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Mentoring - a two way street

YOW! CTO Summit 2018 Brisbane

“That’s not good enough”

That was Larene’s response to when Damian told her “you’re doing a great job, keep doing what you’re doing”.

This talk is about the journey of a grizzled industry veteran and a young ambitious engineer thrown together in a small startup environment.

Forced to establish fast feedback cycle, not just iterating on the product we were developing, but also how we worked on it together. We were both pushed out of our comfort zones to create a productive collaboration.

We’ve distilled some of our lessons from this process into a handful of tools you can apply straight away, whether you’re seeking mentoring, or are in a tech leadership/manager position.

We’ll share how we give and receive feedback, how mentors can grow the technical skills of more junior people, how men can mentor women more effectively, and how even the most hardened “seen it all” of us can grow individually.

Larene Le Gassick

Inclusion Engineer


Larene is a software engineer contractor and consultant, building products to help raise the bar of workplace culture, diversity, and accessibility at every company in the world, and sharing her technical knowledge with the community as much as she can.

Larene studied robotics engineering and has since worked as a computer vision engineer, a programming teacher for kids, a lead tutor at UQ, and a senior consultant at ThoughtWorks. She has run the CTO School and Women Who Code Brisbane Meetups since 2015, supporting and building local talent in tech community.

Damian Maclennan

Consultant CTO



Damian is an experienced software developer, architect, trainer, and agile engineering expert.

He has specialised in building high performance “fire fighting” teams for projects gone wrong, and spent years working with development teams to try to avoid getting to that point.
He is an expert in deployment automation and DevOps, having spent time in the CTO role at Octopus Deploy, and a trainer and mentor on microservice architecture and Agile Engineering with StackMechanics.