Engineering the Future of Software
Feb 3–4, 2019: Training
Feb 4–6, 2019: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY
Please log in

An architect's guiding principles for leadership

Seth Dobbs (Bounteous)
3:50pm–4:40pm Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Leadership skills
Location: Mercury Ballroom
Secondary topics:  Best Practice, Overview
Average rating: ****.
(4.82, 17 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Architects and tech leaders



Prerequisite knowledge

  • Experience as an architect or in another technology leadership role that requires interaction with team members and external stakeholders (useful but not required)

What you'll learn

  • Understand how to lead through principles
  • Explore a reference guide for applying leadership principles in your role


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.

Drawing on material he’s used to train team members ranging from developers and designers to executives, Seth Dobbs offers a primer on leadership for architects, focusing on guiding principles that are easy to learn and put into practice. Principles will cover both inward focus (personal mastery) and external focus (effective interactions) and will include topics such as vision, problem solving, ownership, and conflict. Seth introduces each principle first with a problem or anti-pattern, discusses the principle, and then details examples of the principle in practice. Whether you’re new in a leadership role looking to understand the “soft” skills required or have been leading for a while and want to formalize your thinking on leadership, this session is for you.

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.