(2016 - 2/9) Developing Your Team

5d5a6bf8c3a2bae2c5e4d972921cf33d?s=47 Calibrate
September 30, 2016

(2016 - 2/9) Developing Your Team

Calibrate 2016 (2/9) - http://www.calibratesf.com/

"Developing Your Team" - Jocelyn Goldfein, Angel Investor

"What divides an engineering manager from a tech lead or a project manager is the responsibility to build and develop a team. As a manager, you need different tools to help new grads rise to independence and to help accomplished software engineers mature into seniority, and to help senior engineers to break through to the next level. Let's ask the question "Can you take responsibility for developing engineers who are at or senior to your own level?" (Spoiler alert: yes.)"

Angel investor, startup advisor, and tech industry spokesperson Jocelyn Goldfein has a long history building products and leading engineering teams. At Facebook, she led new product development for news feed and photos before spearheading the company's pivot to native mobile app development. As an early engineer at VMware she was instrumental in the company's hypergrowth and ultimately established and ran the desktop business unit. Jocelyn also led development teams at startups MessageOne and pcOrder. She studied computer science at Stanford University.


Calibrate is a conference for new engineering leaders hosted by seasoned engineering leaders. Organized and hosted by Sharethrough, it was conducted on September 30, 2015 and September 30, 2016 in San Francisco, California.



September 30, 2016


  1. D E V E L O P I N G

    Y O U R T E A M J O C E LY N G O L D F E I N W W W. J O C E LY N G O L D F E I N . C O M @ J G O L D F E I N
  2. W H AT I S C A R E E

    R D E V E L O P M E N T ?
  3. W H AT I S C A R E E

    R D E V E L O P M E N T ? More Ability / Skills More Responsibility More Impact What about: Status, Authority and Access?
  4. W H AT A B O U T R E

    C O G N I T I O N ? • Recognition != Growth • Reward (like compensation or praise) • Can be a pre-condition for continued growth
  5. W H Y Y O U ’ R E D

    O I N G I T Fun! Social Contract Morale & Retention Maximize Team Productivity
  6. H O W P E O P L E G

    R O W Stuff they don’t know how to do Stuff they know how to do Living in either zone won’t grow your team
  7. T H E S TA I R C A S

    E Stress Zone Comfort Zone Do stuff, and learn from it
  8. “ D O S T U F F ” •

    Projects of significance to company, team and employee • Design decisions, judgment calls • Real usage, real jeopardy, real consequences
  9. “ L E A R N F R O M

    I T ” Employees need feedback loops to grow: • Clear data (to connect decisions to results) • Help interpreting the data • Feedback can come from boss (you) but also peers, mentors, cross-functional teammates…
  10. E A R LY C A R E E R

    E N G I N E E R S • More frequent shipping == more feedback loops • Teammates who can/will teach them • Trying lots of new things • 2x-3x capacity every year for 2-3 years
  11. M I D - C A R E E R

    Most engineers get stuck here. Most managers believe that’s inevitable. That could not be more wrong.
  12. M I D - C A R E E R

    Typical problems: 1. Most team projects are now in “comfort zone” not “stress zone” 2. The role changes 3. Mentorship is hard to find
  13. S TA F F - L E V E L

    P R O J E C T S A R E S C A R C E A team is built around ONE project of “Staff” scale Before: every project was a stretch Now: most projects are in their comfort zone Key Manager Intervention: Project assignment!
  14. W H E R E T O F I N

    D “ S TA F F - L E V E L ” P R O J E C T S 1. Your team has one - give it to them 2. Invent a new one 3. Matchmake your engineer with a project in another team 4. Make sure the execs in the “back room” conversation know your engineer is ready What it takes:
 Manager sponsorship OR personal social capital
  15. S I D E B A R : S T

    R U C T U R A L I N V E S T M E N T S • Systematic assignment of growth projects • Broad visibility of available projects • Low barriers to team transfers • Low barriers to kicking off new ideas
  16. W H AT G O T T H E M

    H E R E W O N ’ T G E T T H E M T H E R E Before: personal productivity (technical skills) Now: team productivity (soft skills AND technical skills) Before: strengths propelled them forward Now: weaknesses hold them back Key Manager Intervention: Feedback
  17. M E N T O R S H I P

    I S H A R D T O F I N D Before: lots of role models and guides Now: lots of peers and near peers Key Manager Intervention: Matchmaking
  18. L U M I N A RY / E X

    E C L E V E L What do luminaries do? • originate ideas • solve company’s hardest problems • have industry-wide impact • big systems thinking and architecture
  19. W H AT D O E S I T TA

    K E ? • Hard work & excellence not enough • Vision, scope of impact • Right place, right time • A larger motivation: Key Manager Interventions: Matchmake with peers and problems. Don’t gatekeep. Self Team Company Industry World
  20. W H AT A B O U T M A

    N A G E M E N T ? • Job change, not a promo • High growth companies create lots of management openings • Your own rise depends on replacing yourself
  21. P U T T I N G I T T

    O W O R K
  22. T E A M I N V E N T

    O RY: G R O W T H S TA G E Actively
 Growing Passively
 Growing Stuck Content
  23. T E A M I N V E N T

    O RY: P O T E N T I A L • Hard to be intellectually honest • Hack: trick yourself with a different question
  24. T E A M I N V E N T

    O RY: T I M E F R A M E ? When’s Next Promo? You Really Mean 0 - 12 Months Already There 1 - 3 Years Potential Exists 3+ Years (Aka “Never”) Don’t Believe In Potential
  25. T E A M I N V E N T

    O RY: T I M E F R A M E ? When’s Next Promo? Next Steps 0 - 12 Months Keep Giving Feedback 1 - 3 Years Needs Project Needs Feedback May Need Mentors 3+ Years (Aka “Never”) Needs Decision
  26. P U T T I N G T H I

    S T O W O R K ( T O D AY ) 1. Inventory your team 2. Meet people where they’re at 3. You deliver opportunity 4. They rise to the occasion 5. Everyone wins
  27. Q U E S T I O N S ?