Erika Carlson

Director of Apprenticeship & Training at Detroit Labs at Detroit Labs


Better: Fearless Feedback for Software Teams
Friday 14:35 - 15:20
Soft Skills
Team Skills

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The feedback loop is easily the most effective way to improve individual and team performance. When it is given well and received willingly, feedback can be a powerful ally in growing happy teams who work together effectively to deliver great software. Here's the challenge: giving and receiving feedback are skills, and many of us haven't had the chance to develop those skills. Maybe we find giving feedback intimidating. Maybe receiving feedback makes us feel defensive. Maybe we simply haven't had much positive experience with open, honest conversations about performance. It's not easy to do feedback "right", and when it is given badly or received poorly, feedback can cause a team's relationships to disintegrate. This talk will introduce the fundamentals of effective feedback; provide strategies for giving, receiving, and processing feedback; and discuss the challenges and rewards of using feedback as a tool to improve team performance.


Erika Carlson was studying psychology in 2011 when she wrote her first line of Python code. She fell in love with programming, decided to change paths, and became a software developer. Since then she has built Java enterprise software, created websites for non-profits, and worked on iOS applications with millions of users. She is currently the Director of Apprenticeship at Detroit Labs. Erika founded the Detroit chapter of Girl Develop It, and teaches programming and web development to students of all ages. She is passionate about the potential of technology to make a difference in people's lives and create positive change in the world.

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