The Rails Girls logo — cats and rubies
The Rails Girls logo — cats and rubies

Bloom & Wild sponsored Rails Girls again this year. Rails Girls is a great initiative that seeks to get more women into coding by providing free workshops in Ruby on Rails. It started back in 2013 and there’s now a community of international volunteers with events happening all over the globe. It’s a really inspiring thing to be a part of, and anything that helps improve the gender balance in the tech industry is something that we are proud to support.

This is the second year that we’ve sponsored, and we had some of the engineering team attending as volunteer…


It can be hard to set objectives for coaches. Linking a coaches deliverables directly to the output of a team is neither fair nor sensible yet it’s frequently used as a path of least resistance.

I’ve been asked how I was measured as a test coach. Below is the set of objectives that the coaching team, which included an agile coach and myself as test coach were set, as well as an excerpt from the job description for my role. Hopefully they prove useful.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

Coaching Team Objectives


I recently spoke at the Agile In the City London conference. As well as watching a number of great presentations, I also was lucky enough to be able to give two presentations and I’ve shared the slides below.

Originally published at Stephen Janaway.


tl;dr No-one really likes performance reviews. But giving your team members good, actionable feedback and setting clear direction with them is very important. In my team we changed how we did performance reviews.

Note: This is the last post in a series on performance management and review. It’s worth reading the other three first:

Acting On Feedback

As I mentioned in the last article, we ran the new process for four checkins, i.e. one cycle and then sought feedback from the team. …


tl;dr No-one really likes performance reviews. But giving your team members good, actionable feedback and setting clear direction with them is very important. In my team we changed how we did performance reviews.

Note: This is the third post in a series on performance management and review. It’s worth reading the other two first:

What We Did

In part two of the series I talked about how my team and I took the performance review and feedback system that is used at Atlassian and adapted it to suit our groups context…


Having your team all working towards a common set of goals is extremely important. However, as leaders and managers we can sometimes get far too hung up on what needs to be delivered and forget about who is actually doing the work. Forgetting about the people and focusing only on delivery goals may get you to one particular deadline but failing to build the team effectively and align them around a common set of principles will rapidly cause longer term problems. A team charter can help prevent this.

At it’s heart a team wants to perform. People want to do…


tl;dr No-one really likes performance reviews. But giving your team members good, actionable feedback and setting clear direction with them is very important. In my team we changed how we did performance reviews.

Note: This is the second post in a series on performance management and review. If you haven’t read the first one on Improving Performance Reviews then I recommend you take a look at that first before reading on.

What Was Wrong?

As I mentioned in the previous article, a cycle with yearly performance reviews doesn’t work. Objectives become irrelevant or forgotten, the business and team landscape changes, and people simply…


tl;dr No-one really likes performance reviews. But giving your team members good, actionable feedback and setting clear direction with them is very important. Yearly performance reviews don’t encourage this to happen.

Note: This is the first part in a multipart series of posts on performance management. In my team I changed how we do performance management. Future posts explain what changed and what happened as a result. This post sets the scene.

So What’s Wrong?

It’s fair to say that the traditional way of doing performance reviews is exactly that, traditional. Many companies work on a yearly cycle, with managers setting their people…


Ho, ho. ho, Merry Christmas!

At this time of year it’s a great opportunity to sit down with a team and reflect on the year that has been, and to look forward to the year to come. And being Christmas then it’s also a great opportunity to look a bit silly, dress up in Christmas hats and jumpers and have a bit of fun.

With that in mind, I decided to organise a Christmas retro for the team I’m working in. …

Stephen Janaway

Technology leader, product builder, podcaster, conference speaker, general software type person. More at stephenjanaway.co.uk. All views expressed are mine.

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