On cupcakes and failures

I hope that talking about my own failures will help make it easier for other people to talk about theirs, to realize that we don't have to be perfect all the time in this industry, or in this world. Trying and failing is still failing, but it's also still trying, and being able to keep trying, even if all you're succeeding at right now is getting out of bed most days, is how we're able to keep fighting to make things better.

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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 becoming me-shaped again

I think it would benefit all of us to think about why we define ourselves the way we do. During the years I felt like I didn't belong in this industry, where I didn't know anyone in tech in my demographic, a company identity felt safer than an individual one. I didn't feel like belonged in tech, but surely these tech companies did, so I hid behind their identities as a way of coping with my impostor syndrome.

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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 burnout

I'm going to keep talking about burnout, because we as an industry talk too little about the effects this work has on us. Now more than ever, one of the best things we can do is reach out to and support each other, to listen to each other and help each other.

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On 2017 Goals

2017 is not necessarily going to be an easy year, so I want to focus on the things that I can control, the positive impacts that I can have, and looking for opportunities for cupcakes.

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achievements, blogRyn Daniels
On Wordsmithing

Writing is an important skill to have in a variety of professional contexts, and while there certainly are differences between writing an email to your boss, writing a blog post, and writing a book, there are also common skills between them that can help level up your written communication across the board.

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blog, how I workRyn Daniels
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