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You're so empathetic, you probably know this talk's not about you.

Accompanying repository for the DevOps Days 2018 Seattle and Silicon Valley conferences.


We know DevOps culture requires increased collaboration between teams to move faster and be more agile. But what do you do when you’re forced to work with someone who just doesn’t get it, and how do you get to a place where work can happen seamlessly? This talk uses empirical research and practical tips to tell you how to learn more about yourself, understand the perspective of others, and bring empathy into your daily work. Slides found here, video found here!

References and Other Resources

Empathy 101:

Personality Assessments

  • Clifton Strengths
    Pay $20 to take a 10-minute forced-choice self-report measure that will give you your top 5 strengths out of 34. Sometimes called talent themes, each of the strengths falls under a theme: executing, strategic thinking, influencing, or relationship-building.
  • DISC assessment
    Free assessment to help you better understand your personality and behavioral styles. This 10-minute survey will ask you questions that will determine whether you're task-focused, people-focused, passive, or active. A valid email is required (thanks @oferrigni for the note).
  • Free IPIP-NEO long and short versions
    A free personality test that measures the Big Five personality traits (note this is not the version of the test that is used by clinicians, but it's a version of something similar). Pros: It's free! Cons: It's not the best user experience, and also you have to copy/paste your results somewhere to save it (instead of a nice printed PDF like the two above).

Giving Feedback and Having Tough Conversations:

Understanding Diverse Perspectives

Working Agreements

This section got nixed from the talk, but it's still important to do with your teams! Set working agreements and make sure that everybody is on the same level. Note that just tactical working agreements are great, but also ensuring you have some behavioral expectations can really increase your team's ability to be productive.


Sarah Hagan is a People Research and Data Scientist at Redfin using analytics and behavioral psychology to understand employees and make work better. She works across Redfin's People Operations teams to bring data to people practices and ensure they're making the best decisions about employees. Before that, she worked in the Nordstrom People Lab conducting research and designing employee programs to continuously improve Nordstrom Technology's culture, leadership, and work environment. Prior to industry, Sarah spent a decade in academia researching personality, human behavior, and emotional regulation, and has a bunch of publications that she's pretty sure have only been read by her mom.


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