Part 7: Personal development

November 17, 2020 • 11am – 2pm EST • EMEA and APAC replays


Meri Williams



Meri Williams

Session summary

Over the past six sessions, we’ve covered the core tenets of being an engineering leader - but you can’t grow and nurture your teams without also growing yourself.

And finding time to devote to self-improvement can be a challenge, and it always seems like the easiest thing to move down your priority list. It’s also harder for senior leaders to receive actionable feedback on their own work.

In this final session, we’ll help you work out how to change that and how you can be more effective with your learning time.

You’ll leave this session with:

  • Strategies for thinking about your own personal development
  • Thoughts on growth for both the people management and individual contributor pathways
  • New methods of self-reflection and how to create space to do so
  • How to solicit effective feedback as you increase in seniority

Talks and panels

Jessie Link, Duretti Hirpa, Nicole Forsgren, Anjuan Simmons, Meri Williams

Tips & tricks for your own personal development

In this panel discussion we’ll explore a number of senior leaders’ perspectives on how to approach one’s own personal development. In addition to sharing their experiences, they will also contribute key tips and tricks that they use to invest in and develop themselves and their teams and colleagues. Plenty of great advice here for ICs and managers alike!

Nick Caldwell

From manager to director and beyond

The most challenging career inflection point for a strong line manager is the move to director. In this session you'll hear candid and practical advice from Nick Caldwell on how to navigate this critical transition, prepare yourself for executive leadership, and leave a satisfying legacy.

Silvia Botros

The road to senior individual contributor

What is leadership in an IC role? How does it differ from being a senior engineer? This talk will describe the elusive role of being a principal/staff engineer. What success looks like and how to grow into that role as a senior engineer.

Meri Williams

Career vectors for technical leaders

The more experience you gain as a technical leader, whether an individual contributor, a tech lead / lead dev or in a management role, the more varied the roles seem to get. Almost every CTO seems to have a different flavour of role, VP Eng can mean multiple different things, and it isn't even consistent whether Staff or Principal is regarded as more senior! Amongst this contradiction and complexity, how can we develop ourselves and others?

In this talk, Meri will share a framework of "career vectors" that she has used when coaching over a hundred technical leaders over the years. Rather than trying to pin to a single concrete definition of a particular role, we'll discuss the vectors one can choose to mix and match to become the best technical leader that you can be, and then find organisations that want someone with that mix of skills and experiences.

Timings around the world

Live show November, 17

Daytime in North America, early evening in Europe and Africa.

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EMEA friendly replay November, 18

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APAC friendly replay November, 18

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About Meri Williams

Meri is a geek, a manager, and a manager of geeks. She’s CTO of drug discovery startup, Healx and also runs micro-consultancy ChromeRose, helping digital & technical teams be brilliant.

An alumna of Procter & Gamble and the Government Digital Service, she has had a career spanning development, project, programme & product management and more recently engineering & operations leadership. She’s led teams ranging in size from 30 to 300, mostly with folks spread across the world.

Got questions?

We’ve tried to answer everything we think you might ask about LeadDev Together on the How it works page. If we’ve missed anything just reach out to us [email protected]