Building a Better Web
June 11–12, 2018: Training
June 12–14, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

Caring For Your Fellow Developers

Trent Willis (Netflix)
3:35pm–4:15pm Wednesday, June 13, 2018
People and teams
Location: 210 C/G Level: Non-technical
Secondary topics:  Beyond Code Track: The Business Side of the Web, Case study

Who is this presentation for?

Anyone that interacts with software developers/engineers. Particularly relevant for managers and leads.

Prerequisite knowledge

None. This talk is suitable for all attendees and only requires that you interact with developers in some capacity.

What you'll learn

The key takeaway is that caring for your fellow developers doesn't require radical changes to your behavior and results in more effective and sustainable teams. This will be supported by a myriad of examples throughout the talk. Some specific ideas I'll cover include: - How to improve your communication tone and structure review comments - Building psychologically safe workspaces - How to help teammates grow through availability and openness


Many developers experience “bad days” at work from time to time. Leaving these unaddressed can lead to lost productivity, burnout, and, at worst, loss of a talent team member.

In this talk, we will look at an example “bad day” that draws on real-life examples from tech employees. We’ll then talk about how the interactions that occurred could have been made better and turn a bad day into a positive one. The result is that potential burnout can be turned into more cohesive and collaborative teams.

We’ll focus on practical areas such as code reviews, one-on-one meetings, and general day-to-day activities (like getting lunch or chatting about tech). Along the way, we’ll note how we might be negatively interacting with coworkers without knowing it and how we can practice simple actions to more positively engage with them instead.

Photo of Trent Willis

Trent Willis


Trent Willis is a Senior UI Engineer at Netflix, where he builds tools and applications to give others insight into their products. He’s also the project lead for the QUnit testing framework, a frequent contributor to various Open Source projects, and a self-professed music junkie.

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