DDD Perth – Building Awesome Teams - ShaneDrumm.com

DDD Perth – Building Awesome Teams

DDD Perth started out its life as part of the Developer! Developer! Developer! series of events for developers but the non-profit has expanded since with over 800 people at the event Saturday 3rd August 2019. DDD Perth is not just for developers, but for all professionals in the software industry and they had multiple stages with a diverse set of topics. It also had free coffee great food, loads of stickers, pinball machine, quiet room, a PlayStation setup with fifa and an after-party with drinks and food - all of this for $60.

Personally, I was more interested in team building & process type talks but also got introduced to Quantum Computing and how to design a chatbot. It was great that the conference had a keynote on these soft skills too and it wasn't all tech talk.

The keynote You. Are. Awesome by David Neal and Building Great Teams by Donna Edwards were the two standouts for me with a simple message; make people feel valued and empowered in the workplace.

Building Awesome Teams


This post actually was my first draft of my very success LinkedIn article on the same topic but refined instead of general note taking which you can view here on 9 Ways to Empower People so you can Build Awesome Teams. My CEO at Vix sent an email of the article to the entire Vix company telling them to check out which got some very positive comments from people within the company. Also, got contacted by a director in AWS to discuss holding a hackaton with AWS and VIX. 


Building Great Teams by Donna Edwards

Below is the list of bullet points I took as notes during the talk. From talking to others after I think different people took different things from the speech. Our higher management took that we shouldn't use bullet points in our job descriptions focusing on the "Grow" aspect of Donna's 3 step process Build - Grow - Nourish. I personally was more drawn to the build and nourish areas which are within my power.

Get people feeling valued and empowered: That is the secret to building better teams!!!

Build Team

Values ie.culture

  • Shared and demonstrated
  • Reward and recognise
  • Vision
    • What's the purpose
    • Break it down
    • Clear goals
    • Simon Senk. How to find you're why.
    • Dan Pink
  • Engagement strategy
    • Collaboration and connection
    • Put cadence in place to enable this
      • Weekly: Team Meetings
      • Fortnightly
        • Team Lunch
      •  Monthly
        • Social Club Event
        • End of Month Drinks
        • 1-1 Catch-ups
        • Company Update
      •  Quarterly
        • Team Offsite
        • Hackathon
    • Communication and transparency
    • Reward and recognition
      • 8 to 1 ratio of positivity for it to kick in
      • Awards
      • Rewards
      • Shoutout.cloud

Grow Team

  • Talent
  • Culture add - not fit
  • Interviews
    • Streamlined
    • Consistent
    • Relevant
    • Objective - training
    • Demonstrable
    • Safe
  • Employer brand

Nourish Team

  • Empowerment
    • Dan pink
    • Mark Manson. The subtle art of not giving a fuck.
    • Safe to fail
    • Collaborative goals
    • Strength-based team mix
  • Development
    • Career pathways. SFIA framework
    • Transparent and objective processed
      • Promotions
      • Salary reviews
    • Continuous improvement
  • Leadership
    • Listening
    • Empathy vs sympathy
    • Feedback model - OURS
      • Observation
      • Understand
      • Recommend
      • Support.

You. Are. Awesome by David Neal

Davids talk was very much a combination of stories with a simple message of you are awesome. It was genuinely inspiring and I got sucked into the talk and only took a few pictures of his epic slides but forgot to take notes. You can check out the slide deck here with all of the awesome sketches.

Donna’s talk was all about putting systems in place to make people feel empowered in the workplace. Davids was all about empowering yourself. We are all unique and have something to share which is our experience and he really encouraged people to start sharing these experiences. From Donna’s Build – Grow – Nourish I think Davids could simply be Build & Nourish.

From build, you need to put the time in to become great. David spoke about his passion of drawing and how he kept doing it. It wasn’t about being perfect the first time, we get better every time but its all about keep trying. Similar to this blog – I could redo each blog post 10 times making them better but instead of trying to be perfect I need to keep learning and moving forward.

  • What is the experience you can share?

He spoke about having an environment where you can put yourself out there and his experience speaking at his first meetup to his biggest conference. He shared after his first terrible presentation at a meetup people still came up to him after saying it was awesome.

  • How can you reward and recognize people?

David started putting up a simple thank you message about a colleague on the company slack channel and before he knew it others would also add stories about this person. David also spoke about the bacon award they created a simple piece of recognition for people in their company but people took pride in this award. Donna had a similar strategy where they gave a simple certificate and before she knew it people were hanging it up at their desk. 

Safe Environments Build Awesome Teams

In conclusion, all these simple things make a big difference, enabling a safe place to work, which in turn build better teams. We should all struve to having these safe environments where people can share and be encouraged is crucial for peoples development and that is the real takeaway from DDD Perth for me. I think if we can put some of Donnas & Davids techniques with Davids positive attitude in the workplace it’s inevitable that we will build Awesome Teams.

Slidedeck From DDD Perth

Keynote From DDD Perth 2019

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