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  • Cat Hicks

The most personal talk I've ever given in tech

Last month I was lucky to get to go to Monktoberfest for the first time -- and bring Dr. Carol Lee and Morgan Ramsey, the two senior research scientists of the Developer Success Lab, and my amazing co-authors on our Developer Thriving framework & research studies. This was my favorite talk at the event.

Coming at the tailend of the lineup, after two days of getting increasingly hyped by other great talks and even more interesting conversations-during-breaks, I went back to my hotel room after the first day and really asked myself, is there a different talk you want to give here? As someone who believes firmly that the best things can come from giving people agency, and taking a social-constructivist approach to our time together...I decided to do one of the scariest things I've ever done as a speaker. I gave the audience a vote on which talk to hear! And as often happens when we let ourselves be open to following the collective community of others...they voted me into giving a talk I've never actually given in the tech industry before.

It meant a lot to have this space and support to share some of the personal journey that led me to become a social scientist and a measurement person, and how that has shaped the risks and opportunities I see for technical teams and technical work. It also meant a lot to share our vision at the Dev Success Lab and why we think that thoughtful evidence practice is an immensely powerful way forward for organizations, for developers who want to advocate for their own thriving, and for everything we build together. Here's that talk.


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