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

Emma Jane Westby (Freelance)
Community
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

Freelance

Emma Jane Westby (née Hogbin) is an internationally renowned open source software advocate, technical author, and teacher. In January 2010 she was recognized by The Google Diversity Programme for her efforts in increasing female participation in software development. She is a frequent speaker at open source conferences in Canada, US, and Europe and has volunteered for several open source projects, including Drupal, The Linux Documentation Project, and Ubuntu.

In addition to her engaging conference presentations, Emma has also worked as a technical college instructor, as a curriculum developer, and has successfully run her own training business. Emma has been teaching internet technology since 2002, and is the author of Front End Drupal and Drupal User’s Guide.

Emma encourages non-traditional participation in technology through craft and believes that everyone is capable of mastering the tools that surround them. To help engage new ways of participating in technology, she open sourced one of her knitting patterns so that you can make your very own Drupal Socks (as featured in CRAFTzine). You can follow her adventures on Twitter at @emmajanehw.

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