Track: Optimizing Yourself


Day of week:

How can you maximize your impact as an engineer, as a leader, and as a person? Too frequently we don't realize that the things which limit our ability to grow technically or organizationally are often not themselves technical or organizational. It's usually not about mastering one more language idiom or learning one more new framework; it's almost always about bringing more energy, purpose, and focus to our work. It's not about working harder; it's about working smarter. This track explores the critical personal force-multipliers that can help us all to Optimize Ourselves: physical health and exercise, stress management, mentoring and leadership, empathy and emotional intelligence, career choices, etc. All of the sessions in the track are led by engineers who will talk from personal experience about how they achieve and maintain their edge, and how you can do the same.

9:00am - 9:50am

by Hugh Williams
VP, Engineering, Tinder

How do you effectively contribute for the long haul? Former Pivotal, eBay, and Microsoft executive Hugh Williams shares his experiences of why health, nutrition, and exercise are essential to being a successful engineer and leader.

How do you find the time? How do you eat right? How do you stay in great shape when you're sitting all day?

Hugh shares his personal story of an encounter with Gullain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), the life lessons learnt from a major health scare, and how...

10:15am - 11:05am

by Gitte Klitgaard
Agile Coach at Native Wired

Stress and stress-induced depression hit many knowledge workers, and yet it is still a taboo. In this talk I will discuss the taboo and explore why it hits knowledge workers so often, as well as offer several tips and tricks to prevent it.

“I am stressed” has become something we say every day, and it has almost become prestigious to say so; it shows that we are busy, important people. On the other hand it is a bit embarrassing to be really stressed and not being able to handle it....

11:30am - 12:20pm

by Dion Stewart
Software Developer and Agile Coach at DevJam

Meditation is often viewed as the province of those looking for mystical enlightenment, but in recent years, companies like Google have started offering internal classes on meditation. Facebook, Twitter, eBay and other tech-oriented companies participate in the Wisdom 2.0 conference, where executives from these companies mix it up with yoga teachers and experts in meditation practices. Neuroscientists are studying the long-term effects meditation has on brain structure and how the practice...

1:30pm - 2:20pm

by Daniel Seltzer
30-year veteran of creating innovative products and services

Engineers bring intellectual skills to make great systems. But what do you bring to make a great team or organization? Culture is the architecture of human groups, and engineers who aspire to lead themselves and others need to learn the components and patterns of creating great culture. Unlike finite state machines, however, humans are a fuzzy science indeed, and we the scientists are part of the problem and the solution.

Being able to build and lead a successful group requires a new...

2:40pm - 3:30pm

by Peter Bell
Founder and CTO, Ronin Labs

You’re a successful developer, architect or maybe even engineering leader. What’s next? How can you turn a good job into a really fulfilling career?

In this session learn how to identify your ideal job and build a personal brand that’ll make you the obvious choice for the gig. We’re also going to look at balancing management and coding as well as how to think about freelance vs. full time and startup vs enterprise opportunities. Finally we’re going to look at a range of traditional...

Host: Peter Bell Founder and CTO, Ronin Labs


Wednesday Jun 10

Thursday Jun 11

Friday Jun 12