Posts in tech culture
On cultural stagnation

A key aspect of resilience engineering is being able to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. For a culture or organization to be resilient, it needs to be able to change as well. The attitude of “we’ve always done it this way” is harmful whether it is applied to technology or culture.

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On core skills and senior engineering

We need to start referring to these types of skills as "core" skills rather than "soft" skills, because they are the core of successful, mature engineering. We need to stop viewing them as nice to have and start seeing them as mandatory, and we need to stop hiring and promoting people who don't have them. Tolerating antisocial, biased, or abusive behavior from people just because they can write good code does this industry and everyone in it a disservice.

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On failure and resilience

It can be a challenge if you're starting with or coming from a "blame and train" or "blame and shame" culture to a "blameless" or "blame-aware" one, but the focus on desired outcome and how people can work together to help resolve a situation in the moment as well as make the systems involved better equipped to handle situations in the future, can do wonders for system and organizational resilience.

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On being thankful at work

I wanted to make sure I was being mindful and deliberate about how I interact with the people around me. Am I choosing to act in ways that I know will be beneficial to my coworkers? It takes time to develop trust and empathy in a new group, but there are a couple questions you can ask yourself to help understand how to better work and interact with the new people around you.

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On giving and receiving feedback

Giving and receiving feedback can both be quite tricky - these are the squishy, interpersonal, feelings sorts of things that we're not necessarily the best at. But these interpersonal skills are part of what differentiate mature or senior engineers, so it's important that we practice them whenever we can.

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blog, tech cultureRyn Daniels
On conversations

In meetings, conversations, and conferences, time and attention are finite resources. I would love for people who have had so many opportunities to speak already given to them to think about what they are taking away from our collective conversations by continuing to dominate them, and to maybe take a step back and suggest someone else for that opportunity to speak instead.

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On showing up to the table

Think about the meetings that you’re in, the tables that you sit at, and I want you to count how many of the people sitting at those tables are people like you. And then ask yourself what you can do to make the tables you sit at more inclusive of and welcoming to people who aren’t like you.

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On breaking out of echo chambers

I know that it can feel awkward to start moving outside of your normal circles and comfort zone. But don't expect other people to do this work for you for free as their second or third shift. Let's all help to make our community a stronger and more diverse one, but please don't ask the marginalized individuals in our community to do all the heavy lifting.

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On distributed teams and (not) being remote

Not only are there benefits for individual employees by allowing them to work wherever is best for them, allowing for remote workers allows access to a bigger pool of candidates. It's time for companies and hiring managers to take a good look at their cultures and job requirements. What things are actually required to do a particular job well?

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