Episode 16: Dr. Nicole Forsgren & Dr. Denae Ford Robinson


Dr. Nicole Forsgren and Dr. Denae Ford Robinson

Dr. Nicole Forsgren



Dr. Nicole Forsgren is the VP of Research & Strategy at GitHub. She is author of the Shingo Publication Award-winning book Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps and is best known as lead investigator on the largest DevOps studies to date. She has been a successful entrepreneur (with an exit to Google), professor, performance engineer, and sysadmin. Her work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Denae Ford Robinson



Dr. Denae Ford Robinson is a Senior Researcher in the SAINTes group at Microsoft Research where her research lies at the intersection of Human-Computer Interactions and Software Engineering. Her research identifies and dismantles cognitive and social barriers to software developer participation in online socio-technical ecosystems.

She obtained her Ph.D. in Computer Science and a graduate minor in Cognitive Science. She also holds an M.S. and B.S. in Computer Science from North Carolina State University. Throughout her Ph.D. academic career, she has interned and collaborated with research laboratories including MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Microsoft Research, Stack Overflow, and Facebook Research. Her dissertation research creates and applies a framework for dismantling barriers to participation titled “Identity-Based Signals and E-Mentorship to Support Engagement in Online Programming Communities”, which cites her impactful collaboration with Stack Overflow on the Mentorshi

About this episode

In this episode, Mik is joined by two guests: Dr. Nicole Forsgren, VP of Research & Strategy at GitHub, and Dr. Denae Ford Robinson, Senior Researcher in the SAINTes group at Microsoft Research.

Mik, Nicole and Denae had an energetic and insightful conversation about many topics, including:

  • Measuring productivity, and how leaders can utilize these insights to build diverse systems and measures to strengthen inclusion and diversity at scale
  • The importance of making the workflow, conversations and collaborations visible
  • Creating a company culture that embraces diversity and inclusion, and encourages employees to bring their authentic selves and ideas to the workplace
  • Breaking the stereotypes of developer personas and creating a safe working environment that encourages the intersection of personal and professional identities
  • The social fabric of an organization and how evolving technological architecture can increase flow and visibility, and create better outcomes

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Additional Resources:

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