33 episodes

As software engineers, we build software with people and we build software for people; to enhance, improve, optimize and make our everyday lives better. Every month I am joined by guests from all reaches of the software world to discuss their unique journeys, why we build software, discussions on a specific software related topic, and we examine problems they are solving through the products they are building. Topics discussed include software development, engineering enablement, frameworks, DevOps, mentoring, accessibility, leadership, accessibility, testing, soft skills, and more.

Building With People For People: The Unfiltered Build Podcast Nigel Finley

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

As software engineers, we build software with people and we build software for people; to enhance, improve, optimize and make our everyday lives better. Every month I am joined by guests from all reaches of the software world to discuss their unique journeys, why we build software, discussions on a specific software related topic, and we examine problems they are solving through the products they are building. Topics discussed include software development, engineering enablement, frameworks, DevOps, mentoring, accessibility, leadership, accessibility, testing, soft skills, and more.

    Ep. 31: ReframeOps - Rethinking problems, feedback loops, and multiplayer collaboration with Brit Myers

    Ep. 31: ReframeOps - Rethinking problems, feedback loops, and multiplayer collaboration with Brit Myers

    Our work could be more fun if…. My engineers could be happier if… Is this the right problem to solve?... Software development is all about solving hard problems in fun and creative ways and asking these questions in the work we do allows us to think more creatively. Our guest, Brit Myers, loves to ask these types of questions and solve them with her high performing teams.  Today, we dig into how we can make sure we are asking the right questions to ensure we are solving the right problems, learning from failure, how to build high performing teams, how we can think about metrics as feedback loops and more!

    Brit was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and has 4 kids. She received her BS in Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon and has recently completed her Executive MBA from University of Michigan. During undergrad she had no intentions of getting into tech but during an internship she fell in love with programming. With over 15 years of experience now under her belt, she is a technology leader with experience in scaling high-performing engineering teams and building platforms across various industries. She worked at Hyland as AVP of Cloud Engineer, at Firebolt Analytics as Head of Cloud Engineering, and currently is the VP of engineering at System Initiative where she leads a team of talented engineers creating a new collaborative power tool designed to remove the "papercuts" from DevOps work.

    When our guest is not eliminating "papercuts" from DevOps she is spending time with her family,  building DIY projects with her kids, or working outside in her garden. Her passion is building amazing things with amazing people, so it was only fitting she join us on the show today.

    Enjoy!

    Connect with Brit:


    LinkedIn
    Discord
    Twitter
    System Initiative and Open Beta Signup

    Sponsor:


    Get Space: Want to collect feedback directly from your engineers? Install Get Space’s real-time survey iteration tool now with code buildwithpeople and get 20% off your first year to get real insights in your your engineers experience.

    Show notes and helpful resources:


    Brit Myers Readme
    Second Wave of DevOps blog post by System Initiative’s Co-founder and CEO, Adam Jacob
    Important advice she got from her grandfather: Figure out what people in power want and find a way to give it to them
    She views metrics and trends more as signals to ask questions rather than definitive answers; you need to look at context
    Strongly values empowering teams and giving them autonomy to make decisions
    Asks for feedback often to model good practices and help teams develop skills
    Focuses on facilitating the right conversations and alignment through process
    At System Initiative, she is building a collaborative DevOps platform to create infrastructure simulations and remove friction from workflows
    System Initiative is described by Adam Jacob (CEO) as if Figma and Miro had a DevOps Baby and it is changing how we collaborate
    Overall advice: Keep focused on the outcomes you want to achieve in software development and don't lose sight of them amidst new technologies and frameworks

    Building something cool or solving interesting problems? Want to be on this show? Send me an email at jointhepodcast@unfilteredbuild.com

    Podcast produced by Unfiltered Build - dream.design.develop.

    • 59 min
    Ep. 30: Creating SPACE for Joy - Exploring Developer Productivity with Justin Reock

    Ep. 30: Creating SPACE for Joy - Exploring Developer Productivity with Justin Reock

    Today on Building With People For People we delve into what and how we make our workspaces not just productive, but also joyful. Have you ever wondered what elements contribute to that feeling of fulfillment in your job? Is it flow state, or the immediacy of feedback, or the camaraderie of an exceptional team? These aspects are pivotal for anyone's career satisfaction and effectiveness, no matter their field. But our focus is how do we gauge and enhance the developer experience? It's more than just crunching numbers on things like build times or pull request cycle time. While these quantitative metrics have their place, they only paint part of the picture. The true essence lies in understanding the human factor behind these numbers, because, at the end of the day, we create tools for each other, as people.

    We are joined today by Justin Reock, an extremely passionate software engineer who makes it his daily mission to help engineers find happiness and joy in their work. We dive into his involvement in the Developer Experience community, frameworks you can use to help think about how and what data to collect to increase developer experience, and providing environments where developers can thrive like an internal developer portal.

    Justin has held roles like Solutions Architect and Chief Architect, previously worked at Gradle as their Field CTO and Chief Evangelist and is currently the Head of Developer Relations at Cortex.io, focusing on transforming businesses through internal developer portals. He is also a part of a movement to pull together multiple disciplines to discuss ways in which we can improve engineering productivity.

    When our guest is not helping engineers find joy in their work he is playing games of any format (board, video, etc), running, reading, grilling, and he and his wife are renovating their RV!



    Connect with Justin:


    LinkedIn
    Twitter

    Sponsor:


    Get Space: Do you know if your engineers experience joy in your organization? Install Get Space’s real-time survey iteration tool now with code buildwithpeople and get 20% off your first year to get real insights in your your engineers experience

    Show notes and helpful resources:


    Theory of Constraints as defined in The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt
    The Phoenix Project book
    Justin’s early tech toys - Atari 2600+ and the Tandy 1000 EX Personal Computer
    He is creating a programable relay system for his RV using Rust
    Other videos of Justin: DevOps, 12 Factor, and Open Source and Breeding 10x Developers
    Beauty of open source is its ability to enable and equalize the playing field
    Internal Developer Portal - A system that attempts to pull disparate system data and put it in one place to make a predictive and personalized space
    The SPACE of Developer Productivity - A holistic developer productivity framework combining both workflow metrics and perception metrics.
    Developers mostly think about “Activity” metrics like lines of code or number of builds but we need to give equal weight to the perception metrics, the "Satisfaction" and "Communication" dimensions of SPACE
    If you curate a better experience for your developers you will lead to better productivity outcomes
    DORA - is only one part of the value stream, it is the creation and deployment of an artifact and captures throughput, but it doesn’t capture everything before that like writing the code, or meetings or slack messages
    SPACE is seeking a balance between the five metrics and wants to tell a story about the tension that exists between the different dimensions.
    The secret of SPACE is it is immune to Goodhart’s law - “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure”
    Gitlab DevSecOps 2022 Survey
    The DevOps Handbook



    Building something cool or solving interesting problems? Want to be on this show? Send me an email at jointhepodcast@unfilteredbuild.com

    Podcast produced by Unfiltered Build - dream.design.develop.

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Ep. 29: Listen To Your Users - The Power of User Experience Design Thinking with Satyam Kantamneni

    Ep. 29: Listen To Your Users - The Power of User Experience Design Thinking with Satyam Kantamneni

    Products are designed and created for their users right? Well at least they should be. A 2021 McKinsey Global Digital Sentiment Insights survey sites that 56% of users of digital services state they are dissatisfied by the user experience.  Today, we are joined by Satyam Kantamneni, a master of design thinking to shed some light on why this might be and to share his insights on how we can create user-centric organizations that leave users delighted while also driving business growth through the practice of User Experience Design.

    Satyam has a Bachelors in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Osmania University, an MS, of Human Factors Engineering from Wright State University, has attended Stanford, the School of Design Thinking, and received his Executive MBA from Harvard Business School.  He is currently the Managing Partner and Chief Experience Officer at UX Reactor.

    He has developed and curated the PragmaticUX framework, which is a scalable, consistent, replicable, and measurable approach to innovation in a digital world.  A subset of the framework is captured in his book:  User Experience Design: A Practical playbook to Fuel Business Growth.

    As our guest says Good Design is Good Business.

    Connect with Satyam:


    LinkedIn
    Website
    Email

    Sponsor:


    Get Space: Do you know if your developer’s user experience is a good one? Install Get Space’s real-time survey iteration tool now with code "buildwithpeople" and get 20% off your first year to get real insights in your your engineers experience

    Show notes and helpful resources:


    User Experience Design: A Practical Playbook to Fuel Business Growth
    Bv.d = m.p.p.e; Business value by design = Mindsets, Process, People and Environments
    The Experience Value Chain
    The 5 Mindsets
    Design is Business - Google Design Presentation by Satyam
    Collaboration Trinity - Magic happens when you have an Experience Strategist, a Product Owner, and an Engineering Architect
    As apart of Experience Transformation, everyone in your organization should be able to tell you four things: 1. Who are your top users; 2. What their top 5 pain points are; 3. What the org is doing to solve these pain points; 4. Knowing how the organization measures outcomes
    You should be collecting 3 research Insights: formative, sensorial and validation
    Formative: collecting insights on biggest user pain points
    Sensorial: collecting continuous real-time data about my users so I can adjust in real time
    Validation: collecting insights around where I have solved my top user pain points
    The power is knowing your user, tracking their journey, and constantly delivering user delight

    Building something cool or solving interesting problems? Want to be on this show? Send me an email at jointhepodcast@unfilteredbuild.com

    Podcast produced by Unfiltered Build - dream.design.develop.

    • 59 min
    Ep. 28: With Great Metrics Comes Great Responsibility - Max Kanat-Alexander on Developer Productivity at LinkedIn

    Ep. 28: With Great Metrics Comes Great Responsibility - Max Kanat-Alexander on Developer Productivity at LinkedIn

    Developer Productivity Engineering is becoming more and more a mainstream idea. But what does it mean and how does it apply to me? Today we talk with an engineering wizard, Max Kanat-Alexander about how his company, LinkedIn, thinks about developer productivity. Using his team as framing we will investigate methodologies and approaches he and his team use that enables happier and more productive engineers.

    Max has held numerous roles throughout his career including Chief Architect for the open-source Bugzilla project and Tech Lead for Code Health at Google. Currently he is a Principal Staff Software Engineer at LinkedIn and is the founding technical lead for the Knowledge Systems team inside of the Productivity & Happiness org. He is also the author of two books, Code Simplicity which is now available for free online, and Understanding Software.

    When our guest is not finding ways to help engineers be more productive, he is spending time with his two-year-old son and making music.

    Our guest is an absolute delight, is a fountain of endless knowledge, is always so enthusiastic about helping others and I hope you enjoy our conversation about developer productivity with him today.

    Connect with Max:


    LinkedIn
    Blog
    Website
    Twitter

    Sponsor:


    Get Space: Install Get Space's real-time survey iteration tool now with code "buildwithpeople" and get 20% off your first year

    Show notes and helpful resources:


    Three pillars of focus for Max’s team: 1. Metrics, 2. Feedback and 3. Knowledge
    DPE Summit 2023 Talk
    Definition of developer productivity at LinkedIn - A developer can effectively and efficiently accomplish their intentions regarding the systems they are attempting to build and they are happy with the systems, tools, processes, and facilities that are involved in software development
    Max designed a metric called “Code Reviewer Response Time” - He will be releasing open source notes soon with more info
    You need to show metrics to the people who can take action on them and you need to show them metrics that they want to take action on
    Always start with the goals of the business or goals of team and if a team cannot tell you or cannot tell you what their metrics should be its because they do not know what their goals are
    Any survey is better than no survey and free text feedback is very valuable
    LinkedIn uses both a quarterly survey and a real-time feedback system
    Using their real-time feedback system they found that satisfaction rating is .5% higher than quarterly surveys
    Two questions he would ask when starting a survey are: 1. Using a 0-5 scale: “I regularly reach a high level of productivity”, and 2. Free text feedback: “What are some aspects of development that have frustrated you in the last three months?”
    High quality up-to-date documentation is the highest productivity driver


    2023 DORA report

    For more show notes visit podcast.unfilteredbuild.com. Building something cool or solving interesting problems? Want to be on this show? Send me an email at jointhepodcast@unfilteredbuild.com

    Podcast produced by Unfiltered Build - dream.design.develop.

    • 59 min
    Ep. 27: Smiling Security - Sentinel Serenades with Laura Bell Main

    Ep. 27: Smiling Security - Sentinel Serenades with Laura Bell Main

    Your password must contain at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one number, a special character and be at least 8 characters long. These directions should be all too familiar to you when creating a new password for some new account you are signing up for. Have you ever stopped to think about why these requirements exist? Today, we are joined by, Laura Bell Main, a passionate cyber security expert who will share her journey with us into the wide world of security, help us understand the importance of security and ground us in a daunting world with simple and effective ways to secure our digital lives.

    Laura has been in the cyber security world for over 20 years. She has her Bachelors of Science in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, has worked for the New Zealand Internet Task Force, as a security consultant for various companies, was a board member for Hackers Helping Hackers and is an investor and advisor for Onwardly. Currently, she is the founder and CEO of SafeStack, a company dedicated to teaching the world how to secure the software we build. She is a published co-author of two books Security for Everyone and Agile Application Security and is spreading the good word of security best practices high and low.

    She says “to protect one of us we must protect all of us”. When she is not on her mission to build a team of 30 million security minded software developers she is spending time with her two daughters, restoring old mechanical things like 100 year old sowing machines and is an avid gardener.



    Connect with Laura:


    Website
    Twitter
    LinkedIn

    Show notes and helpful resources:


    1 Hour Appsec - free application security program
    Build Amazing Things Podcast hosted by Laura Bell Main
    Smurf Attack
    Security is one of the oldest problems we have and it is very human - (video)
    Security is about how we protect the things that have value from other people who have sufficient motivation to take action to get them
    One key tip to protect your self in the digital world is to make sure your email password is very very strong
    Make sure you also look at the people around you in your life and give them support to protect their digital footprint
    “Minimum Viable Security” - The minimum amount of security you can do that takes care of your highest priority risks
    Security becomes a tool to increase sales and is a large part of software quality
    Maori sayings: “Kia Kaha” - Stay strong, be brave and “Kia Ora” - Hello

    Building something cool or solving interesting problems? Want to be on this show? Send me an email at jointhepodcast@unfilteredbuild.com

    Podcast produced by Unfiltered Build - dream.design.develop.

    • 43 min
    Ep. 26: Inclusivity Is For All - Building an accessible web with Punk Rock, CrossFit and Derek Fons

    Ep. 26: Inclusivity Is For All - Building an accessible web with Punk Rock, CrossFit and Derek Fons

    For front end engineers there are so many frameworks that abstract away the actual HTML sometimes making accessibility and web fundamentals an afterthought. Accessibility in 2023 must be a 1st class citizen. How do you know if you are making things accessible for your users?  Today we are joined by, Derek Fons, a passionate engineer to discuss building a community with empathy, web fundamentals, simple things you can do to make a more accessible website and more.

    Derek, has been in the tech industry for over 20 years and has found a home in coding, mentoring and building community. Growing up he barely graduated high school - having to take night school to graduate on time, and he never went to college. His past struggles and overcoming this adversity, has given our guest a unique perspective on building software for people, with empathy at the center. He has held roles at companies like Apple, Amazon, Conde Nast, Everywell and now is a Staff Engineer at Restore Hyper Wellness.

    When our guest is not solving technical challenges and creating accessible software he is spending time with his children, mentoring, playing video games, reading comic books and doing CrossFit. It is his mission to help others be their best selves.

    Connect with Derek:


    LinkedIn
    Twitter
    Github

    Show notes and helpful resources:


    More on Accessibility: Episode 1 with Dezireé Teague
    More on Mentoring: Episode 3 with Dan Degreef
    Helpful WCAG Patterns
    AXE dev tools by deque
    Lighthouse dev tool
    Clean code is easy to delete
    A few tips to test for accessibility:

    Navigate through your app with just your keyboard
    Place yourself in the shoes of your users - if building mobile make sure you test it on a cell phone
    Leverage your built in screen reader utility to test your application
    Observe how your users use your software if you can

    Its our job as engineers to make sure we are solving problems for our users and if we are not, our software is useless
    HTML Links - Make sure you have proper text describing where your links go - not CLICK HERE


    HTML select drop downs and inputs MUST have focus- Do not remove the default outline!
    HTML labels are big! Make sure you use labels properly with inputs



    Building something cool or solving interesting problems? Want to be on this show? Send me an email at jointhepodcast@unfilteredbuild.com

    Podcast produced by Unfiltered Build - dream.design.develop.

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

jbw#0001 ,

A must-listen for every engineer for the ‘why’

Nigel’s introspection is an important value add to the industry, and the answers that he teases out of guests are beacons for guiding new and old engineers alike to discover why they do what they do. As he so eloquently frames, we’re builders building not just for ourselves but also for others and it’s worth you exploring your own ‘why.’ This podcast will help you find the reason.

SWDRN ,

Give it a listen!

Great podcast on all the ways people in tech are developing software to improve the lives of many, making the tech industry more accessible to people with non-traditional backgrounds, along with approaches to development that can be applied in our personal lives for all of us non-tech people. And a cool look behind the scenes of how teams are led and the technical infrastructure that enables us to use our favorite apps and products.

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