Build & maintain complex distributed systems
17–18 October, 2017: Training
18–20 October, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
London, UK

The Three Last Conversations

16:1016:50 Thursday, 19 October 2017
Technical Leadership
Location: Park Suite Level: Intermediate

Who is this presentation for?

Technical leaders, managers, directors, people interested in honest stories

Prerequisite knowledge

You need to understand English. That's it!

What you'll learn

Main idea: focus on your effort, not on your results. No matter how hard you try, you might not win, not hit your goals. If you're focused on results, this can be painful. It was for me. It's hard to lead being in pain. If you're focused on your effort, you'll be fine. Other skills: performing diving saves, delivering bad news, implementing company-wide changes. Not diving deep into all of these, but touching some parts of them.


Our company started last year in dire straits. Our strategy was not working. All the key metrics were slowly drifting downwards. That continued for most of the year. Many people left. We even did a re-org. I’ve had multiple last conversations. Sometimes, trying to stop people from leaving. Other times, telling them that they’ll have to leave. This story will be centered on three such conversations.

The first one with my lead, who decided to leave the company.
The second one with a developer, who was offered a, what he perceived to be, better opportunity.
The third one with a developer, who we had to let go during the re-org.

This story has a happy ending. I’m still with the company. We managed to turn it around and have never been in a better position.

I’ve learned a lot through last year. I’ll talk about mistakes, diving saves, honesty and delivering bad news. But most importantly, I’ll focus on effort and result. I’ll answer which of them is more valuable and why.

Photo of Mindaugas Mozūras

Mindaugas Mozūras


Mindaugas Mozūras is a software developer, book reader, speaker, movie lover and an all around geek. Most of the time these days he spends doing his darned best to help make second hand the first choice worldwide as Head of Engineering at Vinted, world’s biggest preloved fashion marketplace with a community of 15 million people in 9 countries, backed by $60M from Accel, Insight Venture Partners and Hubert Burda Media.

When he’s not doing that, Mindaugas contributes back to software development community. He has made significant contributions to open source with his own projects and improvements to existing ones. Mindaugas is also a frequent speaker at software development community events, sharing his personal experience and that of Vinted Engineering team, who are big fans of continuous deployment, releasing code hundreds times per day into production.

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