I’m just on the way back from the Scottish Ruby Conference, where I delivered a new talk called “Leading software teams well”. The slides are below, and I’ll update this post with the video when it comes online.

It’s refreshing to talk about something both non-technical, which makes it more accessible, and something that’s as universally essential as leadership. The talk is titled for software teams, but it’s equally applicable to any kind of team. It charts my experiences as a wannabe leader at the tender age of 22, through to a frustrated manager who no longer writes code for a living.

The talk is centered on the following ideas:

  • we can lead either through freedom or fear;
  • we are totally unable to control anyone;
  • we can show leadership no matter what our organisational position.

I’ve blogged many of these ideas before, but it’s been great to have a chance to pull my thoughts together and extend them.

The conversations that the talk generated were fascinating and I hope to spend more time speaking about this subject in the future - particularly the difference between the actual visible hierarchy in an organisation, and the invisible hierarchy of influence, which is usually much more real than the visible one.

UPDATE: Here’s the video.