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What is your approach to handling mistakes in your team?

Recorded – watch the full episode on YouTube.

What is your approach as a manager of iOS devs at Netflix for handling mistakes and, or failure at your team?

Jordanna Kwok: Certainly mistakes are something that is expected – no one's perfect, we're all human, so things are going to slip through. We did have a recent point release we had to make because there was a case that even though there were people on the pull request, we didn't catch it. So, we're not going to find everything, and if it does happen then that's okay, let's look at how we can prevent it in the future. It's really learning from the mistakes, that's the important thing.

So, we will do retrospectives and kind of dig into how it happened. More of a curiosity exercise, and figuring out in the future if maybe there is something else that we could put in our testing framework, for example. I'm just making it up, but something that could help catch this along the way so that even if there's five people on the pull request, at least there's a system to catch it.

"We're not going to find everything, and if it does happen then that's okay, let's look at how we can prevent it in the future. It's really learning from the mistakes, that's the important thing."

So I think we're always trying to build up this database of how do we get better and how can we get better at rolling out these app releases and also preventing the same mistakes from happening again, and I think that's the thing. You want to make sure you're not just repeating them over and over again, because that's when it becomes a problem, when the mistake is something that is recurring and we're not addressing it.

Paul Hudson: Yes, mistakes happen, but if you then learn from them and do better, as long as it wasn't an extraordinarily serious mistake that kind of snuck through, then bugs happen, mistakes happen, and you can move on from that. But you've also got to deal with right now the fact that as a manager, your team are nowhere near each other a lot of the time because of the pandemic.

And I think you've also now actively recruiting remote developers if I'm correct? Is the plan anyway, remote going forward is the plan?

Jordanna Kwok: Yes.

This transcript was recorded as part of Swiftly Speaking. You can watch the full original episode on YouTube, or subscribe to the audio version on Apple Podcasts.

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