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Bebop to the Top - The Jazz Band As A Guide To Leadership

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Bebop to the Top - The Jazz Band As A Guide To Leadership
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The ideal workplace, with motivated employees, supportive managers and a clear vision in the "C-suite", is where we'd all like to work, isn't it? The question then, is, how do we create it? How do managers walk the fine line of "micromanaging" and "anarchy"? How can we, as employees, maximize our contribution to our company and love what we do at the same time? The secret is in the big band. Inspired by Max Dupree's Leadership Jazz, this talk will show you how to apply the principles of improvisation to your company/team and make your workplace more efficient, effective and fun!
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and the public and the freak out however voices but the also buys Michael she said of my studies largely center on music before I joined reals community of my undergraduate is a classical percussion in vocal performance and while I was an undergrad I fell in love with jazz and for me the appeal jazz was it was conversation right so spot we get to spontaneously compose music on the fly in the moment together and a like Adam me see the connection to music and the moment for me is what was attractive so I wanted to illustrate how some of the concepts of improvization can be applied to the development team the 1st I wanna show you some overwrought musician head shots and in the musician you have to advertise yourself so of course I did that's so
I call this 1 the jazz MCI pose the and see how it showcases my absence of a chin the
this moon called cool and consonants or the squaddie party pose not sure how this so I sold me as a musician but that's pretty funny
variation was the jazz from pos holding my mouth like a bouquet of flowers
and of course the Fabio I look more like I'm trying so genes gap that but a that was given begins with so ideally what we're
talking about here is sort of people that I'm hoping are in the room are you guys are on a development team you looking for ways to the leading force on your team I mean you're a senior developer who's trying to find ways of mentoring the more junior members of your team right you want you coach the people I genes so they could ultimately become better developers or perhaps team lead you looking to improve the culture on your team happening team to work better together to create more quantity and quality of committable code so it comes down to what would an ideal it
place to work look like what would be the ideal team be you really have clear expectations right you know what you were doing on a given day are you would agree that what you're doing makes sense as far as the application of the business requirements concerns that on developing things that I know are going to make a difference are you have a grip on the technical and business aspects of the thing that you're trying to create so is just simply here's a feature story that does some mysterious thing that the product owner wants that you you have an idea of I know what this is supposed to do the leadership the support of all these you have leaders that should work with you not against it so they're trying to support you in your efforts are as a member of the development team and the dumb team as a whole conflict is resolved together right so people are not dictating to you what your code is wrong you needed wobble on your attitude need to a young man and why you act in such a baby because you don't know what you're doing like you want people to resolve the conflicts you have within the team and perhaps along the other teams organizations you work for it was all those things together then the values that your company holds and the values that your team holes are complementary so if as you when you're working on a team but you feel like the mission of the team is 0 is ultimately alignment with missions come ideally in your spot right you want to enjoy coming to work and doing which do you free of unnecessary distractions or meetings that are not related to anything that you're doing it all in your work life in your personal life are are complementary so the values you have as a person or line up with the values that you bring to work in the values that are inculcated to you and your team are somehow related so the what would it look
like if you work in a team where you want to find out what remove force all would look like idea of recall for example so management so you have little if any idea of what you were supposed to do when you came into work the user stories would be absent perhaps or you throw all around at any given day on when you ask for help or guidance from the management team whether it's regarding your day-to-day work or working with other teams you get a meaningless platitudes were nothing at all how many people were for like really really big organizations anybody the so so you know you ever seen those like mission statements like this is our mission and it's like this vein business gobbledy-gook that we really has no application to what you do so we wanna who sidestep all that so of leadership is also on support so it comes in 2 flavors urethra micromanage like somebody's over your shoulder trying to tell you what to do all day borders known management of but you wouldn't even know who would go to if you had a problem of outside of your team management management does nothing to foster communication among other things so it's all like an episode of game of Thrones something right so you're team is like the blasters like they're fighting for turf with like this other team and it's all about using you as a means to undercut somebody else and it's not fun working in a place like that is not fun beta have nothing to do this board all day or there's too much to do the deadline is too short and these requirements of seemingly manifested out of thin air and the only real interests leadership has a new is your ability produce so you have no wife work balance you come to work they squeeze you like a turnip for all the coding get out here and throw you on the train back to your house so we allow in a place like that so what would be the
ideal model for a development how could you have people that are actualized individuals while contributing to a meaningful and productive team although ultimately that model could be jazz so how does that work so was cover what a
jazz band is in 60 seconds yeah the in the jazz mankind like agile squats right you have the rhythm section that has their job you have a horn section that has the up this 3 components really to music in general so you have melody harmony with you can think of melody kind of like the core language right that is the meat-and-potatoes of 1 that music is all about what you're using to communicate your message harmony is a lot like the framework right it's the thing that gives melody context so kind of like real this to Ruby right you have a framework which allows you to communicate and interact with the user in this particular framework when the the like Dev Ops right it's the thing that allows all of this to occur so music so we call a temporal art form it happens over a period of time so we have to consider time of being created all the vast majority of jazz standards are using 1 of the 3 patterns have on slide so think of a kind of like convention over configuration we have very specific templates that we use jets now not all jazz music does this but the majority of music digitally here in a particular state you know all stand tender when that some of the great big big bands composers very much use templates like this so typically you have a melody that stated people get to improvise and so melody say it again everybody collapse this is served people Piedmont's yeah area the times so how can we apply this to our our field right so company style that's now this goes not just beyond the sound as we have as a community but like how many of you have style guides within your company other the particular so we have shown in the US people that you that you have particular colors that you choose to use this particular so there's a lot of different ways of being worked on right maybe your team has picked 1 specific method right you size over counter what whatever whatever you guys do so I mean I think we heard just to mention it in the keynote today right that the idea of creating this level of consistency among our teams is going to ultimately positively impact the work so I don't have to think about what's colors I have to use or what particular way I have to do my job that thinking has been done for me I can just focus on being created in doing things I want you to giving of it like freedom to versus freedom from so I'm free from the decision making process now and i'm free then to be creative in my own way and the idea behind that is as a group we've all agreed upon unlike were all playing the same song we all agreed upon how we're going to move forward as a team and we all need to be creative in our own way to do that so I think it a lot like is a sandbox and reclaim sandboxes kid my peers very specific about Sam what you can do whatever you want within reason in the sandbox you can play all day but here's the box in which you get to play so companies down as a a lot like that they provide that framework for us to be is created as we want within a specific now guidelines are not rules there is a common place to ban the guidelines so like Charlie Parker said you learn the changes and then you forget the idea being that guidelines are servants not masses we ultimately we want to of 4 people the opportunity to be as creative as they can be but not in not stifle I created so sometimes you get a color outside the lines and that's OK if you have a good reason for that guidelines also serve as barriers to the unknown right so again just in a mentioned earlier Makino today considering your future self but how can you be creative in a way where you're setting up the next developer or your future self setting up a success and so how do that what do guidelines verses rules look like jazz world on this is what rules look like you have very specific notes play you play that a very specific time this is exactly was concerned like which is very specific and which right so my attraction to the jazz world was I did to be creative and expressive right now in a very specific manner so this is what guidelines look like injects that provide you just the framework here the course that you're supposed to play with it you can play inside you can play outside but ultimately this is the guy I want you to follow so provides just enough structure for us to be creative without stifling our creativity so
what guidelines versus rules look like in development so I would say this is what a rules-based user story looks like as a user given I'm along the and I want to see our company logo as in 19 by 45 PM she filed in the West pain of the non bar with the net bar colour penis hex value will help medical font is the d faul text is playing the turn links in a highly text which I've also provided the color for you with a maximum load time 566 males who wants to develop a feature like that I don't mainly because it's a mean is an exaggeration of course but it ties my hands as a developer because I've as far as I'm concerned like my job is to make the code to serve the user so if you look at the guideline based 1 as a user given a modern I water company logo to display the Navarra with highlighted links very explicit on the high on the what I want to see which allows us the freedom in the house how are we going to accomplish this goal because I would presume as developers we have more knowledge base when it comes to coding their product manager does that might disagree and that's OK but our job is ultimately to the caretakers of the code the so it provides less clutter and confusion right the guidelines days I might have to make some choices while I'm developing that would might be contrary to a rules-based user story but if I have good reason and ultimately still serving the purpose of the users are at the end so so you buy into guidelines guidelines a great might think this is an awesome idea how to like implement this on my team but what's the next step for us so I would see we don't develop interactive just like we so low by ourselves so the key is to be aware of your surroundings code to me is like a pebble an application like right you drop the pebble in gonna ripple through a whole applications so we need to be aware as moving forward how is my code affecting the ecosystem as a whole so a great way to work with that is if you do TD or continuous integration where I work were pretty stringent about anything you can it has to have a test and with every and males work like that a lot of us do to and continuous integration where we use and we use that to affords us the opportunity to I know I can submit my pull request and its period when it goes into the code base we have checks and balances that will make sure whatever I submit whatever pebble life throw into the code base as a ripple through the application it's clear and how many affect the rest of the ecosystem considering a future self right can be very tempting 2 over develop things like I'm thinking about the future of many the need this feature and I need that feature and receptors models in case mega right this adapted in the event something else comes down and we tend to over developed in a sense so to call Russell from design patterns really the angle in it so the idea is to develop what we need right now is the free interval of me also means freedom of being responsible for the next person line again I think are just and say that very thing while you're working are you considering the person coming up behind you considering your future self and try to develop a nightmare listening is also important so just like when I'm taking a solo energy has been I can you the bass player I can hear the keyboard player i in drama or in unaware of whatsoever happening around so collective freedom means that the team awareness is even more important do you know what your co-workers are doing while you're developing are you aware of anybody else is touching the files that you're touching why you developing new feature so I know in my experience like I have come into the conflicts when I'm not aware of the future somebody else working on we both touch throughout file and now we have this like merge comfort we have to deal with which ultimately slows everybody down so be aware of who is working on what among a team will also help you to be faster as a team and be considerate of those around since 1 has soloing
works of I'm being creative and in my environment what is that look like from me so the soloist on their branch was they would they would be driving the bus they should feel as though the decisions I make will ultimately be supported by my team now that's not to say that a cosine bad code but you should ultimately feel like this like I'm being supported by those so you should also here to start adding in this were style guides can come very handy comes to team if I know ahead of time what the rules are of or get more like what the sandbox looks like for this feature by the time I code this up a peer review I've already answered a lot of the more nominal questions of come up and and on and the 1st place so comments on code this can be a very touchy subject if anybody's ever committed p to open source feelings can be hard sometimes so how do we deal with that I would say telling a itself so we we say that a lot in the education world so as a teacher what I'm trying to get you to do something different I'm not going to tell you I'm going to ask you the right question so you find the answer that I know is correct on euro so how can we do that so when you will be 1 more peer reviewing each other's codes do you say you're your co-worker not met strong but a tribal these days or do you say hey did you know that the method diggers around maybe of a better use here what you think now we are linked if you guys worked with navigating objects dig is definitely a better solution than a try blocks but the idea is you want your to come to that conclusion on their own to foster the creativity this creativity in itself is a very vulnerable thing right so time how can we all be considerate of the environment in which we work to freedom implies vulnerability right being creative is of vulnerable black I'm taking this thing I made in and putting it out in front of all of you so while we are working together in that manner it is important for us to be aware that there is some level of emotional attachment 1 of the key for myself I am attached in some way to the code that I produced because in some way I feel it represents me so if people attacked my code I can feel attacked sometime now I know in my head of my co-workers are not telling me I'm a bad person because I mean some Western ideal choices in my whole review but it can feel as though you're being attacked so it's important for us to be aware of that when we you know peer review just coats amendments 1 course matters nice so we nice knowing your role in the ensemble right so if I'm the saxophone player I'm I'm trying to play drums all not my role so what section of the of the team are you on we all have our skill sets right some of us really going back and some of us really get in front so where do you naturally gravitate right so just like a big band there's particular skill sets we each have in parts of the stack where we gravity so what would you are encouraged to play to your strengths what are you strength your weaknesses so how can the leaders on the team how can your team leader having your manager encourage you to level up on some skills were maybe you're not as strong as you like to be and you can still make contributions to the code base in that way while capitalizing on which a strong it sin then the contribution to team has a lot to do with where you wanna go a developer right do you have any idea where your car where you want your career that what you wanna be doing next year when he wouldn't be doing 3 years 5 years from now you what you do today and how you what role you play on your team today is ultimately going to be in service of schools family so 1 of my favorite bandleaders Duke Ellington In his reason why is because what he wrote tunes he right for trumpet 3 he wrote for Cody Williams to he wrote specifically for the people in his anatomy was a lot like a servant leadership right I want you I want your voice to be a part of the product so how can we do that in our field so we're readers are very much still words of the culture so spotlight so you ultimately want to spotlight your dev strengths and help shore up there less than strength the opportunities to grow so potential and passion in my experience are far more important skills skill can be taught you can learn how to be a good back and you can't really learn to be a passionate person so passions in and potential are port encouraging your strong players to member mentor your greener players this is a lot this is a big tradition in the jazz field the idea that I've been playing in the bit the Basie band for 20 years and I'm rubbing shoulders with outages guy here so how can we the more senior members of our team be encouraged to mentor those that are younger and how can the junior depth in the team be open to that level of mention that conversation has to happen I because not everybody is welcoming to unsolicited feedback capture which we've all been there once at twice so encouraging that kind of culture on the team largely starts with team lead or with managers how can you create a culture of mentorship on the so inevitably when were
working things break right creativity is a wonderful thing the product of creativity isn't always great and that's OK so how can we deal with failure it part of dealing with failure is accepting failure now I'm not saying if you push a bad commit to prod and you break prod and we should be legal you're learning that's great no I'm not saying that but the idea is creativity will yield failure sometimes and that's OK can you learn from the field experience you push code to sandbox you break and OK that's what did you do have an effect and how can you learn from that experience that means I'm not pointing fingers at you for breaking something you did something bad you made a choice it was in the right choice so how can we choose better next time I think it it like ugly babies and Williamson and the baby I I'm not the only 1 that's another way it's if you wanted men at the time school I'm sure you never jerk you can see you pick the Panther being him has an ugly babies the horrible thing to say right now that kind of relates to code when you create this thing sometimes the thing does create this can only it might work but it's only you don't see that the man the that is ugly code for the same reason why you wouldn't tell somebody the babies of it's something that they created the crew did they think it's a beautiful thing make so how can you deal with ugly babies categories that we're talking about 4 the how what questions can you ask about that of code that perhaps might bring that debt to a better choice signal ICU beginning rescue and here why did you then and let them explain it to you and then maybe the explanation is they didn't realize there was a better way of doing something then brought back to ASCII get did you know there might be a better way how would is that sound like so I'm guiding the death of to the right decision without dictating what that decision it's ideally maintaining that spirit of creativity among I on Muggle Peter was enacted 1 of the most valuable lessons he taught me was you are not your work this kind of relates ugly babies I and not my my code so what that means is when I submit code it's bad code and people tell me it's bad code that's not necessarily a reflection on me or my abilities it's it's it's a comment on the choices I made in that moment just like when you're taking a so you place some notes that are not even related to the sampling when you might get some Harry eyeballs from the band and that's OK but that's the choices you made in the moment and as long as we realize that we can be critical of the choices and not of the developer as it when you criticize the developer that ultimately impedes the creative spirit of that person's now you're getting less code and more timid code from that about also don't touch the keyboard any keyword touches here note the OK
then the do's and don'ts so you buy into the concept of yes my team a band on tree I wanna would be creative and feel creative spirit and Korean create really interesting in which features how can I do that so comes from managing from position of trust you need to trust that the people on your team have the desire to create the best features they can people not push bad code because the light I you know what today screw this guy p a pushes back of we don't do that by March so 1 must trust that your team has the best interests of the codebase mine when come across less than performing code again how can you ask questions about why the dads made the choices they make each 1 to each 1 the how can you as a leader encourage your senior developers encourage a more seasoned members of the team to coach and encourage the less than junior members the B that idea being this kind of like an attitude of Kaiser and on the team or a core continuous improvement we are all about getting better and part of getting better it is making mistakes you're going to make mistakes and that's OK as long as you make once and you learn from so things you don't do creativity like I said it's a very vulnerable process people are attached to what they create so naturally they will shut down and get defensive if we attack instead of questioning coach don't let your stars are shining ensemble this is key to we all have people that are very strong thinking to me like the 10 X program about heard this legend the guiding pushed 10 times amount of a regular program the the the stars out there and then there's people on the team that might habitually struggle so make sure that you publicly praised In privately produced privately coach and part that is spreading love make sure everybody gets a chance to shine on the team in the in a way that they are capable of doing so creativity can also be messy and unpredictable so we don't want to kill creativity with the sledgehammer of quality right how we want to encourage people to be creative and may creative choices and making make interesting code choices and features but we don't want to squash that while we inevitably have to kind of sand down the edges when is required so In summary what
you take with you today trust trust is a fundamental part of maintaining a creative atmosphere I must trust as a team member might seem lead has my best interests in mind I must build to trust them my team member or my team leads in my senior developers are going to coach in developing when I'm struggle as a team lead I have to trust my team is going to make the best choices they can with the information they have available to them and you should explicitly create that is culture and the stewardship so this talk is based on a book by Gandhi Maxtor prenup not put a link up somewhere call leadership jets and he was the CEO of of of but a furniture company for 30 years and he talked about Stuart leadership as the leader is somebody in charge of the group comes 1st it can be very easy for us as leaders to think about what what's good for me how can I run this team in a way that's good for me or feels good to me or to provide feedback that I would want it I was receiving feedback the concept is like the plan so I had a very brief career at Macy's 1 of the things about being a musician is that you need to begin the house on time so I was I sold suits for like 2 days but through training they talk about the started on the forget the plan and we've all heard of the golden rule right do unto others as you would have them do unto you latin rule is do unto others as you think they would like to have done so what is that so as a leader in their particular ways people want to be coached do you know what that it's some people want to be coached like as if they're playing of the on Football team that's very much my style like I would I wasn't sports some people need a more delicate approach that you more consultado approach and that's OK as leaders we need to be aware of what those are in the in the guidelines style guides I like very much encouraged this those your team have a style guide does your team you know about the style guide do you regularly return to that as a team to refresh yourself or to make different choices as far as the styles concerns do you have orientation for new developers so that comes in 2 flavors I know when I started my new job they just give me a laptop and said cool is that the working on his was the features go I was of OK and I just had a flounder until I figured out which can be discouraged to do you have an orientation process do you have a way of this is how a team does stand up this is how a team works on features together you can you acclimate people on your team in that way and this is also if they can be wrapped up 2 kinds so thank you
very much for attending I very much appreciate time enjoy the restaurant few what instrument that place so minded studies was classes percussion and voice so I was a ob singer 1 side and I did all the work has to stuff well into graduate school I studied the ribosome which is what the flower of mallets amine hideous a justice of so the question is if you're in a band setting a lot of times the lead singer gets all the credit in the back of an can feel some resentment that right OK so it kind of goes back to don't let your stars outshine UT same way dome adjusting outshined the ban so I know when I have had when I let bands that had been singers I get all the credit of a lot of it is can you can you break off like a course to let somebody so know can you like drum solos do a lot it's like 30 seconds and that dramas in a field the great for the rest of the nite so high that applied at t you're gonna have people that have more of a supporting role in team and people that are you know the season rock stars how can you offer the younger people an opportunity side is and then when they do their work shot amount that's like praise is free it's free the 2 of the most valuable things you have as a leader hey so and so just this feature and it's great everybody check it out in that is then that I'm telling you that has significant value how the questions how do jazz musicians handle conflicts conf was in what sense of personality or like while you're in the middle of making music I the so personalities right I in my experience 1st particular types of people particular personalities take like complement or clash so 1 of my heroes again and Gary bird is a jazz band from the he told me once unless and is a very famous jazz he were player error they this clash the manner of playing this one's into each other so a lot of times is can you can you send so for us to segregate the work in a way where many conflicting personalities or development styles don't bump into each other that before the music stops say here in the middle of of playing and in this conflict I wanna play outside keyboard player has won support that becomes kind of comes back to roles so my attitude whenever I let Jasmine was the soloist drives a bus if they wanna play out we play out they wanna play inside we play so how does it relate to us if I give it my branch in my feature on driving the bus no they were different than music where it's very white ones and zeros there's like better ways and not great ways but it comes back to how do you how do you bring that soul was back into the ban become sigh come back down comets and you ask the right question to get them to make a choice the kind it's back to where they need to be a scanner critical watching your debts especially when they find a new method right all do this again like we were I work we deal with a lot if the eyes so I found this method did did is great colonies dig everywhere well maybe diggers and the right choice for that thing at that time so my team kind had alike get me off been trained for a sec a lot it was asking the right questions you chose to use this method here why did you that and normally when I found myself explaining why all here of this isn't what I intended yeah you're right attitude to something so the question is have I worked with either as a musician or developer was somebody who doesn't seem to care about the dynamic of the T that that there the the now out so they wanna do whatever they wanna do whatever come out the other side is like where OK of musically you become a comes down a choice like i don't necessarily have to choose to work with that person right that's before I say were in the middle of it I 1 of most powerful things you can do in music to communicate the sampling so if somebody's taking so I'm trying to interact in there just now listen to what I'm doing on the set and let the absence speak for itself because if you find yourself playing all biased me the but now the drives his you in the drama that I have to ask yourself what am I doing where everybody's once stock so how does that apply us if you're working with a developer that just doesn't seem to care about what anybody else thinks was just push their code in bypasses peer reviews is there a way where you can like quarantine at 1st if it if you have a level of power were on the development team maybe you don't comment on the code so they're gonna find themselves like I feel very isolated from the group now mean and that's just this is what happens if you start choosing yourself over the team urine and the by self and I don't know what you guys but 1 of the attractions to this field for me was creating as a group I'm a member of the team as a team or building this thing and this thing is great so if you find yourself no longer a part of the herd a lot of as a so why can be that can be addressed I think we're about at a time so thank you again for coming you'll see 9 countries and our love the top 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