How To Be a Boss Without the B-S

F1098e8609ae3448e4a01747d2d7184a?s=47 Jessie
April 24, 2014

How To Be a Boss Without the B-S

A lot of developers secretly harbor the desire to start their own company, but don’t realize that running a business means a lot more than just cutting great code all day long. Others may be at a point in their career where they feel stalled out and might want to see if management is right for them. Moving from a software role to a management role doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice all your technical/coding skills, but it does mean you need to cultivate some new ones.



April 24, 2014


  1. How To Be a Boss Without The B-S Jessie Link

    Railsconf 2014 1
  2. Things I’ll Talk About Why you should consider management Who

    makes a good boss What skills you need When/How to transition into the management track Where you can find resources 2
  3. Things I Won’t Talk About How to found a start

    up How to get VC financing How to make your employees obey you 3
  4. Why am I qualified to talk to you about being

    a boss? A little bit about me 4
  5. Jessie Link Former U.S. Air Force officer Software developer since

    2000 Officially a boss since 2010 Studied leadership principles for over 18 years Director of Engineering Certified Scrum Master PMP 5
  6. Why be a boss? 6

  7. Don't worry… It's not all TPS reports 7

  8. Reasons to do it If you’re a founder…. If you’ve

    hit your ceiling in the technical track…… New, different challenge Be in the driver’s seat Have an impact on the careers of your employees See the business from a new perspective 8
  9. As a boss you are responsible for: People Schedule Budget

    Scope 9
  10. Who Makes a good boss? 10

  11. You should… Like people Not fear conflict Be adaptable Be

    confident Be humble Be empathetic Have integrity 11
  12. Skills You Need 12

  13. Communication This is the most important ability you must have

    - you cannot execute the other skills without it Tune your message to your audience Communication is a two way street Be an active listener 13
  14. Delegation

  15. Delegation Your job is to make sure the team gets

    the work done, not to do it yourself Set direction, communicate what needs to be done This requires trust You have to know when to let your employees fail on their own 15
  16. Coaching

  17. Coaching It is your job to make sure your people

    continue to grow Inspire and motivate those underneath you Build up, don’t tear down Set the plan, empower the team to execute on it 17
  18. – General Dwight Eisenhower “Leadership is the art of getting

    someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. ” 18
  19. Courage

  20. Courage The buck stops with you Saying “No” is hard

    Have vision and believe in it Change is scary! Always embrace the truth, even when it’s unpleasant 20
  21. Project Management

  22. Project Management Track the work Manage risk Report status Like

    process… but don’t love it Pick the right tool for the job 22
  23. Administrative/Financial Budgeting “Colors of money” Salary Hiring, Firing and Retention

    TPS reports and other mandatory documents
  24. Ready to Make the Leap?

  25. When/How to transition into the management track 25

  26. Moving into Management Find a mentor “Try before you buy”

    Think company-wide Have an idea what kind of leadership style you have Practice the skills needed to do it 26
  27. The Big Questions 27

  28. Do I Still Get to Write code? Yes. Sort of.

  29. Can I Be Friends With My Employees? Yes. Sort of.

  30. Do I Need To Have a PMP certification or something

    like that? Nope.
  31. A few final thoughts….

  32. Leaders eat last Lead from the front It’s not your

    employees’ job to feel your pain A high performing team will always be greater than the sum of its parts You’re never done learning
  33. –Rear Admiral Grace Hopper “You manage things. You lead people.”

  34. Resources

  35. Company provided training TED Talks and other videos PMI History

    Books “Drive” by Daniel Pink “How to Make Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie “The Agile Samurai” by Jonathan Rasmusson
  36. Thank You! @mad_typist