Cynicism Doesn’t Build Products

Submitted by Gwen Diagram

Talk Abstract:

How many software products have you worked on that have been ruined by cynicism? Not just scepticism but downright cynicism. As a software tester, a large part of my role is to be a skeptic but sometimes this crosses over to cynicism. Identifying risks in code, architecture and products is helpful, dismissing ideas is not, especially as this behaviour can rapidly spread. What if the team becomes cynical? How can we break out of the cycle and actually start building software?

It’s very common for a team to pick up a piece of software and look at what has been written and decide, it’s simply trash. People believe that it can be built better. That the tools that the seemingly legacy software was built in have been superseded and the product is no longer fit for purpose. Cynicism for what is deemed as legacy but optimism for the brave new world.

Gwen will look at cynicism, scepticism, optimism and more as attitudes to building products, legacy and green field. She will identify some attitudes that help build, strong, long lasting products. If cynicism isn’t cool anymore, then what is?

About Gwen Diagram

Gwen Diagram is a technology professional from Leeds who specialises in testing.  She is an avid automation evangelist with a focus on testing complemented by repeatable build processes with monitoring. She has had varied roles throughout her career including Scrum Master at a Start Up, Engineering Manager at a bank and DevOps kid at a large Financial Services organisation.

As a strong believer in making the tech industry as open and punk as possible, she co-organises a twice yearly free day long testing conference called the Leeds Testing Atelier.  She speaks regularly at local meet-up groups, Agile Yorkshire and Leeds DevOps, duels with creative types at events like the Tech Off, speaks internationally at conferences such as Nordic Testing Days in Tallinn and was the closing keynote at Agile on the Beach in Falmouth, UK in 2018. Outside of work, you will usually find her hanging around a Natural History Museum somewhere in the world marvelling at how incredibly excellent dinosaurs are, feeding pigeons or ducks or obsessing over transport.