How Relationships Matter to the Success of Teams

Jan 29, 2021
Jessica Grande

In January, Dr. Teresa Vasquez, known as Dr. T, spoke to the Nashville Women Programmers meetup on the importance that relationships among product owners, designers and developers play in building a great user experience. Watch the replay and get the show notes below.


The CreateDev Relationship 

Known for being real, Dr. T shares how everything that has transpired in the past year has personally affected her as a Black woman in tech and the importance of creating a safe space for your team to bring their full, authentic self to the creative process.

Understanding A User’s Experience [4:10]

It takes sitting in your own mess for a little while to realize – to really see – what the user’s needs are.

Dr. T recounts a personal story where she attempted to help a fellow student in college. This first brush with user experience taught her to ask better questions.  

Social Validity [9:20]

Social Validity = “The users you are influencing are cool with being influenced in that manner.”

Dr. T discusses how social validity can be achieved through feedback and breaks down the Input Output model and the Open System model of getting feedback from users.

Rules of Engagement for the CreateDev Relationship [16:18]

Dr. T describes the Rules of Engagement by highlighting 5 key points for navigating team member relationships: 

  • Personality
  • Responsibility 
  • Deliverables 
  • Proactive processes
  • Collaborative Documentation 
I want to know how I can become better for my teammate.

Using a simple personality test called “Animal Kingdom,” Dr. T assesses her teammates' personalities to understand how to best approach them while developing a product together. Are you a bear, otter, owl or a deer?

Social Validity Drives MVP [23:00] 

Dr. T describes how the quality of the atmosphere created by the team impacts not only the quality of the experience but also the quality of the products produced and future relationships. 

Hackathons: A Case Study [25:50]

What are the things that you think would prevent our team from succeeding and what would propel us forward?

Dr. T walks you through conducting a force-field analysis, designed by Kurt Lewin, to help ensure your team’s success in communicating and working together. While everyone’s experience is unique, the analysis helps create equity among the team.

The time is now to start caring about the members of your team, because it directly impacts the ability for the team to produce and meet the business goals.

About Dr. T

Teresa Vasquez, MBA, EdD loves to read and volunteer in the community especially with organizations that focus on leveling the playing field for women, minorities and neurodiverse minds in tech.

She is the cofounder of Autism Possible, which is a startup that helps autistic people and their families gain independence and reduce stress. She is currently a software engineer and teaches the evening front-end half of the Part-time Web Development Bootcamp herecohort at Nashville Software School (NSS). She is a graduate of NSS, Trevecca Nazarene University, and Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).

Topics: Alumni, Learning, UI/UX, Web Development