Fear of criticism can be a proxy for fear of failure and fear of exposure. It can stifle learning and growth and promote secretive behaviors. Opening ourselves and our communities up to criticism can help us to experience less fear and accomplish what we want to achieve.
Feedback can be hard—both on the giving and the receiving ends. As programmers, we criticize (and compliment!) our peers’ work—-their art, their craft—-daily, at both a low and high levels of detail. How we work with this feedback—-accept it, apply it, use it, discount it, reject it, love it, feel it, bear it…—-and how we give it shapes the culture around us. We’ll explore strategies for using corrections and criticisms productively by drawing parallels to how feedback works (and doesn’t) in other settings, especially in the context of a ballet class, where secretive behaviors aren't an option.
Tessa Kelly is a software engineer and team lead at NoRedInk, an edtech company helping teachers teach grammar and writing. She builds out new features in Elm, writes the occasional blog post, and never needs to argue about the Oxford comma. She is the creator and maintainer of the accessible-html library, and spoke about it at elm-conf 2017. Tessa holds a BA in mathematics from New York University, where she minored in history and Middle Eastern studies.