Engineering the Future of Software
Feb 3–4, 2019: Training
Feb 4–6, 2019: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY
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Leadership skills for architects

Seth Dobbs (Bounteous)
1:30pm–5:00pm Monday, February 4, 2019
Leadership skills
Location: Mercury Ballroom
Secondary topics:  Best Practice, Overview
Average rating: ****.
(4.73, 15 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Architects, lead engineers, technical strategists, and anyone looking for greater influence over the direction of their organization



What you'll learn

  • Learn key leadership skills to become more effective in your roles
  • Practice using conceptual tools and frameworks to support your leadership efforts


Digital transformation is a hyped buzzword, but it also represents the reality of more and more businesses starting to embrace digital as core to their success. “Digital” is not an end state but an ongoing process, a way of thinking, a mindset. This makes architecture challenging, as there is no end state to focus on but rather an enablement of future direction. It also means that technology leaders need more than just technology skills to be effective; they need leadership skills.

While we architects may not be setting the overall business direction, we’re essential to getting them there. We need to enable great products, great experiences, and winning business models, and we shouldn’t be waiting for the business to simply bring us a problem to solve. We need a seat at the table as equals with business, product, experience, and marketing, solving our company’s problems. Doing this requires credibility, capability, and confidence.

Drawing on years of work training his team and clients, Seth Dobbs helps you understand and develop the leadership skills required to have that credibility and be successful, focusing on four core leadership capabilities:

  • Outcome focus: In order to be seen as credible in the business, you need to be able to think and talk in terms of outcomes rather than simply tasks and timelines.
  • Setting a vision and motivating: You need to be able to articulate your vision in a way that captures your external stakeholders while motivating and giving direction to your team.
  • Problem solving: Dealing with difficult things and solving problems are core to architects’ and leaders’ jobs. A consistent approach and mindset along with a focus on the right problems will help you deliver results and build a better rapport with the business.
  • Conflict management: Tension and disagreements are to be expected when working with different parts of the organization. Being able to productively resolve will keep you at the center of things.
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 ranging from small startups to companies such as Domino’s Pizza, Zipcar, and HNI. 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 also has developed several internal architecture training courses that he delivers periodically and blogs occasionally about leadership and technology. Seth was recently 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.