Heidi Waterhouse

I'd really like to know how that works. How lots of things work. I select for jobs where "voracious c...  
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What Heidi's working on

What Heidi's working on


Aug 30, 2021
Aug 30, 2021
Wrote a blogpost
I got back from my amazing vacation across the American West and wrote this kinda salty blog post about my app experience:

It's really important to me, as a person who grew up in rural America (and some other rural bits), that we don't leave people behind because they lack population density.
Aug 30, 2021
Aug 30, 2021
Recorded a talk
Spoke at a conference
Presented at DevOpsDays
+ 1
I was thrilled to speak at DevOpsDays MSP -- I wrote a new talk for the occasion, a reflection on what the industrial history of Minneapolis has to teach us about devops, tooling, and conversions. Let me know what you think!

Jun 21, 2021
Jun 21, 2021
Reposted by Heidi Waterhouse
Resident AI-Blogger, Polywork
Celebrating Pride Month 2021
Featured a Community Member
Published an article
+ 1

Featured Q&A Interview with Heidi Waterhouse, Transformation Advocate at LaunchDarkly + lots more! 

We are really excited to launch the first ever article from Polyworld Magazine! It will be our editorial home going forward to feature the amazing and inspiring stories of our Community Members. Our first week of content will be celebrating #Pride Month 2021! 🏳️‍🌈💜💚💛💙

Heidi's Bio!

Heidi is a Transformation Advocate at LaunchDarkly, based in the Midwest! Heidi's badges include: Devops, Speaker, Rabbit Hole Voyager, LGBT+ and Knitter!

Q: Hey Heidi, thanks for being a part of the inaugural edition of Polyworld Magazine! Let's kick things off with an ice breaker. What was your childhood dream job?
A: I wanted to be an architect! I was really fascinated by how buildings and bridges stayed up, and I wanted to understand it.

Q: Is there a story behind the @wiredferret username? 😅 

A: When I first got online, back when a 2400 baud modem was sufficient for anyone’s needs, I went by “wired”, which was a pretty accurate description of my personality. But it turns out that there’s a lot of conflict in that namespace. So for web 2.0, I named myself after the ferrets we had at the time.
Q: We see you have the Knitter badge, what’s your favourite thing you’ve knitted?

A: Gosh, that’s a hard one. I actually wrote a few knitting patterns with my girlfriend — knitlikeapirate.com. The felted tricorn is showy, but the most technically interesting project was the cabled hat with a seamless join. Really, my favorite knitting project is always the one that I’m going to do next time.

Q: What’s the one thing people don’t know about you professionally that you think they should?

A: I don’t code, and never have, really. I can read and write HTML and Markdown(s), but programming isn’t the part of technology that I find most interesting.
Q: What project are you working on right now that you’re most excited about?

A: I’m working through a research project that may end up as a talk/youtube video/blog series about Lillian Moller Gilbreth. Most people know of her as “the mom from Cheaper by the Dozen”, but she was an industrial efficiency expert who pretty much invented the idea of industrial psychology. There’s so much we have to learn from history so that we can make new and more interesting mistakes in the future, instead of repeating the old ones. Learning from Lillian is one of the ways I’m doing that.

Q: What path led you to becoming a transformation advocate?

A: I fell in love with software technical writing when I was still in college, demanded the right to design my own major from my scandalized poet/professor/advisor, and never looked back. After 15+ years of writing about everything from printers to potato sales, to TPM chips, to power transmission systems, I realized that I had a really excellent view on the mistakes people consistently make in early product development, and I couldn’t get enough of an audience to listen to “just a writer”, so I took up public speaking. I got recruited to be a developer advocate at LaunchDarkly (yes, this is my first devrel job. I’m surprised, too). Over my time here, I realized that I love and treasure developer, but I actually want to be talking about the broader problem of what is making their lives harder on an organizational level, not just a team level, so I changed my title to reflect that.

Q: What’s one thing you wish you knew earlier in your career?

A: If your boss makes you cry consistently, it’s time for a new job. Crying at your boss is… not ideal, but not a deal-breaker. Let me just say that travel restrictions were a very rough adjustment for me. That was me being frustrated, but not my manager’s fault. But I’ve had managers who made me feel small or stupid or like I was always failing to live up to expectations, or like I made them angry. I should have left sooner, in every one of those circumstances.

Q: What does the ideal future of work look like for you when it comes to diversity and inclusion?

A: I’d like software companies to look more like our user bases, and not just at the entry-level positions. I’d like pay to be equitable and not location-based. For me, personally, having a company that accepts and even provides support for my neurodivergence has been a game-changer. I’d like to take insurance out of employer’s hands altogether. It is not an accident that I stopped freelancing when the ACA seemed under threat and my wife needed gender-affirming surgery - I needed an employer to help get that kind of insurance. But if we really want a world with small businesses and entrepreneurs of all colors and backgrounds and orientations, then we have to make health insurance and visa support independent of employment.

Q: What's your favourite thing about Polywork so far?

A:The prompts! Yes, I’m a writer, but that doesn’t mean I always know where to start writing something. Prompts help me get going on what I want to say.

Q: What feature do you want to see on Polywork?

A: I’m still exploring, but I’d love to be able to do themed tags for specific recordings. Like, “here are all my talks about testing with feature flags in one place” and “here are other people’s talks about the same thing”. One of my goals for, uh, sometime soon, is to make/propose some new tags for conference series, like DevOps Days and CTO Summit.

Thanks for reading folks, you can follow what Heidi's up to on Polywork here and on Twitter here

Jun 09, 2021
Jun 09, 2021
Wrote a talk
Recorded a talk
I'm working on a new talk for NS1's Ins1ghts conference! It's the first of my "Lillian Moller Gilbreth Fangirl" series. Teaser:

The One Best Way is Continual Improvement
Is there a best way to do a task? It's certainly a story we want to believe; but of course, the truth is more complicated than that. Instead of trying to determine and fix the best way of doing something, it is our responsibility to keep doing better. This talk is a historical overview of industrial psychology and the lessons we can take from history and apply to our forward motion. How have physical factories affected the metaphors we use for software, and how do they continue to do so? This talk is for people interested in cross-pollination, enduring metaphors, and continual improvement.
Transformation Advocate, LaunchDarkly
Jun 08, 2021
Jun 08, 2021
Wrote a Blog Post
I put together a blog post of the home studio things that I wish I had known when we started recording from home, and where I'm at now.

Lady Conference Speaker: Home Studio Edition

Jun 01, 2021
Jun 01, 2021
Wrote a talk
Today I'm finishing up a talk that connects Lillian Moller Gilbreth, industrial psychology, and the Toyota Manufacturing method all together. I'm recording it on Friday to present at @NS1's Ins1ghts conference!
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