Agile Career Development from the trenches – lessons learned

Ionel Condor

Talk: 90 minutes


Career Development is sometimes left behind or considered an auxiliary ingredient when we talk about building great self-org teams.

No wonder why good professionals leave companies, why many of so called Senior Developers stopped learning many years ago, why sometimes Architects are only able to draw pictures, why Juniors are not finding mentors along the way, why Managers have no clue about the latest technologies or practices, why companies are having visions for their products but not for their staff and at the end what we can do to have true Professional Developers in our companies.

As a Development Manager I am going to list some of the lessons I have learned in the last 6 years of doing Agile Career Development:

  • How a company traditionally see career development and the questions we had trying to adopt more Agile principles
  • Developing & supporting competence:
    it all starts with hiring, continues with optimizing the whole department, self-development, game storming, coaching, growing standards, techniques to learn more deliberately, collaborative learning, managing focus
  • Dilemmas and false friends along the way: specialist/generalist, architect/manager, Peter’s principle, career aspirations vs skills forecasting, career path antipatterns
  • A never ending journey and how we implemented the Dreyfus model
  • Career Development metrics: metrics we found useful, patterns, anomalies, outliers and why “inspect and adapt” rocks again!
  • Recommendations

This presentation is full of recipes that have started to work and are subject to continuous improvement in the environments where I work.

Short Bio

Ionel Condor

Ionel Condor (@ionel_condor) is a passionate software professional working in this industry since 1998. He likes to apply & promote healthy engineering practices and project management that make sense, clean code, scalable solutions,all driven by self-org teams that continuously improve their abilities and skills. He started as a Java developer and very soon in his career he has been given the chance to act as a lead. He worked with many teams spread across multiple countries and from the early days of his career he has been involved in all the aspects of building and growing teams. He truly believes that a technical manager needs to keep in touch with both technology and management trends, he likes to read and review books and also to blog and tweet about growing software teams. Ionel’s favorite activity is to act as an Engineering Manager (7 years of experience and counting), currently for SDL Language Technologies, based in Cluj, Romania. Ionel is married and has a 2 years daughter. He likes Italian music, medicine and evangelical theology.

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