January 2013 ELSIG: Random Chance, Planning, both?

  • January 17, 2013 · 6:30 PM
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Book Swap: Don't forget to bring a book on technology, leadership, or project management to donate to the book swap. We are running low on inventory and need more donations to keep it going.

Share your insights! Participate in the peer-to-peer roundtable from 6:31 to 6:59! Make friends!

TITLE: Random Chance, Planning, both? What Can We Learn from Career Retrospectives of Successful Silicon Valley Engineering Leaders

Panel Abstract:
We often hear about the importance of “Career Management” or “Thinking about Where You’re Going.” But how do you do that? In engineering, agile methodologies, with their focus on retrospectives and empirical process improvement, have paved the way for incremental process changes (the small tweaks that make all the difference). The panel claims that this is the way to do it for career management as well. To update Socrates, the unexamined career is not worth having. But … if you’re not Socrates, it can be hard. How do you do a personal retrospective? What questions do you ask yourself? What questions do you ask other people? How much thinking is really involved, how do you make decisions, and when do you know that you’re done? Join the Engineering Leadership for an interactive panel discussion on career retrospectives. We’ll have three short presentations about the art of giving yourself a career self-exam, and then open it up to questions.

Moderator: Sam Hahn

VP of Engineering at eGain Communications. Co-Author: "Leading & Managing in Silicon Valley". Core Team: "Program For The Future". Entrepreneur, focused on solutions that help people live better lives. Experienced product and team builder with sales and marketing skills.


Bill Grosso - “On the large scale” – Bill quit his job in June, became an EIR at a venture firm, and has been figuring out the next thing. In his mini presentation, he’ll share 20 tips for taking a year to figure out what’s next.

Ron Lichty - “Changing your functional organization.” Ron Lichty has worn many hats in his career, from product management at Apple in the 80’s to VP of Engineering at Schwab during the dotcom boom to, most recently, acclaimed author of “Managing the Unmanageable.” In his mini-presentation, he’ll talk about changing functional areas as a career decision.

Kathy Baldanza – Kathy is Vice President of Engineering for Perforce Software, parlaying 20-plus years in the technology industry to deliver world-class enterprise version management solutions. She jumped head-first into her current role at Perforce 12 years ago — and luckily there were no sharks. Building an engineering organization where everyone was valued for their expertise regardless of domain was an opportunity-come-true for Kathy, who has done every job in IT except documentation.

Michael Moody - Michael has 30+ years of experience in Software Development. He is currently SVP of development at LucidWorks (the leading commercial company supporting Solr/Lucene Open Source Search). Prior to Lucid, he was SVP of Development and Operations of a 60 person organization at Spigit, the leader in the Social Innovation space. Prior to Spigit, Mike was SVP Development and Support for Jaspersoft, the leading Commercial Open Source Business Intelligence Company. He managed a worldwide team in 6 countries and 12 different products while growing their Commercial business as well as Open Source Community to 15M downloads and nearly 250,000 registered developers. He has an M.S. in Applied Math from Santa Clara University and is an active hiker and rock climber.


Snack and Beverage Sponsor:  Ryzen Solutions

Ryzen Solutions has been finding high caliber individuals for our clients in high-tech industries since 1999. We have access to thousands of professionals; even those that are passive candidates and not actively looking, and whose resumes' are not posted on the public job boards. Our own internal database has over 51,000 candidates. Ryzen Solutions has been one of the best firms in Silicon Valley. Our recruiters have degrees in electrical, software and mechanical engineering. Our clients such as Apple, Cisco, eBay, PayPal, Samsung and many more have worked with us for many years because our team of 16+ recruiters work collaboratively to find the top talents for our clients.

ONGOING MANAGEMENT SPONSOR: Project Connections is our EL SIG Management Sponsor.

ProjectConnections.com is dedicated to practically and affordably supporting individuals as they do their jobs day-to-day and helping them grow their management abilities and careers. We also provide management development and support resources to organizations, through group subscriptions, methodology content licenses, on-demand virtual training programs, virtual coaching, and more - all to help managers improve how critical project work gets done, and to help grow the capabilities of everyone on their staffs and teams.

Attendance Verification Available
Please ask an SDForum registration personnel at the event if you need an attendance verification form for professional development and certification purpose.



6:15 - 7:00 Early arrival recommended!
6:30 - 7:00 Registration / Checkin
6:30 - 7:00 Enjoy wine, beer, cheese, fruit, snacks, pizza, soda and networking
6:31 - 6:59 Engineering Leadership Peer-2-Peer Roundtable
7:00 - 7:10 Introduction and opening announcements
7:10 - 8:25 Keynote and Q&A
8:25 - 8:30 Closing announcements
8:30 - 8:45 Informal networking and followup Q&A
8:45 - 8:50 Clean up - please leave the room beautiful
8:50 - 9:00 Clear the room & have a safe trip home!


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  • Ron L.

    Announcement for tonight; putting the URLs here:
    Participate in The Study of Product Team Performance / 2013, http://assn2.questionpro.com/ .
    Last year's study (available from http://www.actuationconsultingllc.com/whitepaper_request.php ) showed some remarkable results (e.g., 5 factors that, if all in place, raised likelihood of high level team performance to 67%; if none, a 2% likelihood!) - but disproportionately too few techies in the mix. Got me involved in this year's. Going deeper, we need developers and development managers to ensure product teams are fully represented. Talk me up tonight if you have questions. (IMO, the study is a way to get data we can all use to influence executive management.)

    1 · January 17, 2013

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