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I left Kate's workshop feeling really excited to get back to work.  Thank you for motivating me to carve out the time to start working on the training I never received.

public events: Past Events

speaking topics

empower your technical leaders and teams at your next event (live or virtual) with an entertaining and informative workshop or talk by Kate Wardin

all sessions are customizable and do not include travel expenses

(if > 60 miles from Minneapolis, MN).

discounts provided for 2+ sessions

help! I just became an Engineering Manager

45, 60 or 90 minutes

half day, full day, or 2 day workshop offering available - visit the training page for pricing and more info

If you recently transitioned from an engineering role to a people manager, you may be struggling with the psychological shift that comes with pivoting your focus from computer science to people science. Even if you’ve managed the transition so far with ease, mastering a few key techniques can ensure you feel more prepared and confident leading your technical team.  


This session will walk through fundamental techniques to help you learn and practice skills to navigate the complexities of Engineering Management.  Topics include (but aren’t limited to) giving effective feedback, prioritizing your time, building relationships with business partners and your team, and the importance of diversity & inclusion on our development teams.  


You will leave with a new perspective on Engineering Management and many practical tips to apply in your role immediately. 

a fork in the road

45, 60 or 90 minutes

At a certain point in your career, you will likely be asked - "have you considered becoming an Engineering Manager?" If I were you, I would take this as a compliment.


Perhaps your above-average people skills make you stand out as an ideal candidate to manage other humans? Or, your technical skills have enabled you to climb to the highest rung that your organization's career ladder permits without acquiring direct reports?

This talk will help you evaluate both paths; highlighting the rewards and headaches of management duties as well as a few tips to help you gracefully pivot should you decide to take the leap.

4 reasons why your best engineers are leaving

45 or 60 minutes

Engineering Leaders across industries and timezones are struggling to retain technical talent even after offering the shiniest of benefits and perks. Why is that?



This session will cover 4 common reasons Engineers choose to leave an organization and how you can proactively avoid these departures.

8 ways to build a strong engineering culture

45 or 60 minutes

Contrary to popular belief, software engineering culture is not about the free food, open office spaces, and ping pong tables.

You can sense a great team culture when you observe it, and unfortunately you've probably experienced (or are currently experiencing) elements of a bad team culture. Not to worry - it's never too late to grab the reins and make small changes to steer your team in the right direction!

In this talk, Kate will highlight 8 tactical tips that attendees can implement on their teams immediately to help shape their team's culture!

time is on my side!

45 or 60 minutes

Time management + prioritization - everyone needs it! We all seem to face a never-ending list of demands coupled with a finite amount of time to get it all done.

You will leave this session armed with new tips and tools to effectively balance your time between meetings, writing code, putting out fires, and clarifying your role to ensure you are spending time on the things that actually matter!

the times they are a-changing

45, 60, or 90 minutes

Our software engineering teams are facing new challenges every day that come with the rapidly changing industry and recent events.

People don't seem to be motivated by the same things that they previously found compelling. Organizations are giving up glamorous office spaces and pivoting to remote teams. These changes require us to quickly pivot as leaders to learn new skills, frameworks, and techniques to continue supporting our teams while maintaining our own sanity.

In this session, you will learn and practice key skills to help your team propel through today's modern challenges and setbacks. The topics will be relevant to all Software Engineering leaders who wish to find ways to motivate and inspire their teams - regardless of their organization's existing circumstances.

Specific topics will include:

  • Tips and tricks for leading remote teams - striking the right balance between productivity and flexibility

  • Understanding unique motivational styles - catering your leadership style to maximize employee engagement

your first 30 days 

45 or 60 minutes

Congratulations! You've accepted a position as an Engineering Manager and are excited to embark on your adventure into the wonderful world of people leadership.


As you start preparing for the transition into your role, an overwhelming panic starts to build. What should I be doing with my time? Who should I be meeting with? Does my team trust me? Will my email inbox ever stop growing?

This one hour session will provide helpful checklists, daily/weekly plans, and real life examples that will help ease your transition into management.

giving effective feedback

45, 60, or 90 minutes

Delivering feedback is arguably the hardest part of being a leader.


Eventually, the time will come when someone on your team isn’t meeting expectations, and you will be faced with a choice. You can choose to ignore the situation, hope it improves organically, and accept the toll it takes on the broader team, or you can choose to have the tough conversation.

In this interactive session, you will learn more about your communication style, a simple framework to provide actionable feedback, common red flags to watch out for, and advice on how to quickly course correct on a dev team.


You’ll leave with a template for giving feedback that you can tie directly to a situation you’re currently facing as well as plenty of examples that you can leverage in the future.


I have been very fortunate to speak at conferences and host workshops at many locations across the world. 


Audiences have ranged from 10 - 450+  and consisted of Engineers, Engineering Managers, Directors, VPs, CEOs, CIOs, and more.

"This training helped me with many aspects of engineering management. I enjoyed the combination of content, hand-on exercises and facilitated discussion."


"I left Kate's workshop feeling really excited to get back to work.  Thank you for motivating me to carve out the time to start working on the training I never received."


"I really enjoyed the workshop. The format of the sessions was interactive and very helpful to hear other ideas from participants."


"The workshop was more than worth the time. It gave me my favorite quote of the day: "'Be tenaciously committed to the growth of each individual.'"


"I was engaged in the talk and never wanted, not even for one second, to lose focus on the content.  Great advice for established and would be Engineering leaders."


"This session gave me lots of great things to think about. Last week I transitioned from senior dev to project manager and the presentation has many helpful ideas to make this transition smooth."


"It explicitly brought forward strategies for how to be an engaged leader."

"It was an excellent opportunity to reflect on what I am currently doing and how that needs to change to make me a more effective leader"

"Loved the style and topics covered. Great discussion with other leaders in the group!"


"Wow, great, this was the best speech, practical, this was about leadership toolset, what the audience needs here."


"This was an excellent talk, and I wish all tech managers could hear it.  I will be sharing this with all of the managers that work for me."


"This information is useful not only for managers, but also those looking for a job because it gives them things to look for in a manager or team!" 


"The specific and personal examples of goals and techniques helped immensely in my ability to connect the material with my own life and experiences."


"I liked how human focused and honest the session was. I've gone to too many motivation/values sessions that have a not very well hidden "but don't let this detract from productivity" undertone. This was a refreshing tone."


giving feedback is kind :)

have you attended one of Kate's talks or workshops?  submit a review by scanning this QR code or by leaving a Google review.


thank you so much!

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