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Putting the t in team

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From FrontendConf Zurich 2016
As the web development landscape rapidly changes, good communication and collaboration between multiple job functions is key to not just a project’s success, but to a successful career as a front end developer. In this talk, we’ll discuss why it is important to grow yourself into a “T-shaped” developer - someone with deep knowledge in front end development, who can collaborate across multiple other disciplines. You'll leave knowing how to incorporate essential empathy and communication skills into your daily work life, leveling up your career, and the career of those around you.

Published in: Engineering

Putting the t in team

  1. 1. Putting the T in Katie Sylor-Miller @ksylor
  2. 2. Etsy is a global marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods. 2
  3. 3. Teams 3
  4. 4. Systems Design Development PM
  5. 5. Systems Design Development PM Marketing Branding Product Engineering API Ops Security Analytics Market Location Performance Accessibility Internal Platforms
  6. 6. The web is made by teams 6
  7. 7. Web development is changing rapidly
  8. 8. Waterfall Back in the day 8
  9. 9. Waterfall SDLC 9 Requirements/Analysis Design Front End Dev Back End Dev QA/Testing Release Maintenance
  10. 10. Agile Now 10
  11. 11. 11 Agile Methodology
  12. 12. The Agile Manifesto • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools • Working software over comprehensive documentation • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation • Responding to change over following a plan 12 agilemanifesto.org
  13. 13. The Agile Manifesto • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools • Working software over comprehensive documentation • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation • Responding to change over following a plan 13 agilemanifesto.org
  14. 14. Changing technology Now 14
  15. 15. Image by Jeff Pelletier @withinsight1
  16. 16. 16 Front end Design Back end
  17. 17. Changing technology • Javascript on the server • Complex apps in the client (MVC, React) • Designers are learning to code 17
  18. 18. 18 Front end Design Back end
  19. 19. The web is a holistic enterprise
  20. 20. IT 20 Information Technology
  21. 21. I - Shape Deep knowledge in a single functional area 21 I
  22. 22. I - Shape Deep knowledge in a single functional area Deep expertise, plus ability and desire to collaborate across related disciplines T - Shape 22 I T
  23. 23. Which one are you? 23
  24. 24. THERE IS NO I IN TEAM
  25. 25. THERE IS NO I IN TEAM But look, there’s a T!
  26. 26. T-shaped people are in demand 26
  27. 27. World Economic Forum - Future of Jobs 2016 “Social skills—such as persuasion, emotional intelligence and teaching others—will be in higher demand across industries than narrow technical skills, such as programming or equipment operation and control. In essence, technical skills will need to be supplemented with strong social and collaboration skills.” 27 WEF Future of Jobs 2016 executive summary
  28. 28. OLIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING USC THIRD SPACE D SCHOOL AT
 STANFORD MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY DUBLIN CITY UNIVERSITY UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY OF COMPIÈGNE AALTO UNIVERSITY HANZE UNIVERSITY GRONINGEN ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY VIRGINIA TECH T-shaped Education
  29. 29. Engineering Education “The intrinsic value of knowing things has declined drastically—and permanently. To a large extent today, it matters much less what you know than it does what you can do with what you know.” 29 -Richard K. Miller, Dean of Olin College of Engineering
  30. 30. How do you cross your T? (instead of dotting your i) 30
  31. 31. HTML,CSS,JS
  32. 32. HTML,CSS,JS Empathy Communication | Collaboration | Curiosity | Creativity | Adaptability
  33. 33. T traits Empathy Communication Collaboration Curiosity Creative problem solving Adaptability
  34. 34. T traits Empathy Communication Collaboration Curiosity Creative problem solving Adaptability
  35. 35. Practicing empathy 35
  36. 36. Imagine things from another person’s point of view • What are they thinking? • What are they feeling? • What is motivating them? • What are their values? 36 Practicing empathy
  37. 37. Behind every design, every business decision, and every line of code is a person. Empathy 37
  38. 38. • Surround yourself (both in person and on social media) with people who are different than you Practicing empathy 38
  39. 39. PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER ROBERTSON
  40. 40. • Surround yourself (both in person and on social media) with people who are different than you • Read fiction Practicing empathy 40
  41. 41. A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. GEORGE R.R. MARTIN
  42. 42. • Surround yourself (both in person and on social media) with people who are different than you • Read fiction • Play video games! 
 gamesforchange.org Practicing empathy 42
  43. 43. Practicing empathy 43 • Surround yourself (both in person and on social media) with people who are different than you • Read fiction • Play video games! 
 gamesforchange.org • Open up
  44. 44. Practice empathy for our users and our colleagues Empathy 44
  45. 45. T traits Empathy Communication Collaboration Curiosity Creative problem solving Adaptability
  46. 46. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation. PRINCIPLES BEHIND THE AGILE MANIFESTO
  47. 47. Actually listening to what another person is saying, and not just thinking about how you are going to respond. Active Listening 47
  48. 48. Actually listening to what another person is saying, and not just thinking about how you are going to respond. • Acknowledge what they are saying - nod, say “yes” or “uh huh” • Ask for clarity “Help me understand…” • Reflect back “So what I’m hearing is…” • Defer judgement till the end Active Listening 48
  49. 49. T traits Empathy Communication Collaboration Curiosity Creative problem solving Adaptability
  50. 50. PHOTO BY DIMA BARSKY
  51. 51. YES, AND… PHOTO BY DIMA BARSKY
  52. 52. Build on each other’s ideas instead of tearing them down. Collaboration 52
  53. 53. Practice Collaboration • Put your own ideas out there 53
  54. 54. Practice Collaboration • Put your own ideas out there • Share what you know - wikis, documentation, code comments 54
  55. 55. Practice Collaboration • Put your own ideas out there • Share what you know - wikis, documentation, code comments • Look for similarities, not differences 55
  56. 56. Invite yourself to meetings Collaboration 56
  57. 57. T traits Empathy Communication Collaboration Curiosity Creative problem solving Adaptability
  58. 58. PHOTO COURTESY NASA
  59. 59. PHOTO COURTESY NASA “We look for people who are so inquisitive about the world that they're willing to try to do what you do” TIM BROWN - CEO IDEO
  60. 60. Designers should learn to code. Coders should learn to design. Curiosity 60
  61. 61. • Go to conferences Practicing Curiosity 61
  62. 62. • Go to conferences • Read a variety of blogs (Smashing Magazine, A List Apart) Practicing Curiosity 62
  63. 63. • Go to conferences • Read a variety of blogs (Smashing Magazine, A List Apart) • Try new things, experiment, and fail Practicing Curiosity 63
  64. 64. 15 minute rule
  65. 65. There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers Curiosity 65
  66. 66. T traits Empathy Communication Collaboration Curiosity Creative problem solving Adaptability
  67. 67. Design an alarm clock 67 ?
  68. 68. Design an alarm clock 68
  69. 69. Design an alarm clock Design a better way to wake people up 69 ?
  70. 70. Design an alarm clock Design a better way to wake people up 70
  71. 71. Ask why, not what Creative problem solving 71
  72. 72. T traits Empathy Communication Collaboration Curiosity Creative problem solving Adaptability
  73. 73. Image by Jeff Pelletier @withinsight1
  74. 74. Focus on the fundamentals Adaptability 74
  75. 75. Adaptability • Never say “this is how we’ve always done it” 75
  76. 76. Adaptability • Never say “this is how we’ve always done it” • Anticipate and embrace failure and change 76
  77. 77. Adaptability • Never say “this is how we’ve always done it” • Anticipate and embrace failure and change • Everyone fails, it’s how you recover from failure that matters. 77
  78. 78. Your code and your ideas are not you. Be willing to let go of them. Adaptability 78
  79. 79. T traits Empathy Communication Collaboration Curiosity Creative problem solving Adaptability
  80. 80. PHOTO FROM RAWPIXEL.COM Imagine if everyone on your team was T-shaped?
  81. 81. Have a strong foundation In Summary 81
  82. 82. In Summary 82 Cross your T
  83. 83. T traits Empathy Communication Collaboration Curiosity Creative problem solving Adaptability
  84. 84. Put as much time and effort into developing “soft skills” as you put into traditional “hard” front end skills In summary 84
  85. 85. Don’t be a unicorn
  86. 86. Don’t be a unicorn Be a ___________
  87. 87. Don’t be a unicorn Be a dolphin
  88. 88. Don’t be a unicorn Be an elephant
  89. 89. Don’t be a unicorn Be a rat
  90. 90. Don’t be a unicorn Be a sloth
  91. 91. Pictures of humans?
  92. 92. Don’t be a unicorn Be a human being
  93. 93. Thank you 93 @KSYLOR

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