Episode 360: Mixing up names and improving without feedback


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. At work, I occasionally mix names of people in my team when I refer to them in meetings. My mother used to do this with my siblings when I was a child and I hated it. I guess I am getting older. Should I just accept the defeat? Any suggestions how to deal with this?

  2. How do I find areas to improve without critical feedback? I’ve had regular 1-on-1s with multiple people over the years (managers, mentors, tech leads), and asked for feedback regularly. Yet, most, if not all of the feedback I received was positive. Even when I stress that I want to receive critical feedback as well, the other person tells me that they do give such feedback to other devs, they just don’t have anything to criticize!

    This sounds like a humble brag, but I’m concerned that I will stop growing and improving if this goes on. I’m also a bit worried that deep down, the managers/leads just keep quiet to keep me happy - either because we have a friendly relationship, or because I’m one of the only women on the team (not trying to accuse them of sexism, but lets be real - “locker room talks” are held back when I’m around, and it might cause some people to be less frank to avoid possible “‘drama”).

    Due to the lack of direction, I’m trying to look at my senior colleagues and what they do better than me - do they have more technical knowledge, do they communicate better, etc. - but it’s often hard to apply to myself due to specializing in different areas, having different personalities and so on.

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