Reading Roundup No. 2

[ series-reading-roundup  ]

🌈 Welcome to the second reading roundup!

1️⃣ Introducing change: Risk based regression (Melissa Fisher)

Melissa uses the concept of risk-based regression testing as a great vehicle for talking about change management! It’s one thing to be confident that the change you’re suggesting is good and necessary, but it’s another thing to actually get people to agree with you 😄 I really like how Melissa switched up her approach and quantified the argument for risk-based testing - some changes can be harder for folks to visualize, and finding a way to quantify it can be super useful for getting past that. (Note to self: revisit Jenna’s Risk or Fear talk!)

2️⃣ The employee attrition spike is here – how to hang on to your best people (Sarah Larson, Atlassian)

We’re hearing a lot about the “great migration / great resignation” in the tech industry this year. As a manager, I’m obviously interested in that wave of turnover! How can I make sure my team is getting what they need out of working with me, and being at this company? To help answer those questions, I did a “stay interview” with my team, using the questions suggested in the article. I set up the questions via Google Form so people had time to think about their reponses and give thoughtful answers, and sent it out in an email that included the context of what a “stay interview” is and why it was important to me. Everyone was super honest in their answers and in our follow-up 1:1s, and I came away with actionable information that I can use to be a better manager for people.

3️⃣ How I Made $80,000 On Side Projects In 2020 (Emma Bostian)

I love seeing more folks talk about money in tech! As I continue thinking about the path of my career, financial responsibilities, and the possibility of eventual retirement - I’m thinking about opportunities for passive income (as an elder millenial, I long ago bid farewell to the idea of Social Security). Emma shares some excellent experience-based insights and advice around her side projects; how they made money, and some pros and cons of trying such a venture yourself. I’m really mulling over the idea of writing a book - anybody want to collab on a quality and/or management idea? 😄

4️⃣ Yak Spotting (Aviv Ben-Yosef)

I like this reminder to be reflective on your actions and think about your intentions. I think his question can also be a helpful prompt before you get sucked into shaving yaks or chasing rabbits - a mindful pause when you’re organizing your ever-growing TODO list or planning out your work for the day.

5️⃣ Shifting Accessibility Testing to the Left (Marie Drake)

I’ve dabbled in accessibility throughout my various roles in tech, and I love Marie’s callout here. Accessibility is more than testing against the WCAG standards - it’s the conversations you’re having throughout the company about inclusivity. It’s how product prioritizes accessibility work, especially if there’s tech debt built up around it. It’s how design and UX think about user needs when they’re creating wireframes and mock-ups. It’s how engineers incorporate accessibility patterns into their work as a default practice. It’s also about education - making sure that everyone has the resources they need to learn and implement accessibility into their work.

Written on September 2, 2021