As a former road-warrior, I attended between three and ten events every year, not to mention trips from my base of operations (an undisclosed remote location code-named "my house in Cleveland") to various corporate offices. I looked forward to each trip and saw it for the privilege it is. Now after more than two years of a global pandemic, there is so much I'm anticipating as I’m heading out to LeadDev NYC on April 5-7.

Even before I set foot in the Metropolitan Pavilion, I’m thrilled about: 

  • Being back in New York City itself (where I spent my college years, just <cough cough mumble> years ago).
  • Seeing my New Relic colleagues—in some cases for the first time.
  • Sampling a significantly wider range of kosher cuisine than my hometown provides.

And once I step onto that conference floor, that's when the real fun will start. 

Staying true to the name of the event, there's a slate of leadership workshops on April 5 geared to every level of practitioner—from the people who just want to be better devs, to those who want to move into leadership roles, to leaders who want to learn how to scale up.

Then there are the speaking sessions, covering everything from coding to career to on-call systems (and a conversation about Capuchin monkeys that I'm not going to miss).

LeadDev New York 2022

The sessions that caught my eye include:

  • Effective observability in microservice architectures on April 6 focuses on the observability practices and microservice architecture patterns that align well.
  • Software estimation - embracing nuance and controlled chaos on April 6 promises a primer on software estimation, so you can learn steps to confidently deliver on your commitments.
  • Equipping your team to support junior developers on April 6 discusses building junior-inclusive practices through active reflection, sustainable processes, and a focus on empathetic communication.
  • The Map Book: Visual storytelling with roadmaps on April 6 covers how to use an illustrative roadmap to tell a story and inform your team on needed details, in an entertaining, intuitive way.
  • Blame, shame and panic - how not to respond when things go wrong on April 7 explores reactions to being in the chain of responsibility, protecting teams, and helping them feel safe enough to take responsibility and grow from challenging experiences.
  • Calling out a terrible on-call system on April 7 describes how the core streaming team at Netflix improved their on-call system.
  • What Capuchin monkeys know that engineering leaders don't on April 7 advises how managers can retain top talent by making their teams happier and more productive. Also, MONKEYS!!!

I’m especially eager to hear the Equipping your team to support junior developers as I’m a junior dev myself. Yes, at the tender age of 54, after 30+ years in IT, it’s possible to be a junior dev. And I hope that’s one of speaker Aisha Blake's points. “Junior” is a transitory and temporary state of being. How we structure our teams to help new folks comfortably enter and establish themselves as junior and then quickly grow in confidence, experience, and fluency is a key driver of innovation. 

Wherever you see yourself on the spectrum, you can check out the full list of workshops and sessions at

I can't say for sure what the highlight will be, but you can bet I'll be posting my reactions after the event is over.