Catalytic Skills for Developers: There's Nothing "Soft" about These Skills
Being an effective software developer requires so much more than coding ability. Whether you're rallying support for a new tool, negotiating tradeoffs with a designer, or providing feedback in a code review, effective communication is key. Even in the actual code, activities like choosing variable names and designing APIs require empathy for other developers. Motivating ourselves and managing stress are also important skills for a developer. Sadly, skills like communication, empathy, and introspection are too often dismissed as "soft skills," which makes them seem weaker and less important than "hard" technical skills. It's time to change that. These skills actually help us to acquire new technical skills more efficiently, to decide which tools to use, and to share our technical expertise with others. In other words, they help us catalyze the development and application of our technical skills. In this session, you'll learn about catalytic skills and leave with a practical framework for growing them and applying them to become a more effective—and happier—developer.
Compassionate—Yet Candid—Code Reviews
Code reviews are essential for maintaining code quality and helping developers sharpen their coding skills. However, code reviews are also difficult to get right. Many code review comments end up being unclear, trivial, or condescending.
With compassion as a guideline, though, we can work to establish code review practices that minimize suffering for everyone involved—the code authors, the code reviewers, the code maintainers, and even the end users.
In this talk, you’ll learn that Compassionate Code Reviews are not about “sugarcoating” feedback and actually demand a considerable degree of candor. Equipped with a set of guidelines for executing Compassionate Code Reviews, you’ll leave inspired to apply them on your team to create better code and happier coders.
Expanding Your Circle of Compassion for Greater Impact
Traditional professional advice emphasizing competition and ambition over cooperation and compassion has become obsolete. In the modern business landscape, caring deeply for others is not a weakness, but rather a source of incredible strength. Only by connecting to our core values and focusing on the human beings we’re serving through our work—our customers, collaborators, and the community at large—can we unlock the motivation and resilience required to speak up, take risks, and create positive change in our industry and beyond.