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Will Larson

28 Podcast Episodes

Latest 18 Sep 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Will Larson (Calm)

StaffEng

Please note that this episode contains brief mention of suicide.Today's guest needs no introduction! Of course, they will get one anyway:Will Larson is the CTO of Calm and has worked at Stripe, Uber, and Digg. He is also an author and has written two books, one of which is on Staff Engineering and serves as the inspiration for this podcast! In our conversation with Will, we discuss one of his earliest blog posts on a catastrophic launch at Digg and why he felt it was important to write about his experiences. We talk with Will about the expanding role of Staff Engineers and how that is affected by the rate of change in the field of startups and technology companies as a whole. Later, we explore the tracks of technical leadership and management within technology companies and the pros and cons of the pendulum model. Will shares what he’s learned about the skills needed for leadership positions and why working with a team of managers versus a team of engineers requires a completely different skillset. After that, we talk about Will’s career in writing and public speaking. We loved having Will on the show, so join us for engaging conversation spanning many topics from the potential for leadership in technology companies to the joy of writing!LinksWill Larson on LinkedInWill Larson on GithubWill Larson on AmazonIrrational ExuberanceCalmStaff Engineer: Leadership beyond the management trackAn Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering ManagementDigg's v4 launch: an optimism born of necessityHigh Output ManagementThe Engineer/Manager Pendulum

48mins

29 Jun 2021

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Will Larson on the path of the senior engineer

Lead Time Chats

Jean Hsu, VP of Engineering at Range, talks to Will Larson, CTO at Calm, about getting into management early in his career and how it impacted his professional evolution and his books An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management and Staff Engineer: Leadership Beyond the Management Track.Jean and Will discuss: Negotiating their first tech jobs (or not negotiating their first tech jobs)The false expectation that the staff engineering route will be more predictable than the management routeHow getting external support is keyIncreasing difficulty of switching between the paths as you become more seniorHow to approach non-work work (books, talks, blog posts, etc).

24mins

27 May 2021

Similar People

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Calm’s Will Larson on how to build a technical leadership career

Inside Intercom Podcast

There are plenty of resources and advice on unlocking the secrets of the engineering management career path. But what if the manager role is not for you? Calm’s Will Larson chats to Intercom's Brian Scanlan about the road beyond Senior engineer.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

38mins

22 Apr 2021

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Defining The Role Of Staff Engineer w/ Will Larson of Calm

Dev Interrupted

We’re tackling one of the most ambiguous and subjective roles in the software engineering career path, the Staff Engineer. Many companies don’t even have this role, and the ones that do have a hard time defining exactly what it means. Will Larson, the CTO of Calm, and author of the new book, Staff Engineer: Leadership Beyond the Management Track, joins us to share his research on what a staff engineer actually is. Join the Dev Interrupted Discord Community: discord.gg/devinterruptedVisit the Dev Interrupted Website: devinterrupted.com/Book a ►► LinearB DemoHave 60 seconds? Review the show on Apple Podcasts

28mins

6 Apr 2021

Most Popular

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Spend Time On What Matters with Will Larson CTO @ Calm #30

The Engineering Leadership Podcast

Will Larson CTO @ Calm shares with us how to focus your time on what actually matters. You’ll hear about many of the common traps engineering leaders fall into and his frameworks to help you better target your time to focus on long-term, high-impact work. "A lot of times they'll be like, 'Oh no one's working on this... I can make a huge improvement here!' But then they'll get signals from leadership that 'Actually this isn't valued...' And so I think it's really important to understand what SHOULD be valuable, and then understand what IS actually valued, and then make your own decisions based on that in terms of where you want to put your time." WILL LARSON, CTO @ CALM Will previously working at places like Stripe, Uber, and Digg. He's been writing on his blog, Irrational Exuberance, since 2007 with 600+ different posts covering tons of topics on engineering leadership, management and career. He is also the author of “An Elegant Puzzle” and his *NEW* book “Staff Engineer: Leadership Beyond the Management Track” Follow Will on Twitter @Lethain Here is the interview Will referenced with Aaron Suggs (engineering sponsorship & being a ‘frequent first follower’) SHOWNOTES When Will confronted the existential question “Am I actually working on what matters?” (3:56) Where most people go wrong when evaluating how they spend their time (8:52) How to focus on long-term impact and avoid short-term “snacks” & “preening” (10:12) How to navigate a company that recognizes high visibility work over high-impact work (13:12) How to mitigate & reduce status-chasing in your teams (16:09) What high-visibility, low impact work looks like with engineering leaders (18:20) “Chasing Ghosts” and the trap of projecting familiarity onto problems (20:59) How to catch yourself “chasing ghosts” (27:31) Focus on what really matters by seeking the “existential issues” & where there’s “Room AND Attention” (32:10) How to identify and anticipate future existential issues with the “Iterative Elimination Tournament” (35:28) Creating “Room and Attention” & identifying your unique capabilities as an eng leader (38:20) Get projects unstuck and prioritized fast by “Lending Privilege” (42:11) Why Will wrote his new book - “Staff Engineering: Leadership Beyond the Management Track” (45:42) Takeaways (48:40) LINKS & RESOURCES Will's blog Irrational Exuberance: https://lethain.com/ Here’s the interview Will referenced with Aaron Suggs on engineering sponsorship & being a ‘frequent first follower’: https://staffeng.com/stories/aaron-suggs Will's book An Elegant Puzzle: https://lethain.com/elegant-puzzle/ Will's *NEW* book - "Staff Engineer: Leadership Beyond the Management Track": https://staffeng.com/book Check out our friends and sponsor, Jellyfish! Jellyfish helps you align engineering work with business priorities and enables you to make better strategic decisions.  Learn more at Jellyfish.co/elc Looking for other ways to get involved with ELC? Check out all of our upcoming events, peer groups, and other programs at sfelc.com! --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/engineeringleadership/message

53mins

2 Mar 2021

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Book Review: An Elegant Puzzle By Will Larson

6 Minute Software Development

Show Notes: Buy "An Elegant Puzzle" on Amazon - https://amzn.to/3sWx7aT Some great resources on Will's blog First 90 Days as CTO - https://lethain.com/first-ninety-days-cto-vpe/ Model -> Document -> Share -https://lethain.com/model-document-share/ 11 take aways from An Elegant Puzzle - https://twitter.com/joshua_hornby/status/1347865100242350081 Find me on Twitter - @joshua_hornby If you like the show then you'll enjoy my monthly newsletter, it contains lots of interesting stuff related to software engineering & tech leadership.

3mins

3 Feb 2021

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W.G.O. With Joe Episode 20 - Will Larson

"What's Going On?" with Joe

Were here! Episode 20 and 20 weeks of amazing conversations! I am so thankful for all the love and growth that I brought back fan favorite, my friend Will Larson! We got an update about his house, talked a bit about the new administration and what's happened in America, and the coupe that former President Trump encouraged! Again, than you all for listening. This was an amazing conversation, and Will and I both agreed it was spectacular once we went off air! I hope you all enjoy this chat like we did recording it!  This is W.G.O. w/ Joe, peace!--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/joseph-bartmann/support

2hr 2mins

1 Feb 2021

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Staff Engineering with Will Larson

Podcast – Software Engineering Daily

Staff engineer is a job title that suggests the engineer has deep expertise, and considerable experience. More and more companies are adopting a “staff engineer track” where an engineer can work to become a staff engineer. What is the role of staff engineer? Is it a management role or an individual contributor? What are the expectations and obligations of staff engineer? Will Larson is an experienced engineer who has worked at Stripe and other prominent tech companies. He joins the show to talk about the role of staff engineering, and the material he has written about it. Sponsorship inquiries: sponsor@softwareengineeringdaily.com The post Staff Engineering with Will Larson appeared first on Software Engineering Daily.

48mins

29 Oct 2020

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Staff Engineering with Will Larson

Software Engineering Daily

Staff engineer is a job title that suggests the engineer has deep expertise, and considerable experience. More and more companies are adopting a “staff engineer track” where an engineer can work to become a staff engineer. What is the role of staff engineer? Is it a management role or an individual contributor? What are the expectations and obligations of staff engineer? Will Larson is an experienced engineer who has worked at Stripe and other prominent tech companies. He joins the show to talk about the role of staff engineering, and the material he has written about it. Sponsorship inquiries: sponsor@softwareengineeringdaily.com The post Staff Engineering with Will Larson appeared first on Software Engineering Daily.

48mins

29 Oct 2020

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Staff Engineering with Will Larson

Business and Philosophy

Staff engineer is a job title that suggests the engineer has deep expertise, and considerable experience. More and more companies are adopting a “staff engineer track” where an engineer can work to become a staff engineer. What is the role of staff engineer? Is it a management role or an individual contributor? What are the expectations and obligations of staff engineer? Will Larson is an experienced engineer who has worked at Stripe and other prominent tech companies. He joins the show to talk about the role of staff engineering, and the material he has written about it. Sponsorship inquiries: sponsor@softwareengineeringdaily.com The post Staff Engineering with Will Larson appeared first on Software Engineering Daily.

48mins

29 Oct 2020

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