Flexibility is not something you conjure in a moment of need. It is something that is developed and gathered like a resource when you least require it.
Compiler is a brand new podcast from RedHat where the hosts answer the most complicated questions about our work. Demystifying the tech industry, one question at a time! Find it wherever you download podcasts, or on the official website.
If you enjoyed this episode and would like me to discuss a question that you have on the show, drop it over at: developertea.com.
If you want to be a part of a supportive community of engineers (non-engineers welcome!) working to improve their lives and careers, join us on the Developer Tea Discord community by visiting https://developertea.com/discord today!
If you're enjoying the show and want to support the content head over to iTunes and leave a review! It helps other developers discover the show and keep us focused on what matters to you.
Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
When you think of flexibility, you likely call to mind an agile in the moment response to a stressful scenario. The ability to flex implies that some kind of force is applied to something and that thing it moves with the force, not resisting it, not breaking from breadleness or from rigidity, but going with the force. My name is Jonathan Cutrell, you're listening to Developers' team. My goal on this show is to help Jordan Developers like you find clarity, perspective, and purpose in their careers. It's easy to imagine. The flexibility is tied to your will. That resisting that force is a choice and going with the flow is a different choice, and flexibility is about making the right choices in that moment. However, flexibility is much less about a willful decision than it is about preparation. Think about an athlete that is flexible. How did they end up this way? Were they choosing to be flexible? Where was there some preparation involved? I'm like you to think about this kind of flexibility when you are imagining this concept and how it applies to your professional life. An athlete prepares by stretching, training movements, slowly developing flexibility over a long period of time, and they provide the force that's needed to adapt their bodies. To train their brains to connect their movements, and they go through those movements to their physical limits. Flexibility is not a choice in the moment. Certainly not for these athletes, not for you either. How do you prepare yourself for the unexpected moments are when we need flexibility, the fact that we can't predict the future, and we hardly know what's happening in the present. This is proof for the need for flexibility. How do you prepare? The software development industry is full of opportunity, but it's also full of questions. Sometimes really hard questions with nuanced answers that take time and energy to really understand all of the different angles. That's where compiler comes in. Compiler is a brand new podcast brought to you by Red Hat with host Angela Andrews and Brent Simono. You'll dive into deep questions like for example, should managers code? The answer isn't simple. Hopefully you know that, but that doesn't mean that we don't need to talk about it. It doesn't mean that we don't need to explore it. Talk to people who we would consider experts in that particular area. Another question, episode two, what can video games teach us about edge computing? Two very different episodes, and that's right at the beginning of this first season. I've listened to this first episode about whether managers should code and learn about the Lori Krebs ratio. That's something that you can learn about to help you maybe have a guideline if you are a manager on whether or not you should code. How much you should be coding. Go and check it out. You can find compiler wherever you listen to podcasts. Thanks again to compiler for their support of Developer Tea. I want you to believe that flexibility is a resource. I want you to grapple with this concept. Flexibility is resources, it's largely about preparation, not about reaction. Flexibility is resource that you gather during times when you don't really need it right away. Think about this. Flexibility is a resource that you gather, that you shore up, that you prepare in advance when you don't need it. Let's unpack this a little bit and discuss kind of the mechanics of it. Very simple example we've mentioned recently on the show, nothing to do with engineering. The decision of when to fill up your gas tank or when to charge your phone battery. If you are debating whether or not you should take the time to charge a battery or fill up a gas tank, that is the moment of opportunity for you to collect flexibility as a resource. However, if you don't have the time to charge your battery or fill your tank, you've lost that opportunity to collect the resource of flexibility. In the moment that you have the time to debate yourself over it, that is the moment where you have the opportunity for flexibility. It's kind of this interesting study in flexibility and we can't demand flexibility in the moment that we want it. We can't demand for more time to go fill up our tank if we need gas right this second. We can't demand for flexibility to charge our phone if we need to make a phone call and we don't have an outlet nearby. We must invest in it before the moment that we need it. This is a part of the problem. In order for flexibility to be created, for example on a product development team, it's necessary to create this space required to think about how we might want to change. Flexibility is in and of itself the ability to change, the ability to change given a new circumstance. Flexing is a change in direction. This is, again, the mental picture that I want you to have is that of an athlete that is prepared that has the capacity to change given their situation. This idea of having time to consider our change, right, this breaks from the metaphor of the athlete for a moment, this is a meta process. In other words, it is a process about the process or a work about the work, thinking about the thinking and this concept of meta process is well studied. It's something that was pioneered partially by Toyota in the auto industry. This is something that we can learn from. Toyota had processes that would help them develop processes. This meta process idea applies because this is how Toyota stayed flexible. And we want to stay flexible. We need a way, a kind of systematic way of thinking about change, of bringing change into our process. If we prepare for change, we are adopting this idea or this pursuit of flexibility. Humans have this unique ability to think about thinking. We can elevate ourselves above whatever we're doing and make adjustments and then continue on. The higher level programming in this process makes us much more capable and this is kind of the core of flexibility at work. The homework here is to look at your scheduling, your processes, your routines, your habits, determine when and how you are practicing a meta process. Are you taking time to review whether or not things are working? This is kind of the spirit of a retro. A retro is not just to look back and reflect for the sake of emotional bonding experience that maybe is a side benefit. The real benefit is looking at your process or looking at your teams kind of jelling and determining what could we adjust. This is how you adopt flexibility on your team. Thanks so much for listening to today's episode of Developer Tea. Thank you again. To today's sponsor, Compiler. Compiler is a brand new podcast from Red Hat that answers the hardest questions. Demystifying tech, one question at a time, you can find Compiler wherever you listen to podcasts. If you're listening to the show and you haven't taken the time to leave us a review, hopefully you know this is one of the most important things to help a podcast stick around is to help them grow their audience. Growing the audience of Developer Tea happens primarily in two avenues. The first is to leave a rating and review in iTunes or another platform if you're using another platforms to cheer Google podcasts. We are actually now on Amazon Music. We're in Audible. So you can find this podcast in a hundred different places. Leaving reviews and ratings. This is one of the best ways to help other people find the show. And then of course, sharing the show directly was someone that you know. If this particular episode, this topic or another topic that you've heard on this show, if it sticks out to you, if you think that another person, a specific person, would benefit or appreciate the discussion that we had on that topic, then send them that episode. This is an excellent way to help other people find the show that they've never heard of Developer Tea. There's thousands, I don't know, hundreds of thousands of podcasts probably. So it's likely that the person you're thinking of has either never heard it or maybe they stop listening or something. Sharing an episode, a specific episode with another person is probably one of the best kind of word of mouth ways to help the show continue to exist and reach new Developer That are interested. Thanks so much for listening and until next time, enjoy your tea.