Introducing Michael Lopp

This experienced manager of development teams will show you how organizations can be more efficient and what can influence their results. His two books also summarize the basics of productive communication between people of various professions.

Communication is the major key to success. ilu: Jakub Bachorík.

There was once a programmer who noticed that when developing software even the most brilliant people are capable of making big mistakes. And then, he realized there were two career paths for him: learn how to master bits and code — or learn how to work with people. In his opinion, the majority of managers were sadly better at the former, so he chose the second path and later, even wrote a book about it for others: Managing Humans.

In any case, Michael Lopp has a way with words: he’s been writing the blog Rands in Repose, under the pen name, Rands, since 2002. His essays gave way to his second book, Being Geek, which is intended for all programmers looking for a way to orient themselves in their career and in the world in general. On his own, he’s 100% geek with an awesome home office, which is guarded by two AT-ATs.

Michael worked at Apple around the time of iTunes Store was starting, and it taught him to have his own opinion about the entire product: “Meetings where we debated the feature set of a product and you didn’t say anything were meetings you were no longer invited to attend.”

His time at Apple, however, came to an end after over eight years on the job and after a contract working at Palantir Technologies and Pinterest, he’s been the VP of Engineering at Slack since May of this year. He’s made it through almost all of Silicon Valley, and he wrote the aforementioned book, Being Geek, with the goal of helping others make decisions with regard to their own careers. And it’s not just about this topic: people who speak with machines are not always as successful when it comes to communicating with other people (mainly with their superiors and people of the opposite gender).

Michael Lopp. Ilu: Jakub Bachorík

This year, Michael appeared at WebStock in Wellington, New Zealand, and he’ll also be speaking at the end of September at the conference Calibrate in San Francisco. We’re pretty curious about his talk, and we already have a question for the speaker’s corner: “How can programmers and designers find a common language?”

You’ll have to wait just like the rest of us, but you can help pass the time by reading some of his edgy articles. We recommend: Version 1.0, Your People, The Nerd Handbook, What To Do When You’re Screwed, Innovation is a fight and Design Primer for Engineers.

— Filip


The 2016 conference takes place September 23–24 in Prague. Currently, the biggest names are Michael Lopp and Peter Morville with many more to come.

Tickets are still available.

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