Let's talk about Managers

by Ryan Skinner | at Minnebar 17 | 11:15 – 12:00 in Theater | View Schedule

What makes a manager terrible? Effective? Motivating? Deflating?

Everyone has Opinions about management, whether you are currently a people leader, individual contributor (IC), or student.

Let's talk.

  • What makes an effective people leader?
  • How do you exert informal influence and drive a team (or organization, or company!) forward?
  • What's happening behind the curtain -- what are managers even doing outside the view of ICs?
  • If you're an IC: how can you prepare for a transition into management?
  • If you're a line manager: how do you prepare for more senior leadership roles, and what shift in mindset is required?
  • If you're in upper management: what advice would you give to those earlier in their careers?
  • What challenges manifest regardless of your level, and what unique challenges present themselves at the top?
  • What skill sets are shared between upper-level ICs and managers? Are the two career tracks parallel, or do they curve toward each other as you move up?

We'll set the stage with a 5-10 minute presentation on themes from "Becoming a Manager" by Linda Hill of Harvard Business School, and then open the floor up for moderated discussion.

This session will have been a success if we gain:

  1. a broader perspective on management
  2. small lessons to apply to our own careers
  3. and a sense of community
All levels

Ryan Skinner

Ryan Skinner (he/him, LinkedIn) is a Data Science Manager currently at Proofpoint, a leading cybersecurity company serving the vast majority of the Fortune 100. Ryan runs a small team of applied data scientists and engineers consulting on hard ML problems across the company's product portfolio.

As a Minnesota native who loves snow, Ryan realized halfway through his Ph.D. that he would be forever destined to test rockets in deserts if he didn't change career plans soon. One graduation ceremony and pandemic remote-work policy later, he's back in town with his wife and two dogs, and is excited for Minnebar 17!