March 13th, 2019 | 39 mins 23 secs
career, communication, learning, management
Our guest today is Barry O’Reilly, author of the book “Unlearn: Let Go of Past Success to Achieve Extraordinary Results”. In it, he sets out a process for defining outcomes, identifying behaviors that might help or hinder reaching the outcomes, and then unlearning existing behaviors and relearning new ones. We talk about how that process works, how to use it yourself, how it might fail, and what Barry unlearned for himself in the process of writing the book. We’d like to hear from you. What’s something you’ve needed to unlearn to reach success? Let us know at
techdoneright.io/57or on Twitter at
February 13th, 2019 | 38 mins 45 secs
career, developer, management
Today on the show we’re talking about engineering management. Allison McMillan is an engineering manager for the Atom team at GitHub. We talk about what her role is within the team, how she helps her team grow and improve, and how the management role is different from her previous developer jobs. We’d like to hear from you. What makes a great engineering manager? Let us know at
techdoneright.io/55or on Twitter at
January 16th, 2019 | 36 mins 49 secs
career, communication, management
Developers and teams build up a lot of knowledge about their code and their process which never gets written down and which makes it harder together to get new team members up to speed. Our guest, Annie Sexton, is a support engineer for Heroku and has to deal with not only Heroku’s vast amount of knowledge, but also the unwritten information of many of her support customers. We’ll talk about the practical things Annie recommends to help make this knowledge explicit, and how your team can improve its group memory and team on-boarding. We’d also like to hear from you. Is there something your team has done to write down the things everybody knows? Let us know at http://techdoneright.io/53 or on Twitter at @tech_done_right.
October 10th, 2018 | 37 mins 58 secs
career, communication, developer, management
How can your company empower your entry-level developers to grow their skills and advance their careers? If you are an entry-level developer, what are skills that are important for growth? Mercedes Bernard, a Senior Software Engineer at DevMynd, joins Tech Done Right to talk about empowering entry-level developers. We talk about giving people scaffolding to support them in owning larger and larger parts of a software process, and how to align your entire company to support growth.
September 5th, 2018 | 42 mins 44 secs
How can you learn from an engineering team's failure? Can you take the examples of how others have dealt with engineering problems to improve your team's day-to-day operations. Our guest is Nickolas Means, a software manager at Muve Health, who is fascinated by engineering failures. We talk about what you can learn from studying disasters, how to create a company culture in calm times that will works smoothly in stressful times, and how a successful engineering team communicates using stories and how they handle mistakes. Along the way, we talk about the recent incident at the Seattle Airport, the CitiCorp building in Manhattan, Three Mile Island and other engineering and team missteps. We have, I hope, a successful show about failure.
May 9th, 2018 | 43 mins 43 secs
communication, d_and_i, management
Tech Done Right is looking at onboarding from both sides. In this episode we talk with Shay Howe and John Gore about onboarding from the company side. We talk about what a new company can do to set a new employee up to be successful and how best to structure that support. How can you best give feedback? What are common onboarding mistakes?
July 12th, 2017 | 44 mins 35 secs
agile, communication, management
How can you tell whether an agile software team is successful? Many teams use a single measure: velocity. Doc Norton, author of Escape Velocity, and Claire Podulka join the show to discuss why velocity is not a useful measure: it doesn't explain the problems with an unsuccessful team, and successful teams probably don't need it. We discuss the problems with velocity, what to use instead, and get on soapboxes for our least favorite agile anti-patterns.
March 15th, 2017 | 38 mins 16 secs
health, management, tech for good
How can we use software to build better countries? Our guest, Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt), helps us answer by telling us what he learned leading the recovery effort on Healthcare.gov in 2013 and 2014. Andy will talk about the 6,000 defect backlog he inherited when he took over the system, how it got worse before it got better and why it took a culture shift to really improve things. Even if you can't call the White House to berate underperforming contractors, you'll be able to learn how to run a rescue project under monumental pressure.