Greater Than Code 162: Glue Work with Denise Yu

Denise Yu talks about the concept of "Glue Work", what she has done to improve the glue work situation, how to address changing the structure of glue work, offboarding yourself, release engineering, being a product manager, and being back in a development role.

This episode really got me thinking about how glue work can often be unbalanced in teams, and how most of that work often falls on people from marginalized groups. As a developer, part of my job is to be as self sustaining as possible, so my PM doesn't have to expend extra energy just to keep me organized.

For example, there is a common understanding that developers need long stretches of uninterrupted time. I agree with this concept generally, but in my experience this often manifests into developers simply pausing notifications in Slack and not responding for a day. While this might solve the developers problem locally, what is the net cost of you being hard to get ahold of? Does your PM need to spend extra energy to get ahold of you just to answer some quick questions? What are the consequences of you being unreachable for half a day when the rest of the team is in crunch mode? Maybe the bigger challenge is finding ways for developers to maintain focus, not to simply avoid interruption.

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