San Diego

0111 Member Retreat: October 2019, San Diego, CA

By | 0111 CTO Conference, Meeting, San Diego | No Comments



Wednesday, October 9th 6:30 - 9:30 pm: Opening Reception

Let’s kick off the retreat at 6pm at Cloudbeds (3033 Fifth Ave Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92103). Come hang out, enjoy a hosted bar and appetizers with special guest speaker! Talk details below:

7:00 pm: Why Great Leaders Must Unlearn to Succeed in Today’s Exponential World

Barry O’Reilly – Founder, Antennae

There’s a learning curve to leading any successful venture. But when leaders begin to rely on past achievements or get stuck in outdated thinking and practices that no longer work, they need to take a step back―and unlearn.

This innovative and actionable framework from executive coach Barry O’Reilly shows leaders how to break the cycle of once-useful but no limiting mindsets and behaviors that were effective in the past but are no longer relevant in the current business climate and may now stand in the way of your success.

Unlearn: Let Go of Past Success to Achieve Extraordinary Results is a transformative system that shows leaders how to rethink their strategies, retool their capabilities, and revitalize their businesses for stronger, longer-lasting success.

Opening reception sponsored by Kanani Breckenridge of Kismet Search, Silicon Valley Bank, and hosted by Cloudbeds.

Thursday, October 10: Blow Your CTO Mind

9:30 am: Check-in & Welcome

Etienne de Bruin – Founder, 7CTOs

10 – 11:30 am: The Wisdom of Nature, The Hubris of the Engineer

Aaron Longwell – Director of Engineering, Justice Sector Support Program in Afghanistan

Today’s most innovative teams—those who embraced microservices and then serverless—allow data and functionality to be repeated throughout their infrastructure. The inefficiency and duplication makes the engineer in us cringe, but these approaches seem to work. Why? What if our engineering instincts are blinding us to better approaches?

This irreverent talk introduces concepts from modern evolutionary biology to explore better strategies for innovation and problem solving. We’ll go beyond the tropes of iterative design and capital-A Agile see what software communities can learn from the reigning champion of adaptability: nature. You’ll learn how biological principles like the evolutionary landscape, fitness functions, and robustness apply to software and business. You’ll leave with a new appreciation for diversity, randomness, and junior developers and rethinking what it means to be an engineer or an architect.

11:30 am – 1 pm: Developing a “learnings” framework to fuel innovation

Matt Aimonetti – CTO & CO-founder, Splice

Companies consider investing in “R&D” because they want accelerated and impactful innovation. It’s really hard to focus on delivering short term objectives (OKRs/KPIs) while also exploring risky hypotheses. Leaders often love “Innovation”, but the meaning and expected output are often unclear to set an R&D team up for success. We will discuss what success look like, how to setup a framework and evaluate progress.

1 – 2:30 pm: Offsite Lunch

See map of lunch recommendations below 🙂

2:30 – 4 pm: When your startup needs a VP AND a CTO

Manijeh Noori – VP Engineering, TheZebra

Early on at a startup, the titles CTO and VP of Engineering often have no distinction in their roles and responsibilities. As the company grows, however, there comes a time when one person can’t effectively manage delivery and execution while focusing on the architecture, the business, and the product. As the classic contrast between the maker and the manager emerges, it’s time for the head of engineering to choose one of the roles and hire for or promote to the other. Let’s discuss how you know when it’s the right time and how the CTO and VPE are complementary roles.

4 – 5:30 pm: Solving Hard Problems at Amazon – How Amazon continues to Re-Invent Customer Experience

Ilse de Bruin – Director Global Logistics, Amazon

As Amazon expands its reach of products and services across the world, we are increasingly challenged to match the cost/service expectations of the customers in the most economical way.  New customers are connected through mobility around the globe but are accustomed to innovations local to their areas. Those that are in remote areas, do not benefit from the cost savings that density economics provides. However, Amazon customers expect vast selections at low prices and convenience which extends across multiple geographies, borders and regulators.  Our solution to this problem is a robust global logistics infrastructure and in this talk we will review a couple of use cases in our consumer retail division aimed at filling the gaps in product selection around the globe.   

5:30 pm:

Closing remarks and head to Draft Mission Beach
(125 Ocean Front Walk, San Diego, CA 92109)
First drink on us!

Friday, October 11: Dare to Lead

6:30 am: Sunrise Beach Volleyball

9:30 am: Check-in

10 am: Dare To Lead

Leona deVinne – Leadership Coach, Accendo

How do we stand out above the competition when it comes to being innovative, maintaining the highest levels of success, and creating a corporate culture that’s engaged and productive? It takes a great deal of courage and some very practical research-based tools.

We will learn some practical skills based on 400,000 pieces of data and decades of working with all types of organizations for developing brave leaders and courageous cultures. It’s learning and practice that requires brave work, tough conversations, and truly showing up. Daring leadership is a collection skill sets that are 100% teachable and measurable.

We’ll navigate through the top 10 challenges that companies are grappling with and come up with some actionable items to address the top three challenges that your organization is facing. The common thread through these challenges? How we deal with fear. We will teach the skills required to tackle these issues by becoming braver leaders.

Daring leaders are self-aware, know how to have hard conversations, hold themselves and others accountable, build trust, lead with empathy and connection, take smart risks that lead to innovation, reset quickly after disappointments and setbacks, and give and receive feedback – especially when it’s tough

12:30 – 2 pm: Offsite Lunch

2 pm: Dare to Lead Programming Continues

4:30 pm: Close out of 0111 with a picnic bonfire on the beach

Stick around enjoy some beach time with 7CTOs. There will be water sport equipment available to rent from the Mission Bay Sports Center as well as beach chairs, corn hole, ladder golf, catered food and a bonfire!


Barry O'Reilly

Founder, Antennae

Barry O’Reilly is a business advisor, entrepreneur, and author who has pioneered the intersection of business model innovation, product development, organizational design, and culture transformation.
He is author of two bestsellers, Unlearn: Let Go of Past Success to Achieve Extraordinary Results, and Lean Enterprise: How High Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale—part of the Eric Ries series, and a HBR must read for CEOs and business leaders. He writes for The Economist, and is faculty at Singularity University.

Manijeh Noori

VP Engineering The Zebra

Manijeh transitioned into the tech industry just over 5 years ago. Her background in communications and project management have helped her bring a different perspective to her roles as Director, and now VP of Engineering at The Zebra.

Aaron Longwell

Director of Engineering, Justice Sector Support Program in Afghanistan

Aaron is the Director of Engineering for a US State Department-funded project to support the rule of law and fair administration of justice in Afghanistan. Previously, Aaron led the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes’s migrations to the cloud as CTO at Culture Foundry and led the data science and engineering teams on property valuation products as CTO at Claremont Information Systems. He’s an active member of the Go community and is the maintainer of multiple Go packages.

Ilse De Bruin

Director Global Logistics Amazon

As Director, Amazon Global Logistics, Ilse de Bruin is responsible for developing Amazon’s cross border transportation solutions for Sellers selling on Amazon’s stores across the world. She has extensive experience running multi-geography operations and sales teams, and before relocating to North America, Ilse played a leadership role in UTi’s Southern Africa division (2002-2012), managing the largest division within UTI international. Ilse holds an MBA from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and Honors Degrees in Financial Management and Economics from the University of Johannesburg. Always athletic, she was a member of her school's first hockey team, and today she is a keen golfer and hiker.

Matt Aimonetti

CTO/co-founder Splice

Originally a sound engineer, Matt Aimonetti became an internationally known software developer, technical writer and open source contributor. As CTO and Co-Founder of Splice, he found a way to mix his passions: software, music and entrepreneurship. Matt is based in Santa Monica, CA where he likes building robots with his daughter, playing with sound gear with his son and enjoying a good meal with his wife.

Leona deVinne

Leadership Coach

Leona deVinne is a certified Coach, a dynamic facilitator, and custom program designer. Leona works with innovative leaders and teams, across the globe, in a variety of sectors; from social services to start ups in Silicon Valley. Leona uses her 20 years of leadership and business experience, combined with science based research, to help her clients gain the skills they need to reach the highest level of success.


The 7th CTO Colloquium: San Diego 6/26/19

By | Colloquium, Meeting, San Diego

On 6/26/2019, in San Diego, CA, technology leaders and fellow 7CTOs members Benji Koltai and Anup Marwadi led a discussion among peers about code and architecture.

Bring your questions and be ready to contribute. We will be walking through topics and testing strategies on:

  • Full-Stack
  • JS
  • Migrating to Typescript
  • Using GraphQL

What is the CTO Colloquium?

The CTO Colloquium is a series of meetings held in various cities, at which specialists address Chief Technology Officers in presentations on relevant topics.  Afterwards, they answer questions pertaining to these topics as well as take part in discussions with  smaller groups of attendees.

Who is it for?

The meetings are exclusive to the head of all technology in a company, typically the CTO.  We prefer to keep the meetings small in order to maximize engagement with the presenters and therefor we keep it invite-only.

Please contact us if you’re interested in attending a future Colloquium. Just a heads up that these are invite-only events, but we are always interested in meeting new people. 

Check out the video recap:


Benji Koltai

Co-Founder & CTO, Galley

Anup Marwadi

CEO, HyperTrends Global