Minneapolis, MN

©2019 Developer First LLC


speaking topics

empower your technical leaders and teams at your next event 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

developer first leadership 101

30 or 45 minutes


An introduction to Developer First leadership techniques - covers high level overview of all topics below. 

time management & prioritization

45, 60, or 90 minutes

$250 - $500

A great leader is able to articulate their role on a team and understand which tasks to prioritize to yield positive impacts for their teams. This session will involve hands on activities for participants to assess their priorities and learn essential skills for maximizing their busy schedules. Topics will include: techniques to balance your time between meetings, writing code, and putting out fires, learning how to effectively empower your team, and clarifying the requirements of your role to ensure you are spending time on the things that actually matter!

people first leadership

45, 60, or 90 minutes

$250 - $500

Great leaders put people first.   

We must never devalue people in the process of delivering a technical solution. This session will involve a wide range of topics including: the importance of diversity & inclusion in our dev teams and requirements as we build software, the importance of an effective developer onboarding experience, recruiting for the right things, and becoming an authentic, inspiring leader.

purposeful leadership

45, 60, or 90 minutes

$250 - $500

Effectively leading people requires a certain level of self-awareness.

Understanding what drives your thoughts and actions is vitally important as you lead and influence your teams. This session will lead participants through a few powerful activities to discover their own purpose and understand how it impacts their leadership style. Participants will capture their learnings along the way into a file that should resonate with all technologists - a manager README.

effective communication & coaching

45, 60, or 90 minutes

$250 - $500

Giving feedback, career conversations, and facilitating (non-awkward) 1:1s are quite often dreaded tasks as a leader. Starting with an activity to learn more about the way you communicate, this session will provide tools and tips to demystify these esoteric responsibilities of an Engineering Lead or Manager!

leading without authority

30 or 45 minutes


We must never devalue people in the process of delivering a technical solution. This requires all roles on a team to practice the core skills and techniques to lead without authority.  

This talk will highlight a wide range of topics, tips, and techniques including: the importance of diversity & inclusion on our dev teams, understanding and defining your personal values and how they motivate you as a leader, setting career goals, the importance of an effective developer onboarding experience, effective code reviews and how to become an authentic leader in tech - regardless of your title!

public events


MARCH 2020:

St. Louis Park, MN: Foundations of Tech Leadership Workshop

Boston, MA: NFJS Software Symposium

APRIL 2020:

Milwaukee, WI: Wisconsin IT Symposium
St. Louis, MO: Gateway Software Symposium

Reston, VA: Northern Virginia Software Symposium

Chicago, IL: GOTO Conference

MAY 2020:

Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota Developers Conference

Dallas, TX: Lone Star Software Symposium

JUNE 2020:

Minneapolis, MN: Foundations of Tech Leadership Workshop (pre-conference event)

Las Vegas, NV: Agile & DevOps West

Santa Clara, CA:  O'Reilly Software Architecture Conference


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."


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thank you so much!