Code as Craft: Building a Strong Engineering Culture

Development, Product Management
Location: New York East Level:
Average rating: ****.
(4.64, 11 ratings)

The Internet is awash in advice and passionate debates about the relative merits of source code repositories, databases, programming languages, methodologies, and the general mechanics of building software, but there are relatively few meaningful discussions about culture. A strong culture can overcome almost any set of poor technical decisions, but a poor culture can’t be saved by using the best technology. IBM’s Lou Gerstner once said, “culture isn’t just one aspect of the game — it is the game.” With that in mind, what makes a great engineering culture and what practical steps can a leader take to build a great one? In this talk, you’ll hear about the tragedies and triumphs of the cultural journey at Etsy, and what we learned along the way.

Photo of Chad Dickerson

Chad Dickerson


Chad is CEO, President and Chairman of Etsy, leading the company in its mission and growing it into a global community of creative entrepreneurs and their customers.

Under Chad’s leadership, marketplace sales by Etsy’s community of more than a million sellers have grown significantly. The company became a Certified B Corporation in 2012 and, in both 2013 and 2014, Etsy was named one of the Best Small & Medium Workplaces by the Great Place to Work® Institute. In April 2015, Chad was appointed as a member of the US Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations by President Barack Obama.

Prior to becoming CEO in 2011, Chad was Etsy’s CTO. Before joining Etsy, Chad led Yahoo’s Brickhouse & Advanced products team, and the Yahoo! Developer Network. Notably, he created the Yahoo! Hack Day initiative, the first internal innovation program of its kind.

Almost entirely self-taught in all things tech, Chad was an early advocate for the power of the Internet as a disruptive platform. He began his career in media, holding technical positions at InfoWorld Media Group,, CNN, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the News and Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Picture of Peter Vojtas
Peter Vojtas
10/12/2011 2:15pm EDT

I am from a University, I wonder how to teach this, are there some people doing this? A textbook? Peter

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