patkua@work

The intersection of technology and leadership

About

Who am I?

I am Chief Scientist and former CTO at N26. During this time, I helped bring the tech team into a better proportion of the organisation for a “tech company”. Knowing that the rest of the organisation was experiencing hypergrowth, I had to quickly grow the tech team to bring a sustainable pace to evolving software systems and to allow us to focus on building out new capabilities. This meant accelerating hiring, onboarding and structures to scale Product & Tech from 70 people to almost 400 people in under two years. During my time, we moved from building systems only in Berlin to two other healthy development hubs in New York and Berlin. My deep understanding and history in software led to the creation of a Target Operating Model, an architecture decision record for organisations.

Before this I worked for almost 14 years at ThoughtWorks as a Principal Technical Consultant. I played a variety of roles (Developer, Trainer, Technical and Organisational Coach, Tech Lead, Architect) in a variety of organisations from startups (20+ people) to the supremely large organisations (10K+ people). I have worked across a variety of industries from retail, travel, industrial production, finance, telecommunications, and government.

I draw upon a background of systems thinking, lean/agile theories, learning theories and hands-on development to bring a unique perspective tightly blending technical, organisational and leadership concerns. To this end, you may be interested in some of the books I have written around these topics.

What I do?

Lead, Manage and Advise organisations

I have helped many organisations improve their own internal engineering organisations, through uncovering organisational system constraints, highlighting missing or unbalanced capabilities, or restructuring organisation structure and development process to improve the quality and flow of building software.

Lead system development

I still enjoy architecting, building systems through leading development teams (my background mostly in Java, Kotlin, Ruby and JavaScript development) where I have practised elements of Continuous Delivery & Extreme Programming since the early 2000s. I work with organisations building Evolutionary Architectures, enabling continuous change to business critical systems.

My experience with business critical systems across a variety of industries also gives me a good basis to run Architectural Assessments.

Train, mentor and coach

I have worked as a coach for Technical Leaders in a wide variety of places, and developed a 2-day training course focusing on building skills and experience for Tech Leads. I regularly run this sold-out course several times a year for Tech Leads that is suitable for potential, new or existing Tech Leads, Engineering Managers, or Architects. I have also built and run several training courses from TDD, Continuous Delivery, agile planning and estimating and skills for Project Managers.

Hold keynotes and speeches

I enjoy sharing my knowledge and developing other people, holding talks at internal and external conferences across the world. As of June 2017, Lanyrd had me presenting at 41 events across 13 countries around the world. I have held several keynotes at a number of conferences, with the largest being 2500 people, and even won an award for the best Architecture in Practice Presentation at SATURN 2016.

Contact Me

You can contact me at the following address: emailpat _at_ thekua.com or via LinkedIn. I’m also on twitter @patkua (since 2009).

Content on this site

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. You may reuse and redistribute any of this information as long as you attribute it correctly.

Creative Commons License

6 Comments

  1. hey there,

    stumbled onto your terrific blog while googling for good coffee in the Bayswater area as I’m missing a goooood barista coffee : ) you sure have eaten all around the place! heheh … but I couldn’t see your profile but I’m guessing you’re also a western chinese in London! 🙂 and you also appreciate good food 🙂 … drop me a note! … maybe we can chat online and check out some foodie places!

  2. Hi,

    First of all can I say thanks for your terrific blog. I also write about my life in Pune for the website http://www.punekar.in. Could I ask for permission to use your photo of the Sigree sign on our website (I have recently written a review of the place)?

    All the best,

    Anna

  3. Hi Anna,

    Of course you can use the photo. Thanks. for your comment.

  4. Hi Patrick,

    Couldn’t find a “contact me” so here goes:

    I’ve been following your blog for a while (through PlantTW syndication), and I really like the content. I’ve been living in the world of automation for a few years now, and like the comment I put today on tests in a continouts build, I relate.

    Today I work at Typemock, on unit testing tools (a natural path for me). I’d like to remain in contact with you (apart from being a passive blog reader:). There’s a lot of stuff we do we’d like expert opinions on, especially tools we’re currently working on and are not out yet.

    If you’re interested, let me know. I’ll be happy to have you onboard.

    Thanks for your time,
    Gil Zilberfeld

    Typemock.

  5. Hello, I tried to buy your book on https://leanpub.com/ but the site make an error or block (without explication) when I try to pay, by visa or paypal (bad ecommerce experience ! perhaps it doesn’t accept french card ?). Can I buy it in another place ? Thks

  6. Hi Patrick, thanks for your work and all your useful articles. I would like to ask you a question about being a Tech Lead across multiple teams. I am working for a young company where the work is spread across 3 teams. We are using an enterprise CMS (Adobe AEM) and because I have been working on this product since 2011I became a TL for all these teams, helping theme to maintain and create new functionalities that are fully working and compatible for AEM. Could you please help me to understand how I can be a Tech Lead not just for one team but for multiple teams? One of the thing I am finding really difficult is to find time to actually write code. Also my fear is that I could easily become a blocker for them or a single point of failure. thanks in advance for your time

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