Joep Piscaer

Joep Piscaer

Empathetic ex-CTO who understands that tech is but a small part of successful teams

Oirschot, The Netherlands

Joep is a technologist with team-building skills. As an ex-CTO of 1200 engineers and builder of organizations and teams, he understands, he understands that tech is but a small part of successful businesses. His (unnatural) infatuation with organizational excellence helps him lead people through change, coach management teams and train teams to be more empathetic.

Area of Expertise

  • Business & Management
  • Information & Communications Technology


  • Kubernetes
  • Lean
  • Lean IT
  • DevOps
  • devops culture
  • Flow
  • one-piece flow
  • multidisciplinary teams
  • Agile Lean
  • Lean Change Management
  • Change Leadership
  • Change Management
  • Human Change
  • Humane IT
  • Empathy

Come listen to me, I’m a fraud! A story on success, impostor syndrome and self-inflicted, perpetuall

Hey you! You’re exposed! We know you are a fraud! You’re don’t deserve any of the success you’ve achieved!
Do you recognize the fear of being exposed as a fraud? I do. Even as I prepare and present this session, I feel that you’ll expose me of not being worthy of talking to you.

With fifteen years in IT and a successful career as a world-class infrastructure engineer, a speaker at many industry conferences, a blogger, analyst and technical marketing freelancer for Silicon Valley Startups and a CTO of a 1200+ infra and software engineering company, I can definitely say I suffer from impostor syndrome, and by extension, perfectionism.

And it doesn’t go away with success. The opposite seems to be true, actually. I’ve learned to harness it, spending a lot of time way out of my comfort zone to figure out how to come to terms with it and use it for good. Maybe the fact that I experience the syndrome makes me more humble, which makes me more valuable as a leader.

I’m here to show the little things I did differently every day:
1. How being kind to yourself is key. Forgive, don’t judge. Accept who you are.
2. Learn about your internal convictions and expose these to the world authenticly and honestly.
3. How complimenting yourself and others goes a long way
4. Build a case for yourself by keep notes of people saying nice things about you
5. Self-doubt is a powerful tool as a leader, if used consciously
6. Focus on (professional) relationships, not on technical merit
7. Harness feedback, even it’s scary

With these small, incremental improvements, I now live in a self-inflicted, perpetually non-existing comfort zone. I’m constantly in the imposter zone, because I’m constantly doing new things, learning new skills, meeting new people. And I love it! It has brought me many smaller and larger victories, a career that’s led me to new and unexpected ventures and most importantly, a network of friends and relationships I otherwise would never have had.

Kubernetes isn’t the answer, but what was the question again?

What if I told you that you're making technology choices the wrong way? Instead of looking at the potential of a technology, we need to look at its potential friction, and take a step back to wonder what the question was, again.

The right choice is almost always the technology that is the simplest and the easiest to implement. Rarely do teams need all the new technological innovations at once; instead they just want their biggest bottlenecks solved with the least amount of change. And you guessed it: those bottlenecks are often organizational in nature, not technological.

Join me on the journey, using Kubernetes as an example, to discover how to ask the right questions, and how to find the right answers. You'll learn how technology impacts how people and organizations work, using metrics like cycle and takt time, one-piece flow, context switching, and adoption rate. We'll look at why simple and easy trump technological capabilities, and why avoiding complexity and organizational friction are key.

devopsdays Amsterdam 2019 Sessionize Event

June 2019 Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Joep Piscaer

Empathetic ex-CTO who understands that tech is but a small part of successful teams

Oirschot, The Netherlands

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