Making Open Work
May 8–9, 2017: Training & Tutorials
May 10–11, 2017: Conference
Austin, TX

How to motivate technical employees

Sam Erskine (MVP and Author), Steve Buchanan (Concurrency)
4:15pm4:55pm Thursday, May 11, 2017
Location: Meeting Room 10 A/B
Level: Non-technical
Average rating: **...
(2.67, 3 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • CIOs, CTOs, IT directors, and IT managers

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Leadership experience

What you'll learn

  • Learn five ways to motivate technical employees and how to motivate yourself as a leader of technical teams
  • Explore an action plan that can be used in your organization right away


People don’t leave companies; they leave people. Leaders have the ability to motivate or demotivate. And while leading in business is hard enough, leading a technical team presents another level of difficulty altogether. In this new era of the cloud, DevOps, and digital transformation, technical teams inside of organizations must move very fast and be agile enough to shift direction in the blink of an eye.

Whether you are a CIO, IT director, or manager, as a leader of a highly talented technical team, you must motivate members of the team and the team as a whole. But how? Sam Erskine and Steve Buchanan share five key ways you can motivate technical employees, giving you a tool belt and an action plan that can be used in your organization right away.

Photo of Sam Erskine

Sam Erskine

MVP and Author

Samuel Erskine is a senior specialist , the content designer and lead author of three Microsoft System Center Cookbooks and coauthor of two System Center Unleashed books, as well as a Microsoft MCT and MVP.

Photo of Steve Buchanan

Steve Buchanan


Steve Buchanan is a regional solutions director with Concurrency, a five-time Microsoft MVP, and author of several technical books focused on the System Center platform. In his 17+ years as an IT professional, Steve has held positions ranging from infrastructure architect to IT manager. Steve is currently focused on transforming the position of IT into a strategic revenue generating partner and driver of digital transformation. He stays active in the System Center and Azure community and enjoys blogging about his adventures in the world of IT.

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Samuel Erskine
05/03/2017 10:55pm CDT

Hi Megan, reach out to me on twitter @samerskine with your email and I can provide feedback and context. You can also read an article I wrote on the subject here:

Megan Belle |
04/13/2017 9:51am CDT

I am a student at the College of Charleston in South Carolina and I am currently taking a Software Engineering Practicum course. My teacher normally requires his students to attend OSCON, however it no longer takes place in the area. So instead he has asked us to choose a few speakers who will be speaking at OSCON to ask question or two.
My question is: Which would you choose and why if you had to choose between these two leaders/managers: The first one being one that likes to keep to himself and does not like small talk (not a people-person), but he gives answers to important questions. The second one is definitely a people-person. He makes so much small-talk around work, but doesn’t like to make important decisions, he leaves it up to the people below him who are “in charge” of the project, even if they come to him asking.