What if your best developer quit tomorrow?

What if your best developer quit tomorrow?

He stops by and says, "I need to talk to you."  CRAP! It's exactly what you fear.  He's quitting.

He's leaving for a more meaningful job with fewer politics.  When this other offer came along, he jumped at it.

Blindsided, you have no idea how you'll get everything done.

Finding another developer is going to take forever, and the ramp-up time on the projects is going to take months.

Now you need to break the news to your boss.  He'll ask, "What did you do to prevent this? Why were you blindsided?"  As if your job wasn't tough enough, now you're worried your boss has lost confidence in you.


It doesn't have to be this way.

What if developers shared their frustrations so you could fix the problem?

What if they give you honest feedback so you could create the awesome environment they need?

What if you proactively help them achieve their goals?

What if they never consider leaving because they love working for you?



Tech Lead Bootcamp


This 4-Week INTENSIVE training will teach you to...

  • Delegate effectively without fear
  • Build trust and loyalty with your developers
  • Get the results you need from your team through corrective and guiding conversations with your developers
  • Reduce turnover by giving your developers what they need
  • Inspire your developers by showing them the WHY behind the WHAT that they do
  • Improve your skills based on feedback from your developers
  • Lead by example and practice servant leadership


Bootcamp Curriculum

1. Why good relationships matter: introducing LMX Theory
2. Building good relationships with 1:1 meetings
3. The 1:1 framework
4. Scheduling 1:1 meetings
5. Answering developer objections
6. The truth about correction and feedback
7. Giving gentle corrections
8. Soliciting and receiving feedback
9. Canceling meetings (and other things) without breaking trust
10. Managing your boss
11. Dealing with problem developers
12. Lessons learned from being a problem developer

Bootcamp Schedule

This is a 4-week workshop, with sessions at 8 am Pacific or 3 pm Pacific!

  • Each training session I'll teach, you'll learn, and we'll have a Q&A time.  They are about 90 minutes.
  • Each coaching session we'll review your homework together, answer questions, and work through problems together. They are about 60 minutes.
  • Over slack and Discourse, we'll continue to work individually and as a group, to help you apply what you learn.  We all learn from each other

Training Sessions: May 8, May 15, May 22, May 29 (Pacific)
Coaching Sessions: May 11, May 18, May 25, June 1 (Pacific)


Bootcamp Pricing

Early Bird Price until April 24, 2017: $1,999 USD

When you sign-up, you will also receive...

What people say about Tech Lead Bootcamp

"I realize I haven't invested my time wisely until now." - Michel

"The framework for soliciting genuine feedback from employees is KILLER.  The workshop and sessions have been ripe with "drag and drop" style tactics." - Dan


Seems interesting, but...

I'm too busy to put something new into practice.

It might seem like you’re too busy to take another class, another training, or implement another practice, but that’s short-sighted.  It’s not difficult to imagine how busy you will be if your best people leave. If you’re already “too busy,” retaining your best people is one of your most important initiatives.

This training seems expensive.

On the surface, that's true.  But take a moment and measure the costs of your developer leaving...

  • Advertising costs & headhunter fees (15% of annual salary)
  • Hours spent sifting through stacks of resumes
  • Hours spent arranging calls and screening candidates
  • Travel cost and time spent bringing candidates on-site for interviews ($1,000 per candidate)
  • Months of time spent bringing your new developer up-to-speed on their projects (25% of first year's salary)
  • Years of time spent teaching the developer about your customers, stakeholders and business practices

My back of the napkin calculations shows that if you only retain one developer this year, you're saving over 10x the cost of this training.

I can't prevent people from quitting if they want to.

Technically this is true, but you can go a long way to prevent people from *wanting* to quit.  People follow people they trust, not faceless VPs or even code.  They are longing to find someone and something worth being loyal to.

People leave for reasons I can't control, like how much they are paid.

If you hear that reason, it’s likely not the only reason.  You control much more about the environment and culture than you might expect.  Remember, they wouldn’t have been looking for a job if there wasn’t something that made them unhappy in the first place.  My guess is that if you’d known what they needed, you could have gone a long way to ensuring they got it.

I'm not a good enough manager to inspire people to be loyal.

Nah!  If you can learn to code (a completely foreign thing to humans!) you can learn to relate to another human being.  This isn’t rocket science, and like any skill, it can be learned with a bit of practice.

The best developers know what they are worth, and are always looking for their next job.

This isn’t true.  Everyone finds changing jobs stressful, and developers only do it when they don’t believe their current job will meet their career and emotional goals.  They might tell you it’s about money, but it rarely is.

I'll be unable to put these ideas into practice where I work.

I have never found an organization where these practices could not be implemented, from agencies to start-ups, to enterprises.  Like anything worth doing, it will require effort on your part, but you will not be alone.

I don't have the authority to make changes needed to keep my developers happy.

Your boss doesn’t want to see turnover either, so he’s also motivated to keep your best people.  We’ll explore how you can work with upper management to create the kind of environment your people need to be happy and productive.

How do I know you are qualified to teach this?

I've been hiring and leading software teams for 16 years at global enterprises, start-ups, and my software company.  I've helped hundreds of managers retain their most valuable employees and become the leaders their team deserves.

What people say about working with me...

I require every new manager that reports to me to sign up for Marcus's newsletter and often discuss it in staff meetings. Leadership with a capital "L" is a real part of the discipline I now bring to the coaching experience with my team.

I continue to work one-on-one with Marcus to this day, and I hope I will always be able to lean on him and dialog about challenges.

He is worth way more than you can ever pay him.

Andrew Coven, Director of Content Acquisition Engineering, Netflix


Oddly, I felt like I would be unable to put this new information and ideas into action, and would, therefore, feel worse about myself than before.

I found the opposite. Working with Marcus has been the best form of support I could ask for. He helps me question bad assumptions, brainstorm better solutions, and he's taught me how to manage people without screwing up.

I like the small group focus. I find that the focused attention helps dig deeper into troubling issues.

Jonathan Wold, CMO of XWP.com

I became much more confident as a manager very quickly. Within a few calls with you, I was already doing a better job of working with people and communicating with others. You also completely shifted my mindset on how to build and scale my operations.

Jake Jorgovan, Owner of Outbound Creative

The "You gotta be happy!" Guarantee

If you decide this isn't for you, for any reason, I'll immediately give 100% of your money back, no questions asked.  I want you to be happy with your decision to take this training.  No questions asked.

Why should you buy from me?

My mission is to elevate the art of managing your development team.

For too long, we've made hero's of brilliant developers (e.g. Linus Torvalds, John Carmack), and mocked the idea of "brilliant managers."

I know great development managers who are doing the job because they agreed to "take one for the team."  They left the development work they loved to do a job no one wanted.

Let's face it, the social icon most associated with technical management is the anti-role model named "The Pointy Haired Boss" from the cartoon Dilbert.

It's time for technical management to stop being a dirty word.  It's time to stop believing that you need to just get out of the way of your brilliant developers.

It's time to create the next generation of great development managers.  I hope you will join me.