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Thread on Spools, courtesy Death to the Stock Photo.

Throughout my software engineering career, I’ve struggled with and against jargon. Intellectually, I understand jargon as a set of specialized terms meant to facilitate smooth and precise communication, particularly in a professional context. It binds groups together: it’s the secret handshake, the side-long wink, the showing that yes, you’re in the club too, you belong. Experientially? I know the ways jargon can keep you out as you feel along, grasping for knowledge in the dark.

Let’s take recent example. I attempted to randomize an error message displayed in an interface. Randomizing the error message would shake things up a bit, make things feel fresh (this particular error message displays a lot). …

These are the (polished) speaker notes from my talk “How to get engineering teams to eat their vegetables,” first given at The Lead Developer in London, England on 23 June 2016.


Many factors contribute to developer happiness. However, as engineers, we’re often singularly obsessed with the idea that our job satisfaction comes solely from solving only the most interesting technical challenges. In reality, research shows that we perform best when we are rested, feel valued, and feel connected to a cause so we can focus on high-priority work ¹.

This talk will focus on ways engineering teams can foster excellent working environments and cultures with minimally felt process: much like sneaking vegetables into desserts. …

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“The Ancient Library,” Oliver Weigel. BY-NC-SA

As a software engineer, I write a lot of changesets. Changesets are an “indivisible group”¹ of individual code changes (“commits”) meant to be treated as one. It’s the sentence of software engineering — and, just like a sentence, the goal of a changeset is to convey a full thought or idea. Presenting a well-thought out idea is the result of practice, honed through repetition and iteration.

Conversely, assembling a coherent changeset isn’t strictly about the code itself. If a changeset is a sentence, then a pull request (providing context via a description for peer review) is a paragraph. Paragraphs, like a pull request, contain interrelated ideas meant to convey a concept. …

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Partner, let me upgrade you

You might recall that the Platform team here at Slack recently released updates to our OAuth scopes –and with it, we added a veritable slew of new scopes. These scopes are more granular and let you choose exactly the level of access you need. This is great! However, we got to thinking, and realized: to take full advantage of the updates to the scopes, you’d have to be creating new applications! What about applications and developers that have been with us from day one?

I’ve just returned home from a week in Houston, an attendee of the ornately-named Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference. Verbally, we truncate to Grace Hopper. Online, we are briefer: #GHC. I’m in that bleary-eyed, disoriented state that reliably comes from existing outside one’s own routine for long enough.

Disclosures: I work at a high-profile startup; I’m hashtag-blessed in that I was able to attend #GHC — an intensely expensive conference — free-of-charge, courtesy of said employer. While at #GHC, I interviewed and attempted to recruit young women on behalf of my employer.

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Admiral Grace Hopper simply does not have the time

Admiral Grace Hopper is the technical HBIC I dream of becoming. Born in 1906, she studied mathematics and physics at Vassar, followed by a Ph.D. in mathematics she earned at Yale. During World War II, she enlisted in the Navy, and was assigned to the computational unit, working on America’s first programmable computer. …

This is a distillation of my ForwardJS talk, “No Flex Zone: Empathy Driven Development”. My basic premise:

Software development is losing sight of what it could be. Technology, at its heart, has always been aspirational — about dreaming up the impossible and willing it into existence. However, triviality in our products, sexism, racism, and misogyny consistently threaten to erode software engineering as an industry. Let’s discuss what can bring us back from the brink: empathy. Empathy for the people that use the things we make, for our non-technical teammates, and for our fellow engineers.

We’re going to start with a bit of a history lesson. …


Duretti Hirpa

Listen, I'm a grown woman with a candy problem. #adultmoneykidinterests

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