ReactFoo 2019

A gathering of over 250 web and mobile developers working with React

Human Centered Leadership - Emotional Intelligence for the Technical Mind

Submitted by Andrew Murphy (@andrewmurphy) on Sunday, 6 January 2019

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Technical level

Intermediate

Section

Full talk

Status

Submitted

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Abstract

There’s a huge problem in our industry, I call it “inertia-driven leadership”.

We promote our “rock star” engineers, with their excellent technical skills, into leadership positions; then we sit back and watch as they fail.

We wonder why they fail at leadership but the answer is simple, we don’t support them to improve their people skills!

In fact, we often don’t even help them realise that the role of a “senior developer” is drastically different to that of a “leader”

What we can we do to stop inertia in our new leaders?

How can we support them to learn the soft skills they need?

How can we position with them that those soft skills are important to their career?

Outline

First, I will outline the issue I have called “inertia driven leadership” and why it’s a problem that’s going to get worse.

Then, we will spend some time discussing why it exists so prevalently in our industry. The cultures that have made it appear and created this huge issue. This will be in the form of my journey through leadership and the way my mentor helped me understand what it means to be a leader, as opposed to a senior “role model” engineer

Lastly, we will talk about how we can help our new leaders to understand what we already know - that being a leader is a choice. It’s not a promotion, it’s actually a side-ways move. The skills you need to learn are totally different than your technical skills.

Speaker bio

I combine my 13 years of professional software engineering experience with a passion for leadership and communication skills. My main focus is on how we can be better technical leaders and developers by focusing on learning the skills most of us ignore - communication and leadership skills.

Originally from the UK but now based in Australia, I have consulted, performed workshops and developed software for clients across the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Technology in all its forms is part of my makeup and so I code, speak, write, teach, make, game and listen to all things geek

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