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Ossification and Software Delivery

Computer science is a mathematical, binary discipline that considers ideas such as efficiency, performance and logic. Yet software development is much more than those things when taken in context with the wider problem of creating a solution to a given problem. Coding requires creativity, imagination and innovation to be truly effective, so what things in our industry contribute to that and what factors create an environment where the process becomes harder, more rigid and inflexible?

The Cultural Tension of Software Teams

How does the language used to describe software development affect different teams? What assumptions do we make in our enthusing about DevOps, shipping or sprints that exclude or neglect developers who work in a capacity that is slow to adopt these best practices and what are the risks in ignoring those disparities? Understanding and measuring the relationship between our industry's language and its effect on our people directly affects our teams' engagement and productivity.

Signals and Noise: Cultural Safety in Teams

What are the conditions within a team dynamic that contribute to a feeling of safety and respect? The signals being sent to a team can affect how a team culture is perceived, for better or worse. Ensuring the formal ethos is congruent with the informal messages picked up by a team has a huge impact on how that team works together, shares information and volunteers ownership and accountability.

Accountability and Defence

Asking for immediate explanations for mistakes forces your people to come up with a justification they don't have and you'll engender defensive reactions for all future interactions. You need to stop.

Meta-feedback

Feedback is crucial to building any team dynamic and in helping your people achieve their goals. But how can you measure how effective your comments to your team are and how can you be sure you're contributing to a stronger team dynamic; not damaging it?

Departing Thoughts

There are lots of things individuals within a team can do to contribute to a generative culture. Following a change of role for me recently, here are some thoughts I put together for my former team.