Emerging as a Team Leader through Cultural Challenges

Angela Herring and Elaine Raybourn

In this interactive workshop we explore how meeting technical objectives depends critically on meeting cultural challenges within teams. Many small teams evolve naturally on a positive path because teams are often formed by friendly collaborators with common interests and goals. But as teams grow, they face new challenges, including fragmented time commitments, physically distributed developers, and growing numbers of stakeholders. These challenges make it significantly harder to maintain a healthy team culture. In addition, it becomes important to understand how to identify and responsibly use one’s informal influence to navigate organizations and galvanize team members. Although agile methodologies and modern software tools can help developers manage these challenges, these processes alone are insufficient. Thus, a growing number of teams are combining these methodologies with techniques that support a collaborative culture. We explore lightweight progress tracking, informal “tea-time”, hybrid scrums, human-centered design, empathy building, listening games, and hands on exercises with Legos. The session is 180 min of guided small group exercises and debriefing, followed by 30 min of large group discussion and retrospective. We recap lessons learned and explore how culture affects team performance and emerging as a team leader. We focus on skill building in intercultural and interpersonal communication, and inclusion.

NOTE: Attendance is capped at 18 attendees for this workshop.

Software Engineering for Research Software Engineering (SE4RSE’23)

Jeffrey Carver, Neil Chue Hong, Miranda Mundt

This half-day (3.5 hour) workshop focuses on understanding appropriate software engineering practices employed by Research Software Engineers to design, develop, maintain, evolve, and sustain research software. As a result of the variety and complexity of the research domains addressed by this software, it is unclear to what extent existing software engineering practices and tools developed for industrial software are efficient and effective for its development. Appropriate software engineering approaches must account for the salient characteristics of the research-oriented development environment. This workshop provides a platform for RSEs to share their software engineering experiences (both positive and negative) and learn from each other. We will devote a significant portion of the workshop to focused interactions to identify common experiences, needs, and opportunities for future work.