SimpleLeadership Podcast

SimpleLeadership specifically focuses on improving the craft of software engineering leadership. As a VP of Engineering & CTO I am acutely aware of the lack of good resources available for new and existing software engineering managers. SimpleLeadership is designed for both new and experienced software & technology managers who want to build high-performing teams, better motivate & mentor their employees, reduce attrition and advance their career. It is for people who want to go beyond just being a manager and become a true leader. In this interview based show I ask each guest to share their journey from individual contributor to software engineering manager and provide any guidance on the transition. The SimpleLeadership Podcast will present real and actionable stories from people who have navigated their way from being an individual contributor into a software engineering manager. We will also hear from experts on specifics of team dynamics, motivation, feedback, leadership and many more aspects of being a successful engineering manager.
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Now displaying: 2018
Dec 17, 2018

Liam is the co-founder and CMO of, Running Remote Conference and After graduating with a masters in Sociology from McGill University, Liam opened a small tutoring company which grew to over 100 employees, and looked to solve a problem with remote employees not reporting accurate work data which turned into He consults on outsourcing and process design and is passionate about how to gain insights into the inner workings of how people work.

On today's episode we discuss running remote teams, including hiring, performance, management, culture and mental health.

Liam's Social Profiles:

About Time Doctor:

Time Doctor is a time tracking and productivity monitoring software for remote teams. The goal with the software is to help individuals and organizations to be more productive when working remotely
Time Doctor Social Profiles:

Show Notes:



Fellow Feedback App

Radical Candor

Running Remote YouTube Channel

Dec 3, 2018

John Rouda is an IT Leader and Computer Science Professor. Currently, he is an IT Director and he teaches as an adjunct professor at both York Technical College and Winthrop University. John has spoken at numerous conferences and is currently on the board of the Interface Cyber Security Conference. John’s past experiences include more than a decade of Technical management in both software development and network infrastructure. In 1999, John Rouda and 2 partners founded a business developing, hosting and marketing websites. The business was profitable each year until it was sold in 2007 to a larger competitor. John has developed dozens of mobile apps for the Apple Appstore and Google Play Marketplace. He holds two master degrees, one in Business Administration and one in Computer Science. He has written 3 books that can be found on Amazon & Audible. John regularly speaks on technology, entrepreneurship and leadership topics at events and conferences, including a TEDx talk in 2015. He hosts a technical leadership podcast called A Geek Leader that can be found on iTunes or at John is married to a beautiful wife and has three wonderful kids who he dearly loves.

On today's episode we discuss motivation, empathy, leadership and cover the highlights John's Ted Talk.


Show Notes:

Notes to a Software Team Leader: Growing Self Organizing Teams

Dan Pink - Drive

Simon Sinek - Start with Why

Nov 19, 2018

Saurabh is currently an Engineering Manager at Twilio. He joined Twilio about 4 years back as a senior engineer. He then moved into a tech lead position and then transitioned into management about 1.5 years ago. Since then, he has grown into managing multiple engineering teams within Twilio's Messaging organization. Before joining Twilio, Saurabh worked in a couple of fin-tech startups in the Boston area mostly in an Individual Contributor role. He has a strong passion for engineering leadership and is always looking for avenues to give back to the community. Other than computers, he is fond of reading, cars, astrophysics and travelling.

On today's episode we discuss the importance of relationships and building trust.

Contact Info:

FB: >
Show Notes:
Google reWork
The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations
Using Agile Techniques to Build a More Inclusive Team - Kevin Goldsmith
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
Radical Candor
The Manager's Path
Rand's Leadership Slack
Oct 29, 2018

Michelle is a Senior Backend Engineer at ChowNow, helping local restaurants grow their business by strengthening relationships with their customers. She has previously served as both an engineer and a manager for the last  7+ years in entertainment technology. She has worked tirelessly to help movies and television get made faster and cheaper, saving productions millions of dollars. A Philadelphia native, she has a background in Media Arts and is a self-taught Python developer. Michelle is now working to give back to her community through mentorship and conference speaking.

Contact Info:

Show Notes:

Sober Stick Figure: A Memoir

Business Unusual with Barbara Corcoran (Podcast)

Sep 17, 2018

Darragh is currently the VP of Engineering at Intercom. (One of my favorite companies). He joined Intercom in early 2012 as a product engineer and Intercom's second outside hire. Fast forward to today, and he is Intercom's VP of Engineering where he has grown and scaled the organization into a world class Engineering team. Prior to Intercom, Darragh worked at numerous other companies including Darragh is mentor on the Plato network and is passionate about the outdoors and his family.

On today’s show we discuss his path from IC to VP of engineering and tips on how to scale a fast growing engineering team.

Contact Info:



Show Notes:

The Pragmatic Programmer

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

Aug 20, 2018

Camille Fournier is the head of Platform Engineering at Two Sigma, a financial company in New York City. Prior to joining Two Sigma she was the Chief Technology Officer of Rent the Runway, a transformative brand that offers unprecedented access to designer fashion, disrupting the way millions of women get dressed.

She is an open source contributor and project committee member for both Apache ZooKeeper and the Dropwizard web framework. Prior to working for Rent the Runway, Camille served as a software engineer at Microsoft, and most recently, spent several years as a technical specialist at Goldman Sachs, creating distributed systems for managing risk analysis and firm-wide infrastructure.

She has a BS in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University and an MS in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Camille is a well-respected voice within the tech community, speaking on a variety of topics such as engineering leadership, distributed systems, scaling teams, and technical architecture. In 2017 she released her book, “The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change.”

Contact Info:

Twitter: @skamille


Camille Talk:

Show Notes:

Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well

Harvard Business Review

Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders

What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Aug 5, 2018

Lara Callender Hogan is an engineering leader, coach, and consultant at Wherewithall. She is also the author of Designing for Performance (O’Reilly, 2014), Building a Device Lab (Five Simple Steps, 2015), and Demystifying Public Speaking (A Book Apart, 2016).

Lara champions engineering management as a practice, having built and led engineering organizations as an Engineering Director at Etsy and VP of Engineering at Kickstarter.

In her world tour to advocate performance to designers and developers alike, Lara has keynoted the Velocity Conference, presented at Google I/O, and given talks at companies like The New York Times to help shift them toward a culture of performance. While at Etsy, Lara co-created the initial physical device labs, and co-authored a tutorial and bookfor companies interested in building their own lab.

To connect her passion for performance with her activism, Lara donates all of the proceeds from Designing for Performance to charities focused on supporting underrepresented people in tech.

Lara also believes it’s important to celebrate career achievements with donuts.

On today's episode we discuss proper expectation setting, mindful communication, Lara's new company and a surprise management challenge! Listen on to find out what it is!


Contact Info:

Title: Co-Founder

Company: Wherewithall

Twitter: @lara_hogan



Show Notes:

The Lead Developer Austin 2018 Workshop
Desk moves
Paloma Medina
Tuckman's Stages of Group Development
Etsy's Charter of Mindful Communication
The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change
Jul 23, 2018

Mihai Fonoage is the Vice President of Engineering for Modernizing Medicine. In this role he leads a Team of Engineers that are working on building high-quality software for medical practices to increase efficiency and improve patient care. With over 13 years of experience in the technology world, his technical prowess has strongly contributed to Modernizing Medicine’s success. Mihai has a PhD in Computer Science from Florida Atlantic University and was Modernizing Medicine’s first employee. He is a recipient of the Sun Sentinel's 2015 Top Workplace Professionals and the South Florida Business Journal’s 2014 40 Under 40 award.

On today's episode we discuss Mihai's path from being an intern to becoming the VP of Engineering and his guidance for engineering managers on how to best prepare to scale to prepare for the role.


Contact Info:

Company Website:
Personal Social Media accounts:

Show Notes:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People


The Lead Developer London: "The Hardest Scaling Challenge of All: Yourself"

The Oz Principal

Jul 9, 2018

Jen Dary is the founder of Plucky, an organization that works with companies and individuals to create healthy dynamics at work. She is a leadership coach and speaker; she travels across the US teaching workshops, including her popular course, So Now You’re a Manager, which trains new managers across the country for the complex work of herding humans. Jen lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband and two young sons.

On today's episode we discuss one of the tricky challenges of being a first time manager - managing your former peers and friends. We also discuss Plucky Cards? What are those? Stay tuned to find out!

Contact Links:
twitter: @jenniferdary, @beplucky
IG: @bepluckster
Writing: >
Show Notes:
lluminature: Discover 180 Animals with your Magic Three Color Lens
Plucky Cards
Brene Brown Ted Talk: The Power of Vulnerability 
Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
Podcast: How I Built This
Jun 11, 2018

Leonard is the founder and CEO of Hello Chava, a company reimagining productivity tools for the solo professional. Over the past 25 years, Leonard has recognized emerging markets and launched multiple successful products with a particular focus in SaaS, Cloud Computing, and Collaboration through first gen products such as Hello Chava, Syncplicity, Windows PowerShell, and SETI@home.

On today's episode we discuss scaling your leadership, being humble, racing cars and slowing down to go faster.

Contact Info:


Show Notes:

How to Talk to Kids Will Listen

HeadSpace App

Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone

May 13, 2018
Given a jar of peanut butter, a spoon and a challenging problem, I feel set up for success!
I build and manage happy, healthy engineering teams that ship impactful products without sacrificing the user or developer experience. I like to focus on engineering culture (testing, performance + career growth), creating tools for engineering managers, internationalization, accessibility and improving the relationship between engineering, design, product managers and product support.
I'm in a happy place when using storytelling for impact and automating workflows to ensure best practices and culture.
born in Minnesota, I have Texas roots, where i graduated from the university of Texas at Austin. at Stanford, i tinkered with soldering irons in the HCI lab while pursuing a PHD. before finishing, i graduated with a masters and co-founded the machine learning company diffbot. later on i directed engineering at Coursera for six years and am now the CTO of a small startup called Hi Hello.
always a lifelong learner, my favorite conversation topics include: basic income, extending life, open source, crispr, equal opportunity in tech, android and vegetarian restaurants.
Today's topic is about, Should engineering managers write code?
Twitter: @eleith
Show Notes:
Applied Empathy: The New Language of Leadership
The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age
The Type B Manager: Leading Successfully in a Type A World
Radical Candor
May 6, 2018

Today's podcast is a recording of a live panel that I moderated which focused on nurturing an inclusive environment at technology companies. It was part of a larger event put on by the tech mentoring company Plato.

The fantastic guests that I had a chance to discuss this with were:

  • Shivani Sharma, Senior Engineering Manager at Slack
  • Nick Caldwell, VP Engineering at Reddit
  • Nidhi Gupta, SVP Engineering at Hired

I have interviewed both Shivani Sharma and Nick Caldwell on previous podcast episodes and I encourage you to go to my podcast archives and listen to those episodes.

Listen on as my panelists discuss the current challenges with diversity and inclusion at tech companies and strategies for helping to foster a more inclusive environment.


A special thanks to Plato for sponsoring this great event and for allowing me to use this for my podcast.
Plato matches tech managers to highly experienced engineering leaders to help resolve their challenging management situations. If you would like to find out more information about Plato you can visit their website at where Shivani and I are also mentors.

Show Notes:

Plato Website
Video Of the Panel Discussion
Medium Article about the event

Apr 29, 2018

Erica is an engineering manager for the integrations and data analytics teams at SalesLoft –
where she’s helping grow the product engineering team for the 4th fastest growing software
company in North America and #1 best place to work in Atlanta. During her 18 year career in
tech, she’s worked with large companies, including Boeing, FOX Interactive Media and Turner
Broadcasting, as well as early-stage startups--of which 2 were acquired, by MySpace and

Erica works passionately towards diversity and inclusion in tech, via education and exposure to
opportunities. In 2013, she started the Atlanta network of Women Who Code, where she
organizes conferences, hackathons, developer workshops, monthly tech talks and networking
events for women technologists. In addition, Erica collaborates with companies to help improve
strategies around diversity and inclusion. She also helps develop and teach youth coding
programs, speaks at tech events and mentors entrepreneurs for various incubators and

On today's episode we discuss improving diversity and inclusion at companies and how important it is in building high performing teams.  We also discuss Women Who Code, The WeRise Conference and 100 Girls of Code.

Contact Info:
Company Website:
Personal Website:
Conference Website:
Twitter: @ericastanley

Show Notes:

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Rooney Rule

100 Girls of Code

Women Who Code

Software Lead Weekly

The Manager's Path

Apr 23, 2018

Dennis is the Head of Integration at HiredScore, a startup that helps large companies achieve their hiring and recruiting goals using deep system integrations and AI.  Dennis is a former team and group leader at Sears Israel working on large scale social e-commerce platform and before that he was a team leader and a full stack developer at the Israeli Air Force.   He is passionate about people growth and company culture.

On today's episode we discuss the challenges, both logistical and emotional, when a manager decides to leave their team and company.  This is based on Dennis' personal experience leaving his past company and a blog post he wrote about it.

Contact Info:</p 

Show Notes:

The hard thing about hard things: When a manager decides to quit

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager

The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership


Apr 16, 2018

Katie is a Director of Engineering at Buffer, a globally distributed team with no offices, and O’Reilly author. At Buffer, she leads the engineering team focusing on crafting productive, effective teams and delivering a world class software product. She previously worked as software engineer before moving into leadership. Her writing has appeared in The Next Web, Inc Magazine and Fast Company.

Contact Info:

Medium: >
Show Notes:
The Brain-Changing Benefits of Exercise
Brene Brown - Listening to Shame
Cate Huston Blog
Lara Hogan Blog
The Manager's Path
Manager's Tools Podcast
High Output Management
Julie Zhuo Blog
Apr 8, 2018

Rachael is an engineering manager for the infrastructure and backend teams at Lever, a collaborative hiring software product helping companies recruit and grow their teams. She joined the team in 2014 as a product engineer and was one of the first employees to kickoff internal discussions around diversity and inclusion. She transitioned into a management role over a year ago and is dedicated to growing engineering teams who have a strong combination of technical and soft skills.

On today's episode we discuss best practices in hiring and diversity and inclusion in tech companies.

Contact Info:

Twitter: @rkstedman

Show Notes:

Lever - The Diversity & Inclusion Handbook

Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well

Textio - Augmented Writing

Mar 26, 2018

Four Engineering Managers from Facebook, Kabam, Clever, and Medium shared their tips on becoming a great Engineering Leader during the Plato event hosted on May 15, 2017 in San Francisco.

This event was sponsored by Plato.  Plato matches tech managers to highly experienced engineering leaders to help resolve their challenging management situations. Find out more and sign-up to me mentored at

Show Notes:


YouTube Video of the event

Medium Article based on the panel discussion

Mar 19, 2018

Jean-Denis Greze is Head of Engineering at Plaid, the technology company giving developers access to the financial system and the tools to build many of the most influential applications and services of the modern financial era. Companies such as Venmo + Paypal, Coinbase, Robinhood, Acorns, Betterment, Clarity Money and hundreds more are built on Plaid - whose investors consist of Goldman Sachs, NEA, Citi Ventures, Spark Capital, American Express, and Google Ventures.  

Prior to joining Plaid, Jean-Denis was Director of Engineering at Dropbox, where he led the growth, identity, notifications, Paper and payments teams. Prior to Dropbox, Jean-Denis worked in fintech in New York and has CS degrees from Columbia as well as a JD from Harvard Law School. Outside of work, you’ll find him trail running, reading, or plotting his next vacation to Japan.

If you want to learn more about Plaid after this podcast, visit them at and check out the open eng roles on their career page - where you can actually apply by API. You can also follow them on Twitter - their handle is @plaid, or give their awesome recruiting team a shout at

On today's episode we discuss software engineering values and how to enable engineers to be successful at your company and beyond.

Social Media

Mar 12, 2018
Ian Miell is a software industry veteran who has written, maintained, managed and architected some of the world's busiest systems. He works in financial services now, and also speaks, writes, teaches, and consults on various subjects, the common theme being how change can be managed within complex organisations and the raw technology that can enable that.
On today' s show Ian discusses the steps he took to change a team's culture that he inherited.
Contact Information:
Show Notes:
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
The Checklist Manifesto
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
Mar 5, 2018

In this episode we discuss having hard conversations, overcoming fear to grow as a technology leader and humanizing the interviewing process.

Emily Leathers helps leaders, teams, and communities achieve big goals that make a difference. She’s lucky enough to hold two dream jobs at the same time: as a Director of Engineering at a small startup called Brigade, where she builds web and native apps to help voters make our elected representatives actually work for us, and as an engineering leadership coach and consultant, where she helps engineering leaders at all levels develop the skills, self-awareness, and vision they need to build high-performing, thriving teams.

Contact Info:

Website / blog: >

Twitter: @eleather

Show Notes:

Manager Tools Podcast

Coaching for Leaders Podcast

The Look and Sound of Leadership Podcast

Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too)

Engineering Leadership Slack

Feb 26, 2018

Matias Woloski is the CTO and co-founder of Auth0, an identity platform that provides authentication, authorization and single-sign-on as a service. Auth0 was founded in 2013 and it has now 300 employees and it’s a fully distributed company. Since 2013, Auth0 has tripled and doubled its revenue every year, counting with more than two thousand customers and tens of millions in recurring revenue. Before Auth0, he co-founded a high-end consulting business that employed 120 consultants. Matias lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina and he’s built the company from there with co-founder and CEO Eugenio Pace, who lives in Redmond, Washington.

In this episode we discuss scaling engineering teams, hiring a VP of Engineering and.

Contact Info:

Show Notes: - michael lopp blog. it's almost like a reference book :) unstoppable women - podcast of women in leadership masters of scale podcast: it touches on leadership but it's broader in scope.
Spotify Squad Framework:
good article on scaling eng teams:
Leadership Pipeline
managing humans michael lopp blog in a book
these classics were important in the beginning of my career, when I was 20ish
Masters of Scale Podcast with Reid Hoffman
Good to Great
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Civilization Game 
Feb 19, 2018

Edmond Lau is the author of the book, The Effective Engineer now the de facto onboarding guide for many engineering teams. He's spent the past decade building and leading engineering teams at high-growth companies across Silicon Valley — including at Quip, Quora, Ooyala, and Google.

As an engineering leadership coach, Edmond has worked directly with CTO's, directors, managers, and other emerging leaders to unlock what's possible for them and their teams. He's run workshops and seminars at places like Pinterest, Google, Facebook, Quip, and Medium to raise the bar on what it means to be an effective engineering leader. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Time, Slate, Inc., Fortune, and Wired.

Edmond recently embarked on a new adventure with engineering-manager-turned-coach Jean Hsu to build the best leadership development brand out there for engineers and people in tech. They'll be taking the most valuable lessons they've learned from coaching 100+ tech leads, managers, directors, engineering VPs, and CTOs — and distilling them into simple frameworks, powerful workshops, and online experiences. Follow the journey at, where they'll be sharing everything they're learning.

On today's episode we discuss how to be an effective engineering leader, frameworks for improving your management skills and coaching for success.


Show Notes

The Effective Engineer

Software Lead Weekly

The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change

High Output Management


Feb 11, 2018

On today's episode we discuss product & engineering team alignment, deadlines and urgency and ideas for helping under representated groups becoming technology leaders.

Kimber LockhartKimber Lockhart is Chief Technology Officer at One Medical Group – a rapidly growing model of primary care that integrates innovative design with leading technology to deliver higher quality service while lowering the total cost of care.  Previously, Kimber co-founded Increo, a web-based service that allows users to share and review documents in a secure space. Increo was acquired by Box in 2009, and she hired and scaled the web application engineering team over the next four years, ultimately responsible for building most user-facing features on Box.  Kimber speaks frequently on technology, heath care, and engineering careers in San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

She holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University.

Stuart ParmenterStuart Parmenter is VP of Engineering at One Medical – a rapidly growing model of primary care that integrates innovative design with leading technology to deliver higher quality service while lowering the total cost of care. Previously, Stuart co-founded Rise, a mobile app for dieting and health, that aims to connect users with their own personalized diet plans and daily feedback from nutrition coaches for a fraction of the usual cost. Rise was acquired by One Medical in 2016. Before Rise, Stuart was running Mobile at Mozilla.


Contact Info:



Show Notes:

Don’t create a sense of urgency, foster a sense of purpose.

Under the hood: Calibrating technical teams with a simple shift

The 12 Elements of Great Managing

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

How F*cked Up Is Your Management?: An uncomfortable conversation about modern leadership

Feb 5, 2018

Andrew Marsh, CTO and co-founder of talks about the poor state of interviewing process in today's tech companies, how to improve them and his company,

Andrew Marsh is co-founder and CTO of A product designer and software engineer, he previously founded Fifth Column Games and has shipped titles with over 100 million users. Andrew ultimately left games in search of an industry where making a positive impact on the community was more aligned with success.

Contact Information:

My company website is

My twitter is @andimusprime
Company Twitter is @interviewingio
Jan 28, 2018

On today's show Lawrence and I discuss why group meetings can be such time wasters, the importance of one-one-ones and lawrence's book.

Over the last 18 years, Lawrence Krubner  has been the technical co-founder of 3 different startups that he has led to success. He has also seen millions of dollars wasted on poorly run projects that he have had to turn around and save. Turning around a failing project can go smoothly, so long as everyone on the team can be completely honest about why a project was failing up to that point. He is a proponent of the "train fast, fire fast, fail fast, iterate fast" philosophy -- a team should improve itself as much as possible, through training or replacement, and thereby maximize the speed with which it delivers products.

Contact Info:

Show Notes:

One-on-one meetings are underrated, whereas group meetings waste time

I Done This

Why Can't They Just by Lara Hogan

how to destroy a tech startup in 3 easy steps

Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker Books on Amazon

Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald's

Ship It!

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