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Tech Lead Journal

67 EpisodesProduced by Henry SuryawirawanWebsite

Great technical leadership requires more than just great coding skills. It requires a variety of other skills that are not well-defined, and they are not something that we can fully learn in any school or book. Hear from experienced technical leaders sharing their journey and philosophy for building… read more


#22 - How to Facilitate Great Retrospectives - Aino Vonge Corry

“A retrospective is a time set aside where you are looking at what has happened, you’re appreciating what happened, and you’re learning from what happened. And then you improve the ways of how you’re doing things."

Aino Vonge Corry is an independent consultant, agile coach, and the founder of Metadeveloper. She recently published her book ”Retrospectives Antipatterns” that describes the antipatterns and mistakes that she has made from facilitating retrospectives for the past 15 years, and what we can learn to avoid those. In this episode, we had a deep discussion about retrospectives and what we should pay attention to in order to facilitate a great retrospective, ranging from elements of a good retrospective, importance of Prime Directive, cultivating trust, facilitation skills, and coming up with good retrospective outcomes. Aino also shared her interesting story on how she ended up writing ”Retrospectives Antipatterns” and what we can learn from her experience. Towards the end, Aino shared her insights on how we can use retrospective to apply in our personal lives.

Listen out for:

  • Career Journey - [00:05:24]
  • Teaching the Teachers - [00:10:57]
  • Metadeveloper - [00:13:43]
  • Retrospective - [00:14:48]
  • Postmortem - [00:16:31]
  • Elements of Good Retrospective - [00:17:56]
  • Retrospective Prime Directive - [00:21:51]
  • Trust in Retrospective - [00:23:32]
  • Role of a Facilitator - [00:27:08]
  • Dealing with Different Cultures - [00:30:31]
  • Presence of Managers in Retrospective - [00:32:36]
  • Good Retrospective Outcome - [00:35:21]
  • Retrospective Participation - [00:36:47]
  • Retrospective Preparation - [00:39:12]
  • Retrospective Fatigue - [00:43:16]
  • Retrospective Action Items - [00:45:54]
  • Retrospectives Antipatterns - [00:47:41]
  • Writing Book Tips - [00:50:36]
  • How to Read the Antipatterns - [00:52:06]
  • Personal Retrospective - [00:56:07]
  • 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:57:51]


Aino Vonge Corry’s Bio
Aino Vonge Corry is an independent consultant, who sometimes works as an agile coach.

After gaining her Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2001 she spent the next 10 years failing to choose between being a researcher/teacher in academia, and being a teacher/facilitator in industry. She eventually squared the circle by starting her own company, Metadeveloper, which develops developers by teaching CS, teaching how to teach CS, inviting speakers to IT conferences, and facilitating software development in various ways. She has facilitated retrospectives and other meetings for the past 15 years during which time she has made all the mistakes possible in that field.

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