Making the Decision To Be an Individual Contributor or a People Leader

As software engineers advance in their careers, we are often faced with the choice between remaining an individual contributor or transitioning to a people leadership role. This decision can be challenging and complex, as both paths offer unique benefits and challenges. Personally, I've had to decide between the individual contributor path or the management path several times.

In this talk, I'll explain the factors I considered when making these decisions, including weighing my personal strengths and interests, organizational opportunities, and the impact on my career growth and satisfaction. I'll also talk about strategies for successfully navigating the transition to either role, and how to thrive once you have made your choice. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how to evaluate their options and make informed decisions for their career trajectory.


Michael Winslow

Engineering Director @Amazon Music

Michael Winslow picked up his love for programming when he was 10 years old writing GW-Basic code on his Tandy-1000. With his passion for designing simple solutions to complex problems, Michael has played key roles at companies like Aramark, Ortho-McNeil, Oracle and Xfinity Mobile. He is a seasoned international public speaker who enjoys using his platform to uplift engineers and create powerfully diverse teams in technology. Michael is currently a DevOps advocate, Agile enthusiast, and transformational people-leader at Amazon Music.

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Tuesday Jun 13 / 04:10PM EDT ( 50 minutes )


Salon D (North Tower)


Engineering Leadership Career Management Individual Contributor


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