Story kick-off is such a natural ceremony/ritual to me that I tend to forget how uncommon it may be outside my organization. Trying to find more information on it, I realized that even if there are some articles on it, the origin of a story kick-off is not as obvious. There’s no one name or organization that I could assign as pioneers. The one thing clear is that story kick-off is very often considered to be an agile ceremony. I fully agree with this description because agile is all about collaboration and people.

Way too often in software development the…

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If we want to help the team to work better together and build a higher quality product, we need to also see if the team has any bottlenecks in their work ways. Depending on the methodology the team is embracing, they may build their work around certain work items, methods, and rituals. Before we dig deeper into boards and workflow itself, we need to start exploring what work items we have, and, if they are of the right quality. …

We all know that change is hard, but most often we see it in other people. I see you visualizing all those stubborn people that did not listen to you and kept doing it their way or just “didn’t get it”. While to be very honest, change is the hardest because we need to change to tackle it. Especially if we are in leadership positions. There are no silver bullets in life or work, there are no shortcuts. Even if we have years of experience depending on the context our solutions may not work at all.

When the book “Accelerate: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations” by Nicole Forsgren, PhD, Jez Humble, and Gene Kim came out, there was lots of buzz in the software development world. It still continues up to this day because the book proved to be very useful for many different professionals.

It took me a while to finish reading it. The main reason for that was that I have to read every single page until the very last in order to “count” that I’ve read the book and the second part of “Accelerate” was not too fast of a read…

So many buzzwords in one title — what has gotten into me? Years back, I remember someone endorsed me for Agile methodologies on LinkedIn. I was like: “Huh? Really? Am I good at that? What is that exactly?”. I have never been a fan of labels, nor I am now, so even if I did work in agile ways, I did not use the word agile to describe it. Now knowing way more about various methodologies and ways of working, I would like to give a little heads-up about them (caution alert: in my Quality Foundations series I will be…

I remember a moment before climbing a stage in one of the biggest European testing conferences for the first time: I looked around, spotted all those “professional” looking people, and then all possible doubts about myself started creeping into my head. Louder than bells while the bustling audience was getting ready, I heard myself repeating: “I’m young, maybe I have nothing interesting to tell — people in this room look way more experienced. I’m a fraud, why did I get myself here?” Then, I saw a notification on my phone — my colleague sent me a short text: “Lina! All…

Before you throw yourself into a very beautiful mission of creating high-quality products, it’s important to understand what high-quality means in your context. In this article, I’ll talk about the definition of quality, what influences our understanding of it, what questions to ask to learn more about quality, and, why quality does not equal testing but can help to prioritize testing enormously.

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Quality depends on your context

“Quality is value to some person (who matters)” — Jerry Weinberg’s quote adapted by Michael Bolton & James Bach

When we think of quality we must first start with a little research around our situation. Who is the…

This is the last part of post series on inclusion. The first post is Inclusion Matters: [Part 1] Diversity matters, while the middle part is Inclusion Matters: [Part 2] Common Inclusion problems.

Hand graphics
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When we speak of inclusion, often we can be rather torn on what we could do: how do we create more inclusive environments yet don’t lose our authenticity?

Forget the labels — just aim to be human

Labeling an environment inclusive won’t make it be it. Sometimes labels can do way more harm than good. It’s continuous daily effort of aiming to have our behaviours inclusive: sometimes we fail, but as long as we keep learning —…

This is the middle part of the post series on inclusion. The introduction post is here: Inclusion Matters: [Part 1] Diversity matters.

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Inclusion is not straight-forward. It requires lots of compassion and effort. I have worked in a team where all 7 people were of different nationalities and different mother tongues. It was not easy — we often would get lost in translation or misunderstand certain cultural behaviors, but it was one of the highest performing teams I’ve worked with. As long as everyone on the team is aware of inclusion, and has an open heart & mind, it can…

This is the first part of post series on inclusion.

Photo by Rupert Britton on Unsplash

Diversity is understood better in the tech world these days. It’s something that companies target to reach, even if some do it more for marketing purposes. Some may see it more as an attractive feature to be considered a good employer, while others also embrace the fact that diverse teams can build high-quality products which are more thought-through, and inclusive. And exactly inclusion is usually going hand in hand with diversity when we talk about it.

Years back I did not fully understand why inclusion was mentioned together with diversity…

Lina Zubytė

Quality Advocate | Diversity & Inclusion Enthusiast | Blogger at

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