Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

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  • Adopting Agile by Increasing Psychological Safety in a Software Team

    To test the agile way of thinking, a software team worked on their psychological safety with kick-off exercises, sharing coffee breaks, celebrating wins, a stand-up question, and 1-on-1 talks. This helped them to increase psychological safety in their software team.

  • The Impact of Testing in Software Teams

    Communicating quality gaps, holding space for good testing, and writing automation are some of the ways that testers contribute to software teams. According to Maaret Pyhäjärvi, we need to think about testing, not testers. Collaboration and having conversations between team members can result in valuable impact that changes the product and the experiences of our users.

  • How Continuous Discovery Helps Software Teams to Take Product Decisions

    Continuous discovery for product development is regular research that involves the entire software product team, and that can actively inform product decisions. Equating continuous discovery to weekly conversations with one or more customers can be misleading. Combining quantitative and qualitative research methods can help software teams gather data and understand what is behind the data.

  • What Software Developers Can Do to Prevent Forgetting or Overlooking Things

    According to Ilian Iliev, software developers tend to forget to do things they do not have to think about every day, which can cause delays or impact the functionality of the product during a software project. To prevent overlooking something, he suggested starting early with automating deployment, setting up error logging, and using lists and reminders of things that were forgotten previously.

  • The Challenges of Building Cyber-Physical Systems

    There are several challenges in building hardware-reliant cyber-physical systems, such as hardware lead times, organisational structure, common language, system decomposition, cross-team communication, alignment, and culture. A solution to such challenges is to apply agile at the systems level, and to architect both hardware and software into modular components.

  • Things We Tend to Overlook Going from Architecture to Release

    People tend to overlook things when developing a new software product or service because they don’t have to think about them on a daily basis. Companies should create an environment where everyone can express their opinion and concerns and encourage bringing up questions to explore different angles and increase understanding.

  • Handling Conflicts by Dealing with Emotions

    Emotions are at the heart of conflicts, influencing their initiation, escalation and dynamics. Effectively managing your own emotions and understanding those of others can greatly impact the outcome of a conflict. Two steps to be taken are to label emotions, and take control and determine which emotion you want to focus on.

  • Approaches and Techniques to Break Down Silos: Learnings from QCon New York

    At QCon New York 2023, Emily Webber presented Bridging Silos and Overcoming Collaboration Antipatterns in Multidisciplinary Organisations, where she showed a worrying trend in the industry of specialisation and silos at the expense of collaboration, shared responsibility, and valuable outcomes. She shared some approaches and techniques to break silos down to work together better.

  • Being an Agent of Change for Others and Yourself

    Everyone can be an agent of change, even with small contributions. You can also be an agent of change for yourself by focusing on what you can control. Knowing why to change matters, and exploring it you may find out that it’s not the time yet to make a change.

  • Debugging Difficult Conversations as a Pathway to Happy and Productive Teams

    Any time we talk to someone or to a group when there are high stakes and/or high emotions, difficult conversations can happen. If we ignore difficult conversations they typically don’t resolve themselves, in fact, they often get worse. Handling difficult conversations involves thinking about the logistics, having the proper mindset, and preparing yourselves.

  • Curiosity and Self-Awareness are Must-Haves for Handling Conflict

    When you're in a team, collaborating with others, it's crucial to embrace diverse opinions and dissent; you need to have good conflicts. Conflicts have bad reputations, but with curiosity you can harvest more positive outcomes and build trust and psychological safety. Self-awareness of your emotions and reactions can help prevent saying or doing something that you might regret later.

  • How Open-Source Maintainers Can Deal with Toxic Behavior

    Three toxic behaviors that open-source maintainers experience are entitlement, people venting their frustration, and outright attacks. Growing a thick skin and ignoring the behavior can lead to a negative spiral of angriness and sadness. Instead, we should call out the behavior and remind people that open source means collaboration and cooperation.

  • Leading in Hybrid and Remote Environments: Skills to Develop and Tools That Can Help

    Leading in hybrid and remote environments requires that managers develop new skills like coaching, facilitation, and being able to do difficult conversations remotely. With digital tools, we can include less dominant and more reflective people to get wider reflections from different brains and personalities. This can result in more diverse and inclusive working environments.

  • How the Hybrid and Remote Working Revolution Impacts Maintaining Mental Health

    Whether working remotely or in a hybrid environment, the way in which we work with one another is changing, and can impact mental health and well-being. Personality characteristics can influence how we respond to remote or hybrid working environments. Organizations can foster psychological safety by focusing on culture, transparency, clarity, learning from failure, and supportive leadership.

  • Kent Beck: Software Design is an Exercise in Human Relationships

    In the closing keynote at QCon SF, Kent Beck spoke about how software design is an exercise in human relationships, why iterative and incremental development is the most cost effective way to build software, and how the overall cost of a software system is directly related to the cost of coupling and decoupling and the jackpot changes which result in cascaded coupling.