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Emotional Intelligence for Engineers



Whether you’re discussing tradeoffs with a designer, rallying support for a new tool, or reviewing someone’s code, emotional intelligence is essential for effective software engineering. This talk provides a framework for understanding your own behavior and cultivating empathy for others. You’ll leave inspired to apply these skills to unlock your full potential as a developer and a human being!

Software may be built on machines, but it’s built by and for human beings. To be a highly effective software engineer, you must be able to navigate human interactions successfully. Emotional intelligence is the set of competencies that will allow you to do just that!

Presented by April Wensel at PyTennessee February 11, 2018.

Thanks to April for letting us post her amazing talk!

🔗Check out April’s website for more resources: https://compassionatecoding.com/

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. GDI Bass

    Heey I saw this talk at San Diego Start Up Week. Great talk. You had posted another video from a woman at another Python Convention about the same thing. It's so true. Nobody wants to work with "jerk" programmers.

  2. jkuhl

    Lost me when she started going on about not using the term "guys." I think everyone knows that NO ONE refers to "guys" in a gendered sense when talking about a general group of people, whether it's mixed sexes or not. Give me a break.

  3. ingusmant

    So this is the new buzzword now that "company culture" got beaten like a dead horse. Guess these oxygen thieves need to justify their paychecks with more team building BS that only wastes everybody's time.

  4. DeepWaterz

    This just isn't what i was expecting. At all 🙁

  5. Martha Anne

    I don't understand how the NVC conversation between Morgan and Alex solved anything. The first conversation, while heated, might have done more for the project than the second by removing Alex from the task. The second conversation encourages Alex, who clearly has a problem with impulse control, INAPPROPRIATELY putting his own needs above those of his team, and respecting the decision making processes of the company, to continue doing all of those things.

    I assume that management/team is doing the task as a group because it is better in the long run, perhaps even faster. If Alex thinks it isn't better, the appropriate behavior for Alex would be to readdress the group requirement with the team, not go off vigilante style and do whatever he wants. If the requirement is really that offensive to him maybe the culture at this business is not a good fit for him.

    Morgan in the "Morgan using NVC" example is clearly no more competent in managing himself than Alex. He gives in to emotionalism when it will likely damage the cohesiveness of the team. Why should Alex be the only one who gets to disregard procedures? What does this do the moral of the team? What kind of expectations are we setting by allowing one person to disrupt the work flow like this? Will Alex's tactic work for others to get what they want?

    I think that trying to understand and empathize with the people around me is a good thing. It helps me make better decisions, but only because I've spent some time developing emotional and mental discipline. Many people aren't able to what's "right" once they've triggered an emotional empathy response in themselves, with another person's feelings/point of view. Having "emotional intelligence" is about balance between emotion and thought, and having a clear set of articulated values that one measures their actions against. In this case, is it more important to make one coworker feel "better" in the moment OR be a responsible caretaker for the whole team (INCLUSIVE of the one member having a problem at the moment)?

    I think you know which side I''m on! 😉

  6. Charbel Sarkis

    I like how she screams. Please stop calling them soft skills.

  7. Call me emotionally unintelligent but if you get so offended and hung up on such a trivial thing like the usage of 'guys' in normal casual speech, then I doubt that person's intelligence to begin with.

  8. Thanks for sharing these insights for emotional intelligence. Two years old but it still applies. EI can be the difference between working and growing as a leader🤔😊

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