"The Imperfect Path" with Erica Lockheimer VPE, LinkedIn Learning @ LinkedIn #28
52 min

Erica Lockheimer shares with us her imperfect path to engineering leadership, why the unconventional path matters, and what you can do as an individual leader & organization to empower engineering leaders with unconventional backgrounds. Plus you’ll also hear how to overcome self-doubt and launch an apprenticeship program!

“Whether you're a manager or whether you're an individual contributor, you are a leader in your role. Use the voice that you've earned in the seat that you own.  What can you personally do to create a different outcome. And all of us have that power  in a role that we have.” - Erica Lockheimer


Prior to LinkedIn Learning, Erica served as the VP of Engineering heading the Growth Engineering team, where her focus was on increasing growth in new members and deepening engagement with members across LinkedIn's products.  She started the Growth Team from the ground up to now a high performing 120-person team.

She is also responsible for LinkedIn's Women In Tech (WIT) initiative that is focused on empowering women in technical roles within the company.  Prior to LinkedIn, she worked at Good Technology as Director of Server Engineering, In 2014 and 2015, Erica was also voted amongst the top 22 women engineers in the world by Business Insider.  Erica is a San Francisco Bay Area native, has 2 kids, loves to run and is a graduate from San Jose State University with a B.S. in Computer Engineering.


About REACH: https://careers.linkedin.com/reach/AboutReach

Shalini Agarwal, LinkedIn REACH Lead & Eng Leader https://www.linkedin.com/in/shalini-agarwal-5b735b2/


  • Erica’s first experience on a hiring committee (2:28)
  • Erica’s imperfect path to engineering leadership (6:51)
  • Erica’s career decision-making criteria (12:01)
  • How to overcome self-doubt (13:32)
  • Jerry’s personal story of the “imperfect path” (16:25)
  • Other "unconventional paths" to engineering leadership (17:27)
  • How Erica evaluates potential in people (25:03)
  • What type of support to provide when you’re pushing people outside their comfort zone (27:44)
  • How to create more opportunities for unconventional candidates in the hiring funnel through LinkedIn REACH (30:20)
  • About apprenticeship programs (35:41)
  • How to start launching your apprenticeship program (39:25)
  • How diverse teams impact product and change outcomes (41:12)
  • How to have a conversation about bias in your algorithm (43:44)
  • Final words of wisdom for those with “unconventional” backgrounds (45:07)


Accelerate your growth as an engineering leader at the ELC Summit! Learn from 100+ incredible speakers. Talks cover tons of well-rounded curated topics. There will be opportunities for hands-on practice through workshops (+ other programs),  and speed networking with other eng leaders through our own custom-built platform!

Details & tickets @ http://elcsummit.com

Join our community of software engineering leaders @ https://sfelc.com/

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