An F-104 Starfighter at Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. Photo by Holden Means.

Hi, I'm Nickolas Means.

I’m a software engineer turned engineering leader, and I’ve been leading engineering teams at companies large and small for the last decade. I’m currently the VP of Engineering at Sym. I care a lot about generative leadership: helping teams bring more agency and autonomy to their work so they can build better software, build it more efficiently and find more fulfillment in doing it.

I’m also a student of disasters and other complex engineering stories. I’ve been deeply fascinated by things like plane crashes, nuclear meltdowns, and supersonic flight for as long as I can remember. I’ve been fortunate to share some of my favorite stories on stages around the world, giving keynotes that bring lessons from the world of physical engineering to how we work together to build software.

I live in Austin, TX with my wife Alison, our two kids, and our goofy Cavapoo dog named Benny. In my spare time, I’m into perfecting my pourover coffee technique, tinkering with electronics and 3D printing, and I’m re-learning how to play piano.

Thanks for reading!