2-3 June2022
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Alexandra Sunderland

The emotional chaos of deploying code

Alexandra Sunderland at JSConf Budapest 2022

Deploying code is one of the most routine and process-led events that an engineering team takes part in, and yet, most teams are not aware of the extensive range of intense emotions that deploys can cause across an entire company if not handled properly. From people in sales feeling upset when they weren’t made aware of changes that affect their demos, to those in customer success who feel nervous about incoming support requests when they haven’t been properly trained on new features, the reach of deploys goes far beyond the immediate developers working on them.

As a manager or team lead, it’s important to ensure psychological safety and wellbeing for everyone, and to do that we need to take a step back and look at the larger picture of not only how our team is feeling, but how our team is making others feel too. In a remote-first world where it’s easy to hide feelings of anger, frustration, and fear behind screens, it’s critical to dive deeper into how our actions and decisions are affecting others, and course-correct to create a better environment for all.

In this talk, we’ll explore how a variety of people in different roles are affected by deploys, what emotional responses you might not be noticing, and how managers can facilitate future releases to mitigate any negative effects from hidden feelings.

Alexandra Sunderland is an Engineering Manager at Fellow.app, a platform where teams gather to build collaborative meeting agendas, record decisions, and keep each other accountable. Alexandra has been working as an engineer for nearly a decade, and regularly publishes articles and speaks internationally about tech and teams, all while designing and sewing clothes that incorporate custom 3D printed elements. Alexandra is also the co-leader of the Slack Platform Community in Ottawa.