In the constant flux of software development, everyone involved in creating new technologies and features must adapt to changes or be left behind. One obstacle facing professional development is lack of support and/or guidance from management. According to a recent survey by Robert Half Finance & Accounting, only 26% of employers allow their employees to attend continuing professional education courses during business hours. However, all is not lost: change can come from within rather than management. Employees can take the reins of continuous improvement and generate positive change for themselves & their organization. In this session, the audience will learn how to implement a robust continuous improvement curriculum that can be integrated into an organization’s culture – one training class, one conference, one professional group at a time.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

I will be speaking from experience about developing a strong Continuous Improvement program at Huntington over the past four years. From the start, I was fighting an uphill battle to bring positive change. Two members of our company co-organized a local conference, yet had to take vacation days for the conference itself. Colleagues would not be reimbursed for the cost of conference tickets. Almost no one within IT attended conferences or professional groups, and only two actually presented (and they couldn’t even share the company name or that they worked for the company). Four years later, our company is sponsoring conferences and hosting professional groups. We had four speakers at the aforementioned conference and over 30 in attendance, all with tickets reimbursed & time billable to a task specifically named "Training". We support training and reimbursement for certifications (PSM, PSD, PSPO, CSQA, CSTE, CJE). We host a bi-weekly book club. We have external speakers come to present and host a monthly Women in Tech series. Our organization recently organized a Young Women in Tech Code Camp for Nepali-Bhutanese refugees, with eighteen(!) volunteers teaching a weeks worth of courses (link to news report here: Now, the momentum is working with us. All this from persistence and sustained success. I’ll be sharing that journey.

Presentation contents:

My Journey -- My start in research science, with a culture of learning & knowledge sharing inspired my present effort

Career Roadmap -- how to create a career roadmap as an individual or a manager to assist in professional development

Foundational Training -- establishing core learning objectives and actually training people on the job

Supplemental Training -- finding those bridges to allow people to shift from one career path to another within the company

Certifications -- a controversial topic to be sure based on personal belief about the value of certifications in the industry

Conferences & Professional Groups -- community outreach to create a culture of continuous learning

Book Club -- internal learning and interaction to bring people together from different departments

External Speakers -- bringing the conferences to your company

Learning Outcome

* Understanding of "development challenges" facing an individual and an organization (culture)

* Identification of Intrinsic Motivators

* Leveraging PDCA cycle to professional development

* Baselining & Benchmarking yourself and your company to build a continuous improvement curriculum

* Learn to uplift other members of your organization to develop a culture of learning

* Be persistent to overcome organizational inertia

Target Audience

Anyone with an interest in continuous improvement (which I hope is everyone)

Prerequisites for Attendees

The participants need only to attend with an open mind.


schedule Submitted 2 years ago