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Competence, compassion, and confidence

November 19, 2016

Competence, compassion, and confidence

A talk for Wildhacks 2016 hackathon on building confidence, how compassion and competence play a role, imposter syndrome, and being a designer and a women in tech.


November 19, 2016

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  1. Competence, Compassion, and Confidence Diana Mounter @broccolini

  2. I work on design systems at GitHub (CSS Architecture, UI

    patterns, style guide documentation etc.)
  3. I’m a designer I write code I’m a women (in

    tech) I’m an alien About me

  5. LEVEL 1

  6. As a designer Hmmm which green…

  7. Prepare to be constantly wrong As a designer

  8. Everyone has an opinion As a designer

  9. Design is very accessible (lots of people have a friend

    or a cousin that build a website for $200) Everyone has an opinion
  10. This doesn’t look so hard FREE websites templates! Minimal Portfolio

    Menu theme Fashion site Notebook Hacker theme Many services to use (and for free)
  11. Most people can look at something and say if they

    like it or not Everyone has an opinion
  12. Design critique Opinions Opinions Opinions Opinions Opinions Opinions Opinions Opinions

  13. Dinosaurs Humans Invent the wheel Roman Empire Land on the

    moon Product Design Computers (Not to scale) Sliced bread iPhone
  14. With all this against you How do you build your

    confidence & competence?
  15. Back yourself up with data How do you build your

    confidence & competence?
  16. But it’s so obvious! ?

  17. But it’s so obvious! ? 200

  18. But it’s so obvious! ? 200 400

  19. But it’s so obvious! ? 200 400 500

  20. Always be researching & testing How do you build your

    confidence & competence?
  21. How does this same interaction work elsewhere? Prototype and iterate

    in design & code, see how it feels. Seek feedback & critique: your colleagues may have insights you don’t. Always be researching & testing
  22. Leverage the tried and tested methods that already exist How

    do you build your confidence & competence?
  23. The Boring Designer Cap Watkins blog.capwatkins.com/the-boring-designer

  24. Chooses obvious over clever The boring designer

  25. Doesn’t reinvent the wheel (until it needs to be) The

    boring designer
  26. Is practical with time & resources The boring designer

  27. Must Should Could Won’t Prioritize (MoSCoW)

  28. Strong opinions, weakly held. Paul Saffo saffo.com/02008/07/26/strong-opinions-weakly-held/

  29. Boring CSS Me In my drafts folder on Medium.com

  30. Obvious over clever CSS makes it easier for everyone to

    have confidence in what the CSS is doing Boring CSS
  31. “If I’m reading HTML, I want to know what the

    CSS is going to do.” Adam Morse CSS and Scalability
  32. LEVEL 2

  33. As a women in tech Washrooms >>

  34. I have to overcome stereotypes As a women in tech

  35. Bossy Over emotional Probably lowered the bar to hire a

    women Too sexually distracting Overreacts Probably wants kids soon Won’t be able to handle the pace Will have to mansplain everything
  36. I use a lot of energy with dual track thoughts

    As a women in tech
  37. You’re not confident enough You’re being too bossy

  38. None
  39. And there are a lot more minorities that face difficulties

  40. Making online collaboration safer at GitHub Danielle Leong https://youtu.be/0CLYWi8wSyk

  41. Women are more likely to have their pull- requests merged

    if they hide their gender* *Study is not yet peer-reviewed California Polytechnic State University North Carolina State University
  42. “Everyone should be able to merge, no matter what the

    vehicle.” Danielle Leong https://youtu.be/0CLYWi8wSyk
  43. You be you. It’s a tricky balance, but remember

  44. LEVEL 3

  45. Imposter syndrome

  46. It must have just been luck I got this job.

  47. None
  48. I’m not good enough to be here.

  49. Maybe if I act more like them…

  50. All that does is make it harder for other diverse

    people to be accepted Don’t be a chameleon
  51. And you might be hiding some of the best parts

    of yourself Don’t be a chameleon
  52. Find your squad

  53. New to the company, new to being remote, and then

    I started building a new team I still struggle with confidence sometimes

  55. Right amount of confidence Intimidation Fear Assumptions Arrogance Ability Empathy

    Bias Worth
  56. I am already enough, before 
 I take action When

    you don’t feel confident, remember:
  57. Preparation is your friend When you don’t feel confident

  58. Make an agenda & share Rehearse Walk through your work

    & check it Make a list of talking points Set context Preparation is your friend
  59. Actively listen & observe Choose your battles Back up your

    opinions Remember to:
  60. I don’t know but I’ll find out. When you don’t

    have the answer, it’s okay to say:
  61. Give your best guess, follow up and check your answer.

  62. LEVEL 4

  63. Feedback on how you work

  64. Feedback on your work There’s a difference between

  65. how you work and

  66. Bad bad bad bad bad bad!

  67. Bad bad bad bad bad bad! -1,000

  68. Good, fair, excellent, how to improve.

  69. 300 500 600

  70. Is there repetition? If so, figure how you want to

    respond. Give yourself time to absorb, then ask yourself
  71. Don’t sweat the one-off feedback too much, just take it

    into consideration and be mindful of other occurrences If not,
  72. Reach out to other people you trust for their opinion

    If you feel concerned
  73. Remember to thank others Giving others feedback

  74. That was totally radcakes Aw shucks, thanks!

  75. Good feedback gives people a path forward Giving others feedback

  76. That’s wrong

  77. I think this would work better with…


  79. Change is the only constant In the tech industry

  80. Try and enjoy it!

  81. Don’t forget to turn back around and help the next

    person in line. When you get to where you’re going
  82. When you get to where you’re going, Tim McGraw A

    country singer (I’m not really into country music) I just copied this quote from someone at ElaConf Don’t forget to turn back around and help the next person in line.
  83. Thank you. Diana Mounter @broccolini Thanks to Space Invaders and

    Loren Schmidt for design inspiration, and to the speakers at ElaConf 2016 for all their inspiring talks.