This page includes the highly rated talks I have given. Many are suitable for a keynote for an internal event (Get in touch if you’re interested). There are many talks that vary from levels that include everyone up to senior management teams and more. All talks are approximately 45-60 minutes though can be customised to your needs.

If you’re interested in what other topics I have talked about in the past, then please look at the Past Events page.

The Evolution of Engineering Management

Audience: Directors, Architects, Engineering Managers and potential Engineering Managers

I’ve seen a lot of change in tech working for 20+ years and growing other leaders for 10+ years. In this keynote, I will share reflections on the evolution of engineering management, looking at what has changed, what has stayed the same and practical advice on what you can do to further increase your impact.

The Evolution of Engineering Excellence

Audience: Technical Managers, Architects, Tech Leads and Developers

How we build software today looks vastly different from 20 years ago. Excellence in software engineering matters more than ever. Did you ever stop to wonder why? By looking at the history of engineering practices, we can learn how engineering excellence evolved and what that implies about the future. As software engineers, you will learn why it’s important to continue to hone your craft and why it’s important for tech companies to continually invest in software excellence today.

The Evolution of Engineering Excellence

Secrets of a Strong Engineering Culture

Audience: C-Level, Directors, Managers, Architects and Tech Leads

Engineers today have many choices about where they work. A big determinant is the engineering culture – an aspect that reaches across the full stack. As a technical leader, what can you do to influence, change and build a stronger engineering culture?

In this talk, Patrick will explore the building blocks of engineering culture, share examples of how he has enabled and transformed the engineering culture of many teams and organisations and how it can positively change the full stack.

Unlock the secrets of a strong engineering culture and leave with knowing what areas you can focus on, ideas on what you can implement and understand how other companies have built strong engineering cultures.

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Cultivating High Performing Teams in Hypergrowth

Audience: C-Level, Directors, Managers, Architects and Tech Leads

Hypergrowth companies (at least doubling in revenue every 12 months) make for a stressful environment as everything from people, process and culture go through rapid change. In this talk, Patrick will share how he was able to grow the tech team as CTO at N26 from 55 to 350+ people in under two years in a way that maximises both autonomy and alignment.

He’ll discuss the explicit trade-offs in centralised versus decentralised thinking and how he managed to rapidly expand a team and still keep rapidly shipping product. He’ll share many of the challenges individuals, managers and leaders and face and what you can do to prepare for that.

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Scaling Architecture Decision Making

Audience: Managers, Architects and Tech Leads

In the fast moving startup world, there’s often not a lot time to think about architecture. As I grew N26 from 55 to more than 350 people in two years, I wanted to make sure that we didn’t only grow quickly but also delivered a quality product.

This talk explores how I introduced a number of practices how to decentralise and scale out architectural decision making.

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Talking with Tech Leads

Audience: C-Level, Directors, Managers, Architects and Tech Leads

As a software engineer, you will have learned that “naming things” will remain one of the most difficult tasks in our industry. This is even more confusing when it comes to roles and responsibilities for the Tech Lead role. After interviewing many people playing technical leadership roles, establishing a European-wide Tech Lead training program in his last company, and training 100+ Tech Leads around the world, Patrick will share his lessons learned about what exactly a Tech Lead is, and what it takes to make the role successful.

If you currently have or would like to take on a leadership role for an engineering team, come to this session to hear some practical tips that will make you a more successful Tech Lead.

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Building Evolutionary Architectures

Audience: Architects, Tech Leads and Developers

In our industry, one of the only guarantees is change. Many of today’s tools, technologies, and business models will soon cease to exist, only to be replaced by newer ones. Architects face the challenge of planning for today’s systems knowing that the problems of tomorrow will be completely different from the problems of today. Evolutionary architecture is an architectural approach that prioritises change as a first principle but balances this need with delivering value early.

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The Well-Rounded Architect

Audience: Architects, Tech Leads and Developers

Being a successful architect requires more than just a good understanding of architecture. In this talk, we explore the breadth of skills and experience an architect should focus on and outlines the balance of traits that makes a well-rounded architect.

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The Travel Guide to Software Systems

Audience: Architects, Tech Leads and Developers

What do you reach for when you’re travelling somewhere foreign? A travel guide! In this talk, I use the analogy of the travel guide as it can apply to software systems. We explore what sort of information people should document and how to keep documentation relevant and useful as they evolve.

Building High Performing Teams

Audience: Architects, Engineering Managers, Tech Leads

Many technical leaders often focus on the technical side to building software including key platform or design decisions, or finding reasons to use the latest and great technologies. They forget that software is built by people. Without considering how people work together, architectural visions are wasted.

In this talk, we will explore why and how technical leaders should care about well-functioning teams and look at the tools and techniques they can use to build high-performance teams.

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Systems Thinking Primer: Learning to See

Audience: Everyone (including non-technical people)

Systems Thinking is a non-linear way of looking at the world and is useful in all situations, be it at work, home or among friends. Systems Thinking helps explain the unusual behaviour that arises in organisations, teams and individuals. Learning to see what might be driving people’s behaviour helps you improve your ability to collaborate more effectively. This talk will leave you looking at the world from a different perspective.

Tightening the Feedback Loop

Audience: Everyone (including non-technical people)

Today’s work environment is much more collaborative, cross-functional and more intimate then ever before. This environment demands new skills not widely taught in many organisations. Giving and receiving effective feedback is a foundation skill that enables high-performing teams. Individuals shouldn’t be waiting for a “manager” to give or receive feedback and the best teams give and receive feedback on a regular basis.

This talk highlights simple rules and practical tips to guide you away from ineffective feedback. We’ll also look at applying these rules to some examples to understand what ineffective and effective feedback looks like.

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Geek’s Guide to Leading Teams

Audience: Architects, Tech Leads and Developers

The most challenging aspects to software development are always the people issues. Picking the right data structures, finding the right testing approaches are simple compared to building an effective software team. Most organisations fail to support developers promoted into technical leadership roles so where do you go to uncover the secret skills behind this important role? Come along to this session to discover practical tips for leading technical teams.

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