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Move beyond measurement & inspire developer productivity

with Laura Tacho

January 16, 2024
Move beyond measurement & inspire developer productivity
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Laura Tacho is CTO at DX, a developer experience company. She previously led teams at companies like CloudBees, Aula Education, and Nova Credit. She’s an expert in building world-class engineering organizations that consistently deliver outstanding results. Laura has coached CTOs and other engineering leaders from startups to the Fortune 500, and also facilitates a popular course on metrics and engineering team performance.

"That is just a ripe environment for the rapid degradation of trust within an organization and has immeasurable consequences when it comes to degrading the culture of a team. I think the temptation is there, understandably, and I think from good intentions of, ‘I want to try to measure unobtrusively. I want to get this data about my team without them knowing about it or minimally knowing about it so that I'm not bothering them.’ That is a trap because we don't need to treat people the same way we treat distributed systems with dashboards and dashboards of telemetry data. People can talk. Just ask them.”

<cite>- Laura Tacho    </cite>

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  • Why people care so much about measuring productivity in engineering (3:25)
  • Antipatterns to avoid when tightening focus on productivity (5:08)
  • The role of behavioral psychology with engineering productivity (7:04)
  • What the ideal consulting relationship looks like structurally (8:58)
  • Ensure you’re incentivizing the behavior you want to achieve (12:20)
  • How to cultivate the skill of influencing without feeling too “salesy” (13:59)
  • Understanding the different facets / types of motivation (17:08)
  • Strategies for developing resiliency in “do more with less” environments (19:14)
  • Behaviors that prevent eng orgs & leaders from achieving their goals (23:55)
  • How to identify areas of personal development & closing the skill gap (27:00)
  • Areas that are the most ripe for setting the right expectations / outcomes (29:40)
  • Best practices for eng leaders to gain clarity & define what success looks like (32:01)
  • Rapid fire questions (35:52)


  • Remarkably Bright Creatures -Shelby Van Pelt’s exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope, tracing a widow's unlikely connection with a giant Pacific octopus.
  • This Podcast Will Kill You - Grad students studying disease ecology, Erin and Erin found themselves disenchanted with the insular world of academia. They wanted a way to share their love of epidemics and weird medical mysteries with the world, not just colleagues.
  • lauratacho.com - Laura’s website where you can find more information about her courses, coaching, and management program.

This episode wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our incredible production team:

Patrick Gallagher - Producer & Co-Host

Jerry Li - Co-Host

Noah Olberding - Associate Producer, Audio & Video Editor https://www.linkedin.com/in/noah-olberding/

Dan Overheim - Audio Engineer, Dan’s also an avid 3D printer - https://www.bnd3d.com/

Ellie Coggins Angus - Copywriter, Check out her other work at https://elliecoggins.com/about/

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