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Helping your team members be more effective and relevant in their global scope by being more technical on subjects that can be out of their scope - even if it means breaking things.

Bobby Foster

Director of Quality Engineering at Salesforce

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Problem

"I noticed there are people, not only in engineering organizations, who would just prefer to work within the limits of their job description rather than try or explore tasks outside of their responsibility. This can lead to misunderstandings, and is less effective in terms of performance for the group overall."

Actions taken

"It's a personal concern for me so I made it my goal to consistently encourage, sometimes even push people, to become highly technical, if possible experts, in what they do. I would always be on the lookout for opportunities and make team members see they could learn new things that are good additions to their skillset. Often people do need the little push!"

"A good example to illustrate this is when I would prompt QA testers to make production code changes instead of just testing them and issuing recommendations. When they understand how the codes are done and are able to tweak these themselves, they gain confidence and are able to discuss productively with their counterparts. This way they are able to learn from each other and share best practice in the process."

Lessons learned

"People linger in their comfort zone. As managers, we should encourage everyone in our team to always have a curious and confident mindset, to not be afraid to try and learn new skills necessary for their growth."


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Bobby Foster

Director of Quality Engineering at Salesforce


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