In video games there is always a clear route to take it to the next level, all you have to do is find a special item, like a mushroom (a la Mario), or gain enough experience points to super charge your performance. In our careers the path to success can be a lot less clear cut, and in some cases downright overgrown to the point it is hard to tell which way is forward. The path to success in any engineering career is very much like a video game that has more Koopas than Power-Ups…but there is way to find the Princess…even if she is in the other castle.
At conferences there are always talks covering technical strategies, new tools and software, but this talk will aim to cover something completely different – the soft skills needed to be the very best at any job in operations or engineering. Most organizations are moving into a DevOps culture where the line between system administrators, operators, and developers is much more blurry, and to be great in these environments it is no longer enough to be technically knowledgeable in your specialty, it’s also necessary that you have great interpersonal skills including strong communication and emotional intelligence.
This talk will go over strategies to help you set goals for your career, identify ways you can improve your performance and relationships in the work place, communicate your ideas effectively, and other strategies to help us geeky people relate to our peers almost as well as we relate to our computers.
Kate has spent her entire career working on amazing products with brilliant people. She has worked as the VP Engineering/CTO at several Seattle startups – including Decide, SEOmoz and Delve Networks (acquired by Limelight). Prior to joining the startup world she spent time as a software engineer, tech lead, and manager at Amazon and Microsoft. Kate has hands-on knowledge and experience with building large scale distributed web systems, big data, cloud computing and technical leadership.
Kate has a B.S. in Computer Science from Harvey Mudd College, and has completed graduate work at the University of Washington in both Business and Computer Science (M.S.).
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