Developer growth, Practice Empathy

Leading teams with Empathy -Providing Psychological Safety

As a technical team lead, you are in a unique position to facilitate the growth of your team or watch it spin out of control. You can run it with an iron fist or meekly get overrun by strong forces. You can encourage psychological safety or allow watch things fall apart in a toxic environment.

What makes or breaks a team? How can you bring out the best in the people around you? What can you do as a technical team lead to ensure the success of your team, and as an extension your product? Continue Reading


Capturing Intent – Making sense of code

Picture the scenario: You are staring at the computer screen and scanning the lines of code that fill it. You scratch your head and think: Why?

You debug the code, step-by-step and see a method call that sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s doing an out of process call to another subsystem before the code has completed its job in this method.

Why is that out of process call made there? There’s no documentation explaining why. Moving it to the end of the method makes more sense, but then everything breaks. WHY? 


As a software developer, you might have experienced situations like this. You’re looking to fix a bug or extend a feature and you stumble over code that just doesn’t make sense.

You can see what it’s doing, even understand how it’s works, but you just can’t understand why.

In this post I’ll show you why making the extra effort to capture the intent of the code is so important. Continue Reading


Submitting a Conference Talk Proposal

This is an inwards-facing post, which you may or may not find valuable. The short version is: TL;DR: Do something that scares you. Perhaps submit a proposal for a conferences Call-For-Papers?

Some time ago, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak at NDC Oslo, with a dear friend and colleague of mine. An experience I will cherish with personal growth and many connections made.

I feel, though, I had the home-side advantage. Presenting in my country of residence. On stage with a colleague that had my back. The topic was in context of my employer, who was well-known for the home audience.

I’m not trying to de-evaluate the accomplishment, but rather the potential and hunger to take the next step. But is it worth it?

The next step, maybe

Fast forward a summer vacation / paternity leave and the speakers-high has started to wear off. I’m curious if I can make the step to an international arena, alone. Searching around I stumble over The Lead Developer New York, and decide I want to try for that.

I take a first step, and ask for feedback on the talk from NDC Oslo. Feedback is decent, but there’s a lot of work involved to re-angle it for it to work in that setting. Challenge accepted…but not today.

A few weeks more go by, and I’ve procrastinated away my first opportunity as a CFP (Call For Papers) goes by. Too much going on, or so I say to myself.

Reality check. I can actually do this if I want to. Then Imposter Syndrome strikes. Hard. More procrastinating. Some interactions, and writing the blog post on Imposter Syndrome remind me of what I need to do.


Last week I submitted a proposal for a talk that’s been swirling in my head for some time for The Lead Developer London 2017. I have no idea if it will get accepted, but I’ve taken the first step.

The journey from idea to submitting a proposal is a tale of missed opportunities, failure to take action, internal struggles with my self-worth, but most importantly growth.

For the record, the title of the talk is “You are more than just your code“.

What’s holding you back from taking the first step towards something that scares you?

Reach out to me directly if you have any thoughts, questions or criticisms. Or leave a comment below.

Cover Image:  WilliamMarlow via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA