Former VP of Engineering, Kickstarter and Engineering Director, Etsy

Lara is an author, public speaker, and coach for managers and leaders across the tech industry. She’s known for her work in website performance, celebrating career achievements with donuts (but lately sushi), and handy questions for your first 1:1.

As a founder of Wherewithall, Lara and her team run workshops, trainings, and give talks on core management skills: delivering great feedback; setting clear expectations; and balancing mentoring, coaching, and sponsoring. Her one-on-one coaching is renowned for its support during transition and organizational change, particularly for members of underrepresented groups in tech.

Lara spent a decade growing emerging leaders as the VP of Engineering at Kickstarter and an Engineering Director at Etsy. In those roles, she coined the term Manager Voltron, and wrote a book on physical device labs. She’s shifted the language and culture around web performance; and through her book Designing for Performance (O’Reilly, 2014), Lara changed the way companies approach and celebrate those doing performance work.

Stages, crowds, and getting mic’d up are pretty standard for Lara. She’s keynoted the Velocity Conference, presented at Google I/O and Webstock, given talks at the New York Times and other major companies on topics from web performance to leadership. She hopes you’ll join her on a stage or in a conference room in the future. Her book Demystifying Public Speaking (A Book Apart, 2016) will make your next standup, or even your sold-out arena speech, all the more comfortable.

Lara genuinely enjoys making humans’ lives better, and not just at work. She’s passionate about supporting underrepresented people in tech. Her latest book, Resilient Management, is here to help those who find themselves responsible for supporting a team of people.


As well as keynoting on Friday 28th June, Lara will be running a full day workshop, Demystifying Management, on Wednesday 26th June.