Psychological safety is particularly important for teams that manage service reliability. The vulnerability that comes with mitigating failures in production requires principles of trust, transparency, and inclusion that can only come from cultures that minimize harm and enable empowerment. Cultivating this kind of culture requires leaders to think proactively about how to build processes and systems that enable teams to be healthy, productive, and effective while being adequately prepared for situations when failure inevitably happens. We’ll review the cultural consequences of chronic issues and the strategies we can use as leaders to align with our shared goal of building excellent teams. We’ll touch upon themes of privilege, power, and accountability.
Lesley Cordero is currently a Staff Software Engineer at The New York Times. She has spent the majority of her career on edtech teams as an engineer, including Google for Education and edtech startups. In her previous roles, she has focused on building robust data pipelines, setting technical strategies, building excellent engineering teams & communities, and reliability management. Some more specifics include setting an org-wide vision & strategy for observability, improving on-call processes, adopting chaos engineering practices, and cultivating a culture that builds with the most vulnerable employees in mind first.