Was It Something I Said? The Art of Giving (and getting) Actionable Critiques

Emma Jane Westby (Drupalize.Me)
Location: Portland 252
Average rating: ****.
(4.30, 10 ratings)
Slides:   1-PDF 

Bug reports, issue queues, pull requests, code reviews, flame-outs, rage-quits. Most of our participation in open source software happens in a text-based environment. It’s difficult to read the intention behind words, and very easy to misinterpret what someone is saying. And yet, overall, most open source projects are able to foster healthy community that supports their fellow participants.

Attendees will come out of this session with tips on: - a framework for giving useful, and actionable criticism - critique of critiques, examples of what’s useful, and what’s harmful - making your reviews easy to implement (making your time investment worth while) - writing useful reviews outside of your area of competence (i.e. how to review design when you’re not a designer; and how to review code when you’re not a coder) - creating a better “ask” that results in the kind of feedback you actually want to receive

Getting better reviews makes us better at our job—and makes our software a better product. If you’re ready to take your reviews to the next level…if you’re ready to help others lift their work out of mediocrity with their head held high, be sure to attend this session with your friends and your nemesis.

Photo of Emma Jane Westby

Emma Jane Westby


Emma Jane Westby (née Hogbin) has been working as a web developer since 1996, and has been participating in FOSS communities for over a decade. She’s authored two books on Drupal (including the ever-popular Front End Drupal), and contributed technical reviews, and articles to many more publications. Passionate about information, and knowledge acquisition, Emma Jane teaches Web-based technologies online, at her local community college, and at conferences around the world. She is well-known in the Drupal community for her Drupal socks and their GPLed pattern. In her spare time, Emma Jane crafts, keeps bees, and likes to drink Scotch. You can find her on the Twitters @emmajanehw, and at www.emmajane.net.


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