Angela Dugan

Angela Dugan

Principal Consultant and ALM Practice Manager
Polaris Solutions
Oak Park, IL

Angela Dugan is a Principal Consultant and Agile and DevOps Practice Manager for Polaris Solutions, a software technology and process consulting firm. Her focus as a Principal Consultant is supporting her clients in increasing their agility and improving their DevOps capabilities through training and coaching of people, streamlining of processes, and implementation of modern automation and collaboration practices and tools.

Angela has been in the software industry since 1999, is an active tech community contributor, and has organized a number of local meetups and conferences including IAMCP Women in Tech, Chicago Code Camp, ThatConference, and St. Louis DevUp. She is a Microsoft ALM MVP, a Certified Scrum master, and a SAFe Program Consultant.

Outside of wrangling organizational transformations, Angela is an avid board gamer, an accidental CrossFitter, an aspiring crafty diva, and a Twitter addict. She is constantly working on her 1910 house in Oak Park with her husband David, where they raise two ornery chickens named Betsy and Gertrude, as well as a rambunctious GSP named Sadie.

Angela's Sessions

  • Fear and (Self) Loathing in IT - A Healthy Discussion on Imposter Syndrome

    Many of us feel nervous or fearful about raising our voices or speaking our potentially unpopular opinions out loud - whether at a business meeting, a team retrospective, a conference, or even from your cubicle chair. We sometimes feel hesitant to fully engage with our team and be ourselves lest we be "found out" as someone who really doesn't belong, isn't smart/experienced enough, or who doesn't deserve to be there. If you're wondering what Imposter Syndrome is, or how you would even know if it affects you or a team mate, think about the following questions:

    • Do you feel like no matter how much you study or prepare for a new challenge, that you'll just never be ready for it and that people are crazy to even trust you with real responsibilities?
    • Do you panic at the idea of asking for help when you get stuck on a challenging problem because everyone will think you have no idea what you're doing?
    • Do you continually beat yourself up about minor mistakes that likely no one else even remembers, or noticed in the first place? & Are you constantly comparing yourselves to peers, friends, or event Twitter followers and finding that you just never seem to stack up?

    If you answered yes to any (or maybe all) of these questions, you might be experiencing Imposter Syndrome. You may even recognize some of these behaviors in loved ones, coworkers, and friends. And it's not silly, trivial, or something you'll "just grow out of". Many people have been experiencing Imposter Syndrome since childhood. But when does this anxiety become unhealthy? Is Imposter syndrome something we really even NEED to cure?

    A surprising number of people feel the effects of Imposter Syndrome, both positive and negative, on a daily basis, and it can be a major hurdle to success and happiness in both our professional and personal lives. But the good news is, it doesn't have to be! As a fellow imposter (yes, me!), I'd like to share some of my own adventures in embracing my fears, learning to trust myself and others, getting comfortable with asking for help, and developing shame resilience. I'll also talk about the unexpected and very positive outcomes that followed taking the leap to embrace my "phoniness". Does this seem like a weird talk for a technology conference? Maybe. But being successful in IT is about a LOT more than just writing code ;)

    So whether your roles in life include team lead, manager, scrum master-in-training, tester, project manager, significant other, and/or parent - recognizing Imposter Syndrome in yourself and others and knowing how to thrive with it is an important skill to develop!

    Speaker: Angela Dugan

  • How do You Measure up? Collect the Right Metrics for the Right Reasons

    How many times have you been asked to deliver on metrics that did not make sense, that were counterproductive to the team's effectiveness, or that were seemingly impossible to collect? Often times, the metrics being collected are the ones that are easy, but not necessarily the ones that matter. In some cases, metrics can even have a demoralizing or counterproductive effect on the team!

    When it comes to software delivery, lean and agile practices and methodologies have clearly taken the lead. In the spirit of Kaizen, this session will take a look at the measures we can and should collect from agile teams, why these metrics are relevant and interesting, and how we can use them to help our teams continuously improve.

    Key Learnings:

    • Why is it so difficult to identify meaningful metrics in the software world?
    • What are the best types of quality focused metrics to focus on in an agile organization?
    • Examples of good, bad, and ugly metrics, as well as how to analyze and interpret them

    Speaker: Angela Dugan