Principles of Speed at Scale with Randy Shoup and Courtney Hemphill

Sep 13, 2018 · New York, United States of America

Note: We will start at 6:30 exactly.

This month, we are co-organizing the meetup with GOTO (they will also provide food!), which runs many conferences - in Chicago, Berlin, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam. You can view some of their previous talks, including many relevant to technical leaders, at their YouTube Channel -

Principles of Speed at Scale with Randy Shoup, VPE @ WeWork and Courtney Hemphill, Partner @ Carbon Five

Most companies slow down as they get larger, but some actually get faster. This talk will discuss the speakers' experiences leading high-performing engineering teams at Google, eBay, Stitch Fix, and Carbon Five and will discuss the principles behind what allows for a company to move fast -- and even accelerate -- as it grows. We'll dive into the common practices of teams that reliably release faster at scale and then share some real world stories of tradeoffs required to maintain the yin and yang balance of functional efficiency.

Teams are cross-functional and product focused, meaning that each team has all the skill sets and product knowledge required to do its job, while at the same time relying on other teams for supporting services, tools, and libraries.

Discrete units of work, appropriately prioritized allow teams to focus their efforts and concentrate on what matters. Doubling down on practices like test-driven development, and continuous delivery gives high-performing teams the safety to release their applications and services multiple times a day. They can iterate rapidly, experiment courageously, and fail more quickly.

Culturally, it means end-to-end ownership of the product and continual improvement of their work within a safe space of respectful collaboration. Each team feels ownership and autonomy of their software product end-to-end, from design to development to deployment to retirement. The same engineers who are responsible for the features are responsible for quality, performance, operations, and maintenance. This ownership puts incentives in the right place to encourage building maintainable, observable, and operable systems from the start.

All these techniques and approaches are available to everyone, and practical examples in this talk will help other organizations on their journey.

As always, a group of us will hang out afterwards at a bar nearby.


Randy Shoup - VP Engineering, WeWork, @randyshoup

Randy is a 25-year veteran of Silicon Valley, and has worked as a senior technology leader and executive at companies ranging from small startups, to mid-sized places, to eBay and Google. Randy is currently VP Engineering at WeWork in San Francisco. He is particularly passionate about the nexus of culture, technology, and organization.

Courtney Hemphill - Partner & Technical Lead @ Carbon Five, @chemphill

Courtney Hemphill is a Partner and Technical Lead at Carbon Five, a strategic digital product development firm. She has been developing software since 1999, first at an early stage e-commerce startup and eventually moving into consulting. In her role at Carbon Five, she has built ground up HIPAA-compliant, cloud-based platforms for health care companies, worked on a large server cluster analysis and forecasting platform, and supported enterprise executives transitioning from third-party solutions to skilled in-house continuous delivery teams. She is currently working with several NYC companies: an insurance platform and API product leveraging third-party information and data-science to price small business risk and a ML product for a financial ratings agency that pulls structured data from unstructured, scanned PDFs .

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  • CTO School

    A group of NYC Startup CTOs, VP of Engineering, Tech Leads, and technologists who would like to become better leaders. Membership is by approval, and ONLY technical people are encouraged to join.   The membership is open to senior and mid-level technical leaders, or people on the cusp of getting there (e.g. lead developers). The goal is to have an ongoing forum for technical leaders (esp. in startups) to discuss their issues, whether the issues are related to people management and leadership, process or te

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