All Software Architecture, All the Time
June 10-13, 2019
San Jose, CA
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An architect's guiding principles for leadership

Seth Dobbs (Bounteous)
11:00am–11:45am Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Leadership skills
Location: 212
Secondary topics:  Best Practice
Average rating: ****.
(4.73, 15 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Architects and tech leaders



Prerequisite knowledge

  • Experience as an architect or tech lead

What you'll learn

  • Understand principles of how to lead
  • Gain a reference guide for applying leadership principles


Architects are leaders. We need to understand our business, our users, and our ecosystem. We need to effectively interact with our stakeholders, productively collaborate with design and product teams, and give direction and motivate our development teams. Achieving these goals requires much more than technical excellence.

Seth Dobbs shares a primer on leadership for architects, focusing on guiding principles that are easy to learn and put into practice. Principles cover both inward focus (personal mastery) and external focus (effective interactions) and include topics such as vision, problem solving, ownership, and conflict.

Seth explores material he’s used to train team members ranging from developers and designers up into the executive level but focuses on core guiding principles specific to helping architects be more effective in their roles. Each principle will be presented first with a problem or anti-pattern, then the principle, and then examples of the principle in practice. This approach should be valuable whether you are new in a leadership role and looking to understand the “soft” skills required or have been leading for a while and want to formalize your thinking on leadership.

Photo of Seth Dobbs

Seth Dobbs


Seth Dobbs is the vice president of engineering at Bounteous, where he directs the development of ecommerce, web, and mobile applications; digital transformations; and other solutions for numerous clients. This work includes architecting an ecommerce system that grew to be the fourth-largest transactional commerce system on the internet. Seth sets the technology direction at Bounteous and drives the technical skill development by organizing and presenting deep dives into new languages, database platforms, and methodologies. He’s also developed several internal architecture and leadership training courses and blogs. Seth was named Chicago’s best technology manager for 2016 by Tech in Motion. He began his career as a software engineer at Motorola, where he was first exposed to complex architectures and where he designed and implemented a service-based framework enabling data services to be distributed and recoverable across multiple servers. Seth holds a BS in computer science from Illinois Tech.