The 2013 Ultimate Developer Event – My Takeaways

I wanted to take a break from talking about my H.E.A.R. leadership philosophy and, instead, share with you some personal takeaways from Future Insights’ Ultimate Developer Event that I attended (and keynoted at) a couple of weeks ago.

The speaker lineup was truly high quality, including talent from Github, Disco Pixel, Mother NY, Treehouse, New Relic, SAP, Dropbox, Google, PayPal, etc. (Disclaimer: We at (mt) Media Temple love Future Insights so much we regularly sponsor their conferences.) The Future Insights events usually provide great opportunities to network and connect with really bright minds, both on the speaker and the attendee side, and Ultimate Developer was no exception.

One of the most interesting talks was Ryan Carson’s, who co-founded Treehouse, an online education company that teaches technology. Carson talked about how his company went from a traditional management structure to a no-boss, completely flat work environment. He also explained how this new configuration raised new issues, but also solved a lot of management problems that usually plague companies with managers. His “let people be adults” approach strongly resonated with my personal management experience and my leadership style.

If you want to build the world’s best teams, I believe in enabling each team member to really own (and do!) their part, and to be held accountable for their individual successes and failures, as well as their company’s. I do believe that (good) managers do help and motivate people to be amazing at their jobs (call me old-fashioned). However, giving employees complete control of their time, like Treehouse did, is a great illustration of how fully applying the accountability principle to a group of highly talented people can boost their performance and be a win-win situation for the company.

Guess what my next post will be talking about? H.E.A.R leadership. And guess what the “A” stands for? … Accountability. Everything is squared away!

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