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Conor Bronsdon for LinearB

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Leading 650 Engineers with Microsoft's Brendan Burns

Brendan Burns is famous in engineering circles as one of the co-founders of Kubernetes, but he’s more than just a talented developer — he leads a team of 650 engineers at Microsoft.

In the first episode of a two-part series, Brendan joins the Dev Interrupted podcast to talk all things engineering leadership and management. After joining Microsoft and being given a team of 30 people, he has seen his teams double each year. Adopting a leadership style that he jokingly refers to as “my form of punishment is micromanagement,” Brendan discusses how to be intentional about employee interactions in a remote world, the importance of delivering a concise message and why saying “yes” to as many opportunities as possible has led to career success.

Listen to the full episode

Episode Highlights Include:

  • Learning to program on a Commodore 64

  • Saying “yes” to as many opportunities as possible

  • The “meet them where they are” philosophy of employee interaction

  • How to run distributed engineering teams

  • Being intentional about meeting employees in a remote world

  • Why missing deadlines creates opportunity

If you haven't already heard, Dev Interrupted is partnering with Dzone to host INTERACT: An interactive, community-driven, digital conference on September 30th - by engineering leaders, for engineering leaders. 1 day, 10 speakers, 100s of engineers and engineering leaders, all free.

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Top comments (3)

nobilitypnw profile image

Awesome podcast guest. Listening now and I love his joke about his team being large enough to need "2 pizzas" lol.

devinterrupted profile image
Dev Interrupted

Brendan was a great podcast guest - can't wait to have him back next week to tell us the founding story of Kubernetes!

nickhodges profile image
Nick Hodges

Seems like a great guy to work for. The way he talks about intentional communication is an example for dev team leaders everywhere.