Lead dev 2022 London: Day 1 - part 2

  • Building the perfect asynchronous meeting
  • Sustainable means performant
  • How to build trust as a new manager in a fully remote team
  • People Building: Career Planning for your Direct Reports ❤️
  • Scaling your mobile app release process
  • Seven surprisingly simple ways to stem burnout
  • Taking the 737 to the MAX! ❤️❤️❤️

Building the perfect asynchronous meeting

Alexandra Sunderland (@alexandras_dev), Senior Engineering Manager • Fellow

In this talk we’ll examine examples of these types of events, and you’ll leave understanding how to build every aspect of the perfect asynchronous meeting.

How to reduce the nb of meeetings you attend to or reduce meeting time?


Retro format: good, bad, very bad

Async communication is just not enough.

Keep sync meetings:

  • daily meetings
  • project check ins…

Book: remote engineering management, by the speaker (www.alexandras.dev/book) available in summer 2022

what is an async meeting?

Need preparation ahead of time:

  • set the timeline
    • for ex (retro):
    • day A: write thoughts
    • day B: comment and vote
    • day C: 1.5h sync retro over video call
    • day A&B happen over 2 weeks
  • provide the logitics
    • where to find the timeline
    • where to write (any whiteboard app)
    • how to vote/comment
    • when sync retro will be, what will be discussed
  • detail expectations
    • criticize things, not people
    • follow the timeline
    • participate as actively as possible

how to build async meeting?

async meetings don’t need to be 100% async !

  • determine which part will be async
    • information pushes
    • brainstorming
    • reading
    • “busy work”
  • create a timeline
    • deadline for each step
    • give enough buffer time (so there is no benefit from being async)
    • decide on sync meeting time
  • set and share agenda
    • expectation + timeline
    • easily accessible by all invitees
    • 1 point of information

benefits of async neetings

  • time zones compatible
  • reduces financial costs
  • more time for thoughts
    • greatly enhances the quality of conversations
  • context accessible
    • as everything is written down, you can still access the context 6 months later

benefits of sync neetings

  • less coordination
  • real time answers
  • fast paced discussion

Especially important to have sync meetings when you are dealing with relationship meetings (where you build trust): oOo, team meetings…

Then, you can choose what (parts of) meeting need to be sync, what are their purpose, their importance. Co-located teams can also run async meetings.

Sustainable means performant

Alex Canessa, Head of Engineering • Digital Detox

This talk aims to look at how to reduce your website’s impact and improve your users’ experience, whilst designing and building with sustainability in mind.

10 min talk


We care about People, planet, technology.

https://websitecarbon.com 1 website a year == 4 Londons-Napoli flights.

Internet is the 2nd largest polluter in the world (as a country)

How to reduce the impact of a website?

  • improve SEO: easier to find you, less time spend browsing the web
  • good UX/UI: user spend less time consuming data
    • colors have an impact (dark theme option) (bof bof)
    • beware of images and animations (file weight)
  • optimize images
    • does it add value?
    • does it communicate useful informations?
  • optimize fonts: use system fonts with less variations
  • write efficient code
    • minimize nb of requests
    • less js = less file weight
  • build static pages
    • gatsbyJs does incremental builds
  • use PWAs (service workers and caching)
  • choose green hosting: check their PUE
  • use a CDN: less data travel

How to build trust as a new manager in a fully remote team

Sadhana Gopal, Engineering Manager • Shopify

Sadhana will talk about some of the opportunities and challenges represented by this new way of working. She will also deconstruct a 90 day plan for a new manager leading digitally on what they should focus on, be wary of and how they can make this journey an enjoyable one, setting them up for success.

10 min talk

Whats changes in remote org?

  • be more intentional about building relationships
  • assume positive intent, while trust takes root

the 90 day plan:

  1. (1-30) design the wider environment
    • “study the building”: get to know the wider organisation, the tone of your organisation
    • setup the right tools
    • go wide/deep: be more intentional, talk to a lot of people
    • -> make oOo with a lot of people
    • build relationships
  2. (30-60) design the team environment
    • use async for productivity, sync for engagement
    • keep the human touch: IRL meetings, lunches, gaming sessions…
  3. (60-90) design your environment
    • don’t be always “on”
    • ack FOMO
    • make mistakes, learn, iterate
    • be kind to yourself

People Building: Career Planning for your Direct Reports

Daniel Burke (@d2burke), Senior Engineering Manager Twitter

In this talk, Burke is going to share with you his playbook on Career Planning for your Direct Reports.

Career growth is as important as ever. More and more people are quiting their jobs for career growth opportunities.

Important to focus on people career growth:

  • attrition is expensive
  • you have to plan for succession
  • care about your company reputation

The Playbook

Position: where are you now?

  1. know our scope
    • titles matter
    • focus on the positive
    • manager are gatekeepers to context & perspective: opportunity
  2. know your level
    • help understand what the expectations are for getting from one level to another
  3. know your performance
    • 1st tough conversation
    • align on performance delta before we move forward (essential)
    • read past reviews
    • build assessment (by the managee)

Plan: where are you headed?

  1. what’s your motivation?
    • not only mission or money, there are other motivations
    • also ask “what drains you?”
    • do not project your own motivations on others!
  2. what’s your current path?
    • help them find their path
    • in tech, you don’t have to become a manager to be successful & well paid
    • it’s about the next step in the career
  3. creating goals
    • SMART
    • development
    • performance
    • team outcomes, objectives
    • some kind of a contract

Progress: helping you get there - “don’t wait for the role to open up to prepare for it”

  1. Designing work: finding valuable impactful work where they grows/show competency
  2. Coaching & accountability: help them move thought these success scenario, hold them accountable of their success
    • feedback is kindness
  3. Reward/recognition (incl pay/promotion)
    • recognition
    • can be verbal
    • can be participating to a kind of strategic meeting
    • when you take things out of my plate, you empower me !
    • promotion: keep track for them of what they are doing, so they can concentrate on their job (not on tracking what they do)
    • succession
    • be supportive to find another position in the company
    • care about the company, the team, you

Scaling your mobile app release process

Neil Kimmett (@NeilKimmett), Senior Engineering Manager • ClassPass

We’ll discuss some strategies to iterate on your app release process, some software tools that can help you, and how to reorient your organization for a mobile-first world.

Shipping an app is different from shipping a website:

  • goes through an AppStore
    • upload from dev
    • download from users
  • runs on hardware you don’t own (customers device)
  • software update: some users will not update their app and the old app will stay “forever”

What to do?

  • start small
    • think about your versioning strategy
    • what does SemVer mean for an app?
    • major version: linked to SDK version
    • minor: most of the releases
    • some just do date based versioning (ex: 22.20)
    • think about branching strategy
    • gitflow: needs a release manager
    • trunk based
  • automate some stuff: https://fastlane.tools
    • lots of boring stuff to automate
  • introduce processes as you go
    • create release checklist
    • create a planning sheet
    • run regular retros: process related
    • check https://retrospectivewiki.org for ideas
    • release strategies
    • feature based (release when features are ready). Works fine with a small team
    • release train
    • on a regular cadence (like every 6 weeks)
    • if a feature isn’t ready, it misses the train (will be for next time)


  • feature flags for absolutely everything
  • server driven UI, where you can deploy whenever you want
    • ex: Airbnb
  • build an internal tool
    • ex: Ship, by Etsy
  • or buy an existing tool, ex https://runaway.team

Seven surprisingly simple ways to stem burnout

Anna Granta (@AnnagGanta), CEO & Coach • Anna Granta Couching

In this talk, Anna will tell you seven surprisingly simple ways to stem burnout, so that you can sleep better, be healthier, and enjoy deeper relationships.

10 min talk

What is burnout? Its your body saying “stop”. The technical definition is “Prolonged Stress Reponse”. It does not need a lot of stress at once, just for your body response to last long enough to be a burnout.

Seven techniques :

  1. Breath well (not necessary deeply)
    • breath from the belly
    • out breath should be longer than in breath
  2. Hug; you can hug yourself by squeezing your knee
  3. Share delicious food
  4. Move slowly: be aware of your body in a different way
  5. Smell the roses: engaging with your senses, being in the “where and now”
  6. Sing, as it activate the ventral vagnus nerve (name to check), puts yourself in a ready to engage state of mind
  7. Sunshine, as it produces more dopamine (drives our emotional regulation)

Taking the 737 to the MAX!

Nickolas Means (@nmeans), VP of Engineering • Sym

Let’s use the power of systems thinking to dig into how things could’ve gone so wrong (and learn to better see and understand the systems we interact with every day).

Amazing keynote, just have to live it to understand it.