Training: June 20–21, 2016
Tutorials: June 21, 2016
Keynotes & Sessions: June 22–23, 2016
Santa Clara, CA

So you want to be an Ops manager

Alex Nobert (Flynn)
3:40pm–4:20pm Thursday, 06/23/2016
First time at Velocity Santa Clara, Organizational optimization
Location: Ballroom GH Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ***..
(3.67, 9 ratings)

Prerequisite knowledge

Attendees should have experience in Ops.


When you ask Ops engineers where they want to go in their careers, the only answer you get after “I don’t know” is “management.” But what does that entail, and how do you get there? Alex Nobert discusses his career transition from engineer to manager to director, describing the day-to-day work, expectations, priorities, and goals of each so that you can learn from his mistakes. Becoming a manager is not a process of ascending to a technical wizard role. It is pivoting to an entirely different role with totally different skills.

Topics include:

  • Letting go (i.e., trusting your team)
  • Leading by example (e.g., take vacations, go home on time)
  • Performance reviews
  • Treating people as people, not resources
  • Pushing back
  • Thinking big picture
  • Hiring and retention
  • Career advancement for team members
Photo of Alex Nobert

Alex Nobert


At Flynn, Alex Nobert is working on the next-generation PaaS of your dreams. Previously, he built and led Ops at Shopify, Vox Media, and Minted. For some reason, he enjoys wearing a tie. Alex has a side gig as a personal assistant to Pupperz and Trudy, the two dogs with whom he shares a house.