e-Talk Radio: Derby, Esther, 4 January 2001

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question straight off: why do you think that is? Do you think that its roots are in the fact that when we come up through the educational process as testers, developers, as requirements leaders, that there's really not a lot of credit given to the human side of it, that we're supposed to be, you know, rushing to code and rushing to get something to development? Do you think that it's a basis in our educational system that's a problem, or what do you think?

Esther Derby: Well, this is my opinion and I'm sure there are other people who view things differently, but certainly my experience with the education system was that it didn't value teamwork beyond elementary grades where you got marks on "gets along well with others." The emphasis is really on individual performance and competition and when you get into the work place and in certain arenas, those skills still are very valuable, but what's even more critical to success when you're actually out in the workplace is the ability to manage yourself and to work with other people.

Carol Dekkers: And that's a really...I think when you said individual performance is competition, I've never really thought about that before, but yes, you get your own grades in school, you get your As or your Bs and if you do a team project you still get an individual grade out of it.

Esther Derby: Right.

Carol Dekkers: And getting along with others is never a grade but ends up being one of those "Oh, by the way" but I think there is more we can talk about in this area.

Esther Derby: Oh, we could go on about this one.

Carol Dekkers: We're going to be back with more on this after this quick break.

Announcer: Quality Plus E-Talk is back. Now here is Carol Dekkers.

Carol Dekkers: Welcome back to Quality Plus E-Talk with Carol Dekkers. I'm Carol Dekkers and I've been talking this week with Esther Derby, who's one of the technical editors of STQE, and we've been talking about Software Testing Quality Engineering, the magazine, which now if you wanted to look at it from a newsstand perspective, if you wanted to look at acquiring it, has been shortened to STQE, and I'm not going to try and say that other than just saying it's STQE, standing for Software Testing Quality Engineering. So it's changed its name and you'll see it now as STQE. You can acquire it or acquire what's been printed in it by going to www.StickyMinds.com, and you'll find out everything you need to know there. We've been talking to Esther Derby, who has an extensive background in software development. She's been a project manager, she's a principal of Esther Derby Associates Incorporated and she's really run the gamut of experience in software testing, software quality and development. Just before we went into break, we were talking a little bit about why there's problems in testing, why there's problems in software development and we took a little segue into, is it part of the educational system? When we went into break we were talking a little bit about is it because the humanistic side is really not something that is really promoted or rewarded, when we're talking about marks in school, in the education system, and how that is so very important in the workplace. And Esther said she's got some opinions I'd love to hear about, about how managers are chosen and her opinions on how maybe they should be chosen. So, I'd like to welcome you back

About the author

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby

A regular StickyMinds.com and Better Software magazine contributor, Esther Derby is one of the rare breed of consultants who blends the technical issues and managerial issues with the people-side issues. She is well known for helping teams grow to new levels of productivity. Project retrospectives and project assessments are two of Esther's key practices that serve as effective tools to start a team's transformation. Recognized as one of the world's leaders in retrospective facilitation, she often receives requests asking her to work with struggling teams. Esther is one of the founders of the AYE Conference. She co-author of Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great. She has presented at STAREAST, STARWEST and the Better Software Conference & EXPO. You can read more of Esther's musings on the wonderful world of software at www.estherderby.com and on her weblog at www.estherderby.com/weblog/blogger.html. Her email is derby@estherderby.com.

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