The Engineering Leader

The Engineering Leader is a brand new podcast that I launched today with my first guest Adam Rush, Technical Director at Stream talking about Developing for iOS. The podcast is aimed at helping the Engineering community to collectively raise the bar by sharing best practices that have been implemented by leaders working in some of the worlds most successful engineering organisations.

Click Here to listen to the Podcast

So why me? I am the Global Head of Engineering at Glaxo Smith Kline Consumer Healthcare; prior to this I headed up software engineering at Boots working predominantly across the customer channels including Boots.com and the Boots Mobile App.

I have been leading software engineering teams for more than 14 years and have worked for both small start-up and large enterprise. Throughout my career I’ve got to know people who know how to build software really well and I’ve also encountered people and organisations who make choices that really limit the potential of their engineering teams. Seeing the mistakes that organisations make has really inspired me to want to help the industry collectively do better; and its important because the software that we are building today is going to shape the technology landscape for the next decade.

I want to use this podcast as an opportunity to help us as an industry get better at building software. We are all still learning the best ways to develop software primarily because software engineering as a career is still less than a generation old! Charles Babbage may have invented the first computer in 1822 and Apple and Microsoft may have been founded in the 1970’s but our modern popular understanding of software engineering as a serious career choice didn’t really come about until the 1990’s when we entered the age of the internet.

Software Engineers working with modern programming languages have learnt everything they know within the last 40 years; that’s within my life time. I am 35 years old and I can remember not having a computer in my house. Compare this to other industries; King Edward the 1st created the first modern lawyers more than 800 years. The first double entry book system was used by accountants in 1494 and the industrial age that modernised factories started in 1760. It is therefore not surprising that we are still learning the best ways to build software because the digital age has, relatively speaking literally just started.

With this podcast I am going to be talking to people who are working right at the top of their professional game; people working within organisations who truly understand how to build great software product and change agents who are successfully helping their organisations to digitally transform. The podcast is totally unscripted, its just me having a conversation focussed around current topics that are relevant today within the Software Engineering Community.

In the coming weeks I’ll be talking to leaders like:

  • Michelle Kearns Head of IT for Boots Ireland who will be sharing her experience of working with Healthcare Tech.
  • Dario Incalza who will be sharing his insight into DevSecOps and how he goes about ensuring that security is at the heart of his Engineering Squads.
  • Alex Karp who will be reflecting on the role of the Engineering Manager and how he goes about building high performing teams at Twitter.

I really hope you find it useful, if you do please reach out to me on twitter @stevewestgarth or search Steve Westgarth on LinkedIn.

I’m also actively looking for people who would like to contribute to the podcast, if you have something interesting to say please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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