profile

Human DevOps

Human DevOps: Friday 15th March - How to be a Happier Software Engineer

Published 2 months ago • 1 min read

As a lifelong coder and professional software geek, I've always been interested in the systems we use to build software. Lately, I've realised that these systems are often social — much more so than technical. Consequently, I've connected with the great and the good in the world of what I'm calling "humane software development". For me, this work is spearheaded by the work that Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais have done with Team Topologies. Since the end of last year, I've been an official Team Topologies advocate, and since then I've started working with the core team on bringing the message of Team Topologies to a wider audience.

A key part of what makes Team Topologies so useful is the notion that Conway's Law is unavoidable. In other words, we build what our organisation, to some extent, allows us to build. Therefore, we can influence not only what we build but also how we build it by paying close attention to the teams we use to build the software and sensing how much stress they are under.

Therefore, part of my work is to understand, at an individual level, how I can improve my team's situation every day. Part of it is through hosting talks such as next week's Amsterdam Fast Flow Meetup. Some of it for me is through writing and connection.

Therefore, I've been exploring the social, organizational, and emotional side of building software. What makes us want to build it, and how can we do it together more effectively? When reading about this, it's easy to get very theoretical and as a practical, engineering type, I want solutions. Therefore, this week I wrote "How to be a Happier Software Engineer".

This post summarises where I'm going with this newsletter better than anything and hopefully gives you some practical tips on how we can have more fun and get more done at work.

If you're interested in how to be a happy software engineer, or how to make those around you happier, or basically looking to get more done and have more fun at work - then stick with me. If not, please click unsubscribe below and you won't hear from me again!

Many thanks and have a great weekend.

-- Richard


How to be a Happier Software Engineer

Published on March 12, 2024

It is incredibly powerful to realise that a single engineer can influence a team’s overall happiness and, by extension, their own happiness. But it can be frustrating sometimes can’t it? Sometimes, people just don’t get it, and sometimes, they don’t get you. Do you remember when you just built stuff? That feeling you get when… Read More »How to be a Happier Software Engineer

Read more...

Human DevOps

by Richard Bown

DevOps at is the heart of modern software systems. In my regular newsletter, I dive into the human factors that make successful engineering organizations where teams and platforms thrive at the heart of your socio-technical systems. From leadership to team setup, maximizing performance, tools and techniques.

Read more from Human DevOps

Software development is mentally and emotionally challenging work. Studies reveal that around 50% of developer time is spent on maintenance or wasted in workplace inefficiency. How can we, as individuals, enjoy our work and stay productive and healthy while positively influencing efficiency, quality and customer value? This question has bothered me throughout my career, and I'm finally on a path to finding some practical answers. As I delve into this topic, I'm struck by the profound...

5 days ago • 1 min read

Sometimes you need to give a little to get a little. Sometimes you need to ask a lot more from your employer than you might think is fair. But what's the alternative? Staying in a job just because you are scared of what's next? Staying in a job that is making you miserable? While we might fear our jobs will be taken over by AI, or we'll be left behind, or we'll never get enough experience to be taken seriously, just remember, everyone else is doubting as much as you are. Keep balanced, keep...

12 days ago • 1 min read

It's the start of the party season in the Netherlands. Last weekend started with King's Day and it's Bevrijding's Dag today: liberation day. This marks the start of the summer period and it also marks the start of an important personal milestone. I've been writing a novel about software development and humans since the end of last year, and May 1st marked the end of the first draft. I was truly inspired after reading the Unicorn Project, and while I loved the Five Ideals it presented, I...

19 days ago • 1 min read
Share this post