Build Systems that Drive Business
June 11–12, 2018: Training
June 12–14, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

For managers: How to keep up your technical skills without annoying your team(s)

K Vignos (Twitter)
2:10pm–2:50pm Thursday, June 14, 2018
Location: LL20 A/B Level: Intermediate
Secondary topics: Leadership & Career Growth
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 3 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Engineering managers

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Familiarity with engineering teams and processes

What you'll learn

  • Learn how to develop and maintain your technical skills as a manager


According to a study by Benjamin Artz, Amanda Goodall, and Andrew J. Oswald of 35,000 randomly selected employees and workplaces, competent bosses are "easily the largest positive influence on a typical worker’s level of job satisfaction.”

It’s a catch-22: our teams want technically competent managers, but they also often want managers to keep their hands off of their code.

With the rapid pace of change in software development, how can we as managers stay technically current when our jobs demand that we move further and further away from the code the higher we go? And what if some of us just miss programming?

Kathleen Vignos shares creative strategies for developing and maintaining technical skills—some through the act of managing itself.

Topics include:

  • Understanding the systems you manage
  • Automating management tasks
  • Working on side projects
  • Keeping up with trends
  • Customizing your career path
Photo of K Vignos

K Vignos


Kathleen Vignos is a full stack engineer turned manager who has led engineering teams at Twitter and Wired. She’s worked at two startups (one of which she founded), traveled the western US for management consulting and professional services, taught business software programming at the university level, won a hackathon, and built dozens of websites. Other experiences include everything from being on call as a COBOL programmer for Y2K to modifying a React app for a hack week project. She holds engineering degrees from UCLA and Michigan.