshop is one day and is limited to twelve participants, enabling us to focus on your challenges and objectives. Chris delivers the course in person, weaving in real-life examples from his time at Hipages and Big Commerce. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions by email in the week leading up to the workshop and Chris will personalize the content and exercises to address everyone’s goals. At the end of the course you will walk away with new skills and a clear plan that you will be able to implement immediately. This workshop is held in an awesome boardroom in the CBD and runs from 9 am– 5.00 pm with short breaks. Lunch and morning team provided. 

Application Info

Join the waitlist for next time

May Onwards
2 Reviews
Rob Sharp, Head of Engineering at Digivizer
There were a number of really insightful points that put into context a number things I have read online about growing engineering teams. Chris made these ideas concrete through his own stories and I have confidence that, going forward, we'll be able to successfully grow the current team.

Danny Shaw, Lead Developer at Edrolo
Chris collated and presented his years of experience into a day workshop very well. He also genuinely listened and welcomed hearing of participants personal challenges and tied his responses back to to the theory he was presenting.

Do you have a question about this mentorships or would like to enquire about group packages?

Do you have a question about this mentorships or would like to enquire about group packages?

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