Emotional Feelings from the Lead Developer 2016

| July 3, 2016 | 0 Comments

Since I move to the Netherlands and start working at Genetwister Technologies I have attended to many conferences, all of them technical. But this year I decide to go to the Lead Developer Conference in London. I had a few concerns about what I could learn but all of them disappear completely since the first talk. It is probably one of the conferences which I have enjoyed more and what it is more important the one for which I get the best and better learning lessons.

It is not a strict technical conference, it is not a management/coaching/leading standard conference: it is a conference to learn how to enjoy working in Software Engineering with your colleagues and how to make them enjoyed it also (or at least this is my opinion). I have never consider myself a lead developer, just a person who sometimes coordinate the work in development teams but after that week in London something have changed in my mind. I never realized the influence I had in the teams in which I worked in the past. Sometimes I just became the lead of the team because I gave a step further when things gets complicated. But because I was not conscious of my real role in the team I never spent time on develop myself to really do a good job as lead developer.

I was doing a lot of mistakes and the worst part is that I did not noticed it. This post is not an analysis of the talks or the conference, is just I felt like I would like to expose my feelings…emotional feelings during and after  the conference. But because I am developer and I like well structure code, I will present my thoughts as my list of emotional learnings:

  • I never give enough relevance to my accomplishments and that stop me from getting better job positions for example.More important it produce on me the stress of being constantly (every hour) with the pressure of need to prove that I am doing a great job and doing better than other people who did not get the promotion I get. Now, I know that I am good at my job. Thanks to Crystal Huff (@CrystalMHuff) and her talk over the Impostor Syndrome (slides here)


Impostor Syndrom

Slides from Impostor Syndrom by Crystal Huff

  • When I am at work and in the intense of day to day fight to comply with the deadlines, to make the presentations for that client, to find a solution to that difficult requirement…. I tend to be direct and sometimes rude. I always forgive myself using the excuse of getting the job done…but that is not fair for the people with which I work. And what is more important it break the motivation of the people who work with me. I will try hard to be kind every single day to the people who surround me (no matter the amount of work of the important bugs accumulated). Thanks to Duretti Hirpa (@duretti) and her talk about How to get engineering teams to eat their vegetables.


Kindness and Engineering

Kindness and Engineering

  • Not deal with hard things as they appear: this is something I have been done many times. Expect that person will write the test next time, hoping that my manager will realized the feature is impossible to develop with our actual architecture, etc… Delay the hard talks because we are scared of the results is not a good idea. From now, I will try to address the hard talks as soon as there is a chance for that. Thanks to Joel Chippindale and her talk about Leadership by the numbers.
Do the hard talk

Do the hard talk

  • I have seen many times in many job positions the sentence “The applicant should be a team player”. Almost everyone likes to say that, everyone likes to feel part of a team and I am not the exception. But what happen if your are faking yourself to get into the culture of the team? Are you really part of the team? Or is someone else who looks like you, moves like you, speaks like you part of the team? I realize that I have modify part of me in every place to adapt to the companies or teams in which I have worked. And I have also expect others do the same… Shame on me! I want to be myself in every place, including my job and I will try harder to encourage my colleagues to do that from now on.
  • Related with the previous point, the talk by Nickolas Means(@nmeans) was (apart from the excellent staging) was an extreme example on how important is effectively work on team. When I mean effectively, I mean team play, not just sitting on the same room or work in the same project or have some drinks after work. Videos of the talks will be published soon but for now the talk goes on how the most valuable thing in the world can be saved when a team work as a team, human lifes. And you can simulate/train/exercise you and your team to deal with unexpected situations, but at the end and in the critical moments the only thing which really matters is people (all of them):
How to crash a plane

How to crash a plane

There was a lot more practical lessons which I will try to apply from this very moment but as Meri Williams (@Geek_Manager) explain in her Be a Brilliant People Developer workshop the day before the conference everything starts with a Purpose. I think there is no better way to build a truly purpose than feeling that purpose.

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