MinneBar 12 – What I learned

I overheard one of the attendees at MinneBar describe it as the Super Bowl of Minnesota’s tech entrepreneurship scene. I feel that was a pretty accurate description for this day long (un)conference. Here are some of what I learned from my favorite sessions:


My most favorite session of the day was probably “You’re the Tech Lead! Now What?” by Eryn O’Neil. I was very interested in the talk because I have been given tech  lead responsibilities at my job in the past year. She gave crisp and very practical advice. As per her, the three key roles of a Tech Lead is to:

  • Facilitate the developers with anything they might need to continue working without interruption.
  • Advocate for whoever is not in the room (e.g. talk to devs about the management’s concerns and goals & vice versa)
  • Motivate the developers do their best work.

She also made a comment about how Tech Leads are expected to work on a manager’s schedule vs maker’s schedule. It is very true and it has been the most challenging part of my present role. I think I am slowly adapting to the nature of my schedule so that it doesn’t impact my productivity.

Here is her slide deck if you are interested: https://www.slideshare.net/eryno/the-zen-of-tech-leading.

I got an opportunity to interview candidates for couple of positions recently. It made me curious about learning how to hire the right talent. The session “Reality Based Hiring” by Genghis Philip helped in answering that very curiosity. His advice ranging from how to interview the stakeholders to understand what gap is exactly being filled by this position to the very practical advice about how to plan out a screening – case study – interview – reply timeline was very insightful.

There were few other interesting sessions that I attended. Perhaps I will write about them in another post.

Also found this cool illustration in the hallway: