The Art of Cat Herding: How to Manage Geeks

Location: D135
Tags: management
Average rating: ***..
(3.93, 14 ratings)

Many folks are wholly unprepared for managing a team, but it does not have to be difficult. Amusing real-life counter examples of “How Not To Manage a Team” will be provided, to give contrast to the real-life examples.

Geeks are a special breed; we do not always know or agree with social conventions in the workplace. This session will help managers deal with their team of geeks.

Here is some of what will be covered:

  • Running effective meetings
  • How to be strict but fair
  • Delegating tasks
  • Being a good mentor
  • Workplace politics
  • Dealing with employee problems:
    • Negative attitudes
    • How to talk to an employee who is frequently late and/or unprepared
    • and of course, the dreaded body odor issue!
Photo of Sheeri K. Cabral

Sheeri K. Cabral

Mozilla Foundation

Sheeri K. Cabral has a master’s degree in computer science specializing in databases from Brandeis University. She has background as a systems administrator; has worked with Oracle, Sybase, DB2, Solaris, RedHat/Fedora, AIX, and HP-UX. Unstoppable as a volunteer and activist since age 14, Cabral founded and organizes the Boston, Massachusetts, USA, MySQL User group, and wrote the MySQL Administrator’s Bible ( She currently works for PalominoDB, a remote database management company

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Picture of Sheeri K. Cabral
Sheeri K. Cabral
09/04/2011 9:51pm PDT

A video of this session is available at

Jason Phillips
08/15/2011 5:51am PDT

The speaker had great content to deliver and was experienced and insightful. If she talked more slowly and deliberately without tangents it would be have been easier to follow and listen to.

Picture of Sheeri K. Cabral
Sheeri K. Cabral
07/29/2011 4:47am PDT

The video of this talk is online at

Picture of Sheeri K. Cabral
Sheeri K. Cabral
07/28/2011 8:10am PDT

Slides for this talk are at

Tony Pisarenkov
07/28/2011 6:22am PDT

Both the speaker and the material were very good. The talk would have had more value for me personally if it focused even more on dealing with problem employees and problem situations.

Jennifer Cohen
07/28/2011 6:19am PDT

I wish every geek manager had to hear this talk. I wanted her to be my manager!