I love what I do, and I love enabling the people around me to love what they do too. I’m also pretty good at it but I don’t think that’s as important.

I’m a career SRE, taking the “Linux System Administrator adds more code to their work” approach I expanded my scope to the application level; stopping just short of User Interfaces (design work still confuses me… except maybe Terminal Interfaces). As I did this I thought more and more broadly about how to ensure products are built reliably; this led to a stronger and stronger focus on education, and facilitating communication within, and between, engineering teams.

Now, almost my entire focus is on psychological safety; creating an environment that helps people feel comfortable taking risks. For a better explanation I highly recommend reading about Project Aristotle1 and I’ll quote one thing from that page:

Psychological safety refers to an individual’s perception of the consequences of taking an interpersonal risk

I do this through many means, some “mechanical” (i.e. good and fast CI/CD reduces the stress and impact of experimentation), and some social (being head of an IT department makes for many opportunities to gain (and lose) user trust). Above all else I make sure my team and my coworkers understand that I put them first; above my boss, and above the company.

The choice between your employees and the company is a false one; there is no company without its employees. In the businesses where I’ve worked the only true company assets have been the people building and running everything; make them want to be there, and let them show you what they can do.

I want to change the world, but I haven’t quite figured out how yet; for now I’ve found I can make things better for the people near me, and that feels pretty nice.

Those seem like the relevant parts: [email protected]

  1. https://rework.withgoogle.com/print/guides/5721312655835136/ ↩︎