The Special Sauce of Growth: Embracing Our Vulnerability

AuditBoard Engineering
2 min readMar 29, 2022

Author: Dave Laird, Sr. Engineering Manager

Professional and personal growth need not be separate areas of our lives. Our workplaces offer ample opportunities for each of us to develop, mature, and grow as human beings. When we show up prepared to be vulnerable, prepared to absorb and apply best practices, then we have created the space for our coworkers and friends to help us grow. It starts with us.

A few days ago, I submitted a Pull Request (PR) for a code review. An associate developer on our team provided formative and detailed feedback that enriched my code and made me a better developer. It was not easy; being vulnerable is not a natural disposition for most people. Simply putting up a PR for review is already an act of vulnerability. It was even more humbling to fully accept the amazing feedback from a fellow developer with 15 years less experience.

Waiting to share the PR until it is perfect leaves less opportunity to benefit from a colleague’s input and delays the overall product. For me, it’s a frequent challenge to not get stuck in this “at all cost, avoid vulnerability” trap.

Continuously improving our craft is baked into the code review process. A good code review considers many aspects. Are there bugs? Is the code doing what the author intended for it to do? Is the code maintainable? As we review a PR, we consider the author, and we employ empathy to effectively communicate our constructive, pointed and encouraging feedback. As reviewers, we also take a risk when writing code reviews. I have often asked myself whether this feedback will land well for the author, especially a superior.

Imagine how our personal growth could be supercharged by applying these same principles. Could it help us be better people? Perhaps even change our lives? The same associate developer that I mentioned above also offered input and affirmation about how I conduct myself around my coworkers, and shared their best practices on maintaining stellar mental health amidst the product deadline crunch.

How have you created this space for others to support your professional and personal growth? What principles could you apply from the story above? Did this story resonate with you? I’d love to hear your thoughts and your best practices in the comments below. Let’s grow together!

You don’t get to look good and grow at the same time.

— Jonathan Raymond

#strongertogether #vulnerability #trust #respect #professionalgrowth #personalgrowth #fullstack #javascriptdevelopers #techleadership #leadersatalllevels #codereviews #constructivefeeback #teamworkmakesdreamwork #opentogrowth



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