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Justin Aschenbener

Engineering manager II, Samsara Inc

At Samsara I’ve enjoyed managing teams that build and run the core product features of the hyper-growth company’s nearly billion-dollar fleet tracking business. Just before Samsara, I learned countless lessons of how NOT to run a company by working at a doomed biotech startup. Along the way, I’ve learned countless lessons about managing execution, growing teams, and making product/technology trade-offs with massive impact.

Yet like many managers, I basically stumbled my way into the position. Also like many managers I sought advice from books, blogs, and podcasts… but ultimately I had to work hard for years and fail countless times in order to hone the set of tools I have today. I don’t think it HAS to be this hard. Furthermore, many meaningful, important startups and managers don’t have the luxury of being able to fail on the way to learning the lessons I did.

I won’t have every answer, but I’d love to share my experiences, tricks I’ve learned along the way, and frameworks I’ve picked up with engineering managers, product folks, founders, and engineers alike as they grapple with the same questions I’ve grappled with. I’m grateful for the conversation and advice I’ve gotten from mentors and peers along the years and can’t think of a better way to return the favor than paying it forward.

Honestly too, I’m excited to help solve some problems!


1. I have a software system that’s falling over as we scale, a million feature requests from customers, and a team that says they want a promotion, or they’ll quit… what do I do?!

2. How can I get us from missing every deadline and shipping buggy code to delivering reliable software on time?

3. How can my leadership team and I work together and lead more effectively?