STARWEST 2022 Concurrent Session : The Paradox of Leadership


Thursday, October 6, 2022 - 11:15am to 12:15pm

The Paradox of Leadership

We, very often, consciously or unconsciously live life linearly, solving problems through logical processes while prodding our intellect to understand life through reducing it to its parts and then trying to put them together in different patterns to try and make sense of it all. But life is a paradox. Similarly, when you’re leading a team, everything is not black and white. Certain aspects are part of the gray area and you’ll have to read between lines to comprehend them. It is not always straightforward to incorporate a quality strategy as there are multitude of factors that can influence them like size of the QA team, ratio of QA:developers, organizational culture, and communication: between your peers, between you and your leadership team, between you and your direct reports. Sometimes in order to move forward, you need to take a few steps back. This isn’t necessarily slowing down but will help you move faster eventually.

In this talk I’ll be sharing 3 key takeaways and their paradoxes: Focus on simplicity, don’t let operational issues hinder your strategic work, and the importance of communication. Which, when realized early on, could help you enable your team by breaking these invisible barriers. I will also be sharing some anecdotes from my favorite leadership book and remember, the only constant is change!

Headshot for Niranjani Manoharan
Hippo Insurance

An accomplished software engineering leader in building tools, test infrastructure and improving quality and developer productivity for industry pioneers like Lyft, Pinterest, eBay, Twitter and now at Hippo Insurance. She holds a Masters in software engineering from San Jose State University and then worked in the Silicon Valley navigating between startups and tech giants. A motivational and influential trailblazer, who builds and implements solutions to elevate velocity, scalability, and testability.