Balancing fast-paced innovation and technical debt



In this talk Allan will tackle the topic of balancing the desires of engineering teams to build innovative products at a fast pace while at the same time avoiding building up an unhealthy amount of technical debt. Too much innovation and engineering teams can lose focus on their customer and product-market fit while too much technical debt can crush the strongest of engineering teams with continual firefighting. Achieving the right balance is a skill that engineering leaders need to work on continuously to have healthy and productive teams. Allan will share his techniques that have helped scale teams at Cisco, Zynga, ServiceNow, and Slack.


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Allan Leinwand
SVP Engineering @ Slack

Allan Leinwand is responsible for engineering and operations at Slack.

Before joining Slack, Allan was Chief Technology Officer at ServiceNow, where he was responsible for overseeing all technical aspects and strategy. He has co-founded and held senior leadership positions at multiple companies and was a venture capital investor for seven years. He founded Vyatta (acquired by Brocade), the open-source networking company, and co-authored “Cisco Router Configuration” and “Network Management: A Practical Perspective” and has been granted a patent in the field of data routing.

Leinwand previously served as an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley where he taught on the subjects of computer networks, network management and network design. He holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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