Pushing Through Friction

Delivered: Web Unleashed 2019, Toronto, Canada - September 14, 2019

Slides

Talk abstract

Things are broken. The deployment pipeline is painfully slow, your engineering team has doubled in the last year and there's a lack of sufficient process and management. You git blame a file that's used everywhere but nobody understands it and the person who wrote it left the company five years ago.

Experience tells you things could be better. You see the gaps; if only the company adopted policy A or dumped technology B, everyone would benefit, but there's so much inertia, the company has always used B. You are frustrated. Can you make an actual difference here?

Yes. You are encountering organizational friction, and learning to identify, accept and push through friction is a key skill of engineering leaders. In this talk Dan will discuss why organizational friction occurs and some actionable steps on how to mitigate it. Why no matter what role you have -- manager or individual contributor -- the ability to push through friction will distinguish you throughout your career.

Dan tweeted a popular thread about pushing through friction in March 2019. This talk expands on the contents of that tweet.

Resources

Dan Na, @dxna