Empathy Is a Technical Skill

Online Course
Part 1 of the Empathy-Driven Development Series


 

Learn how to operationalize empathy for happier people and healthier codebases.

What You'll Learn
Course Benefits
Course Agenda

There's a lot of buzz out there about empathy. It's hailed by top tech executives as the "skill of the future."

But what does empathy mean and how do you apply it effectively on a software project? That's exactly what this in-depth online course is designed to explore.

You'll learn specific, concrete, and relevant ways to bring empathy to your software projects. Over the course of twelve modules, you'll discover details and nuances that will take empathy from an abstract concept into a practical skill you can learn and grow. 

"Empathy Is a Technical Skill" is the first part of a broader series designed to give you a strong foundation about what empathy is, what it isn't, why it matters, and how to use it effectively in the context of a software project. The content is grounded in academic research with an emphasis on the most recent neuroscience.

By taking this course, you'll walk away with practical, relevant, and immediately implementable skills from Andrea Goulet, an industry leader who has pioneered the use of empathy-driven software practices for over a decade.  

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"Empathy-Driven Development is a human-centered approach to building software that uses effective communication to generate trust and resilience."  

- Andrea Goulet
Course Instructor
Author, Empathy-Driven Software Development

       

What You'll Learn

Throughout the course, you'll learn from lectures and interactive activities to help you get a solid technical understanding of empathy.

Think empathy is an elusive, squishy, touchy-feely "soft" skill? You'll get concrete and evidence-based answers that will make empathy accessible for analytical thinkers.

Feel comfortable calling yourself a natural empath? You'll discover how your innate abilities could be problematic and learn precise practices that make a positive difference. 

In this course, we'll take empathy apart to see how it works schematically. By completing this course, you'll learn how to: 

Separate Empathy Fact from Empathy Fiction

Think empathy's easy and simple? Think again! As it turns out, many dictionaries get the definition of empathy wrong. The common, colloquial understanding of empathy as "walking in another person's shoes" can lead to big problems. In this course, you'll get a solid understanding of what effective empathy actually is by grounding your understanding of empathy in research instead of mythology.

Identify and Integrate False Binaries

The segmentation of "soft" and "hard" skills started in the earliest days of the computer industry. Flawed methodology embraced by prominent organizations perpetuated the stereotype that the best software developers "don't like people," even though there is ample evidence that shows this trope isn't true. You'll learn how the the "technical" vs. "non-technical" divide is ineffective and what to do instead. 

Build a Healthy Empathy Identity

Modern science is upending our understanding of what an empath looks like. Empathy isn't about being psychic or ignoring your own needs for the sake of someone else. Empathy is highly individualized, pragmatic, balanced, and much more analytical than it seems. 

Identify Empathy's Interactive Components

Empathy works much more like software than you might think. There are functional components that interact as a system. Emotions are instantiated like classes. Behaviors are called like methods. You'll learn to see empathy's underlying architecture so you can begin to map it out schematically.

Leverage Your Existing Software Skills

The same skills that are useful for managing complex software systems, such as decomposition and domain mapping, are also useful you'll learn how to make empathy practical and relevant to your daily work.

Uncover Empathy Opportunities Hidden In Your Codebases

A well-written commit message is an act of empathy. So are tests, object names, pull requests, and even logs. You'll learn how to spot the empathy all around you in and around the code you work with every day.  

Build Stronger, Higher-Performing Software Teams

Humans evolved the capacity for empathy to work effectively in groups. You'll learn how to use empathy to cultivate trust, lift morale, increase productivity, manage conflict, and communicate effectively — all of which lead to higher performance. 

YES! Sign me up!
Casey Watts holding a copy of his book Debugging Your Brain
"I'm constantly impressed with how Andrea ties together empathy research and empathy skill development with software development practices." 


Casey Watts

Author, Debugging Your Brain

Course Benefits

Completing this course will give you a deeper understanding of the technical nature of empathy and how it impacts a software system. With this knowledge, you'll be able to: 

  • Build healthy relationships
  • Foster high-functioning teams
  • Preserve precious focus time
  • Ship higher-quality code faster
  • Resolve technical debt
  • Respond to change
  • Manage challenges effectively
  • Avoid burnout
  • Reduce silos
  • Lower inter-departmental conflict
  • Transform toxic cultures
  • Create products customers value
  • Generate more revenue
  • Advocate for yourself
  • Set better boundaries
  • Improve your negotiation skills
  • Communicate effectively
  • Lower stress
  • Achieve personal success
  • Navigate conflict
  • Learn new things
  • Understand people better
  • Strengthen your social network
  • Reduce bias and prejudice
  • Make brittle systems resilient
  • Increase software stability
  • Deploy more frequently
  • Fix problems faster
  • Reduce system complexity
  • Increase test coverage
  • Create a sense of calm
  • Heighten sense of belonging
  • Increase morale & engagement
  • Retain talent and customers

And much more...


 

I need this training! Take me to enrollment.
Casey Watts holding a copy of his book Debugging Your Brain

"The way Andrea links empathy skills like personal boundaries to cyber-resilience strategies is absolutely brilliant!"

Nyota Gordon
TEDx Speaker & Cybersecurity Expert

Who Should Take This Course

This course is designed to be beneficial to anyone who works on a software team. While we will look at code samples, it is not necessary to know how to code in a particular language to get benefit from this course. Some examples of roles that would find this course useful include: 

  • Developers/Engineers
  • Managers/Directors
  • Designers
  • Business Analysts
  • Product Owners
  • Project Managers
  • Founders & Executives
  • Testers & QA Engineers
  • Documentation Specialists
  • Operational Support
  • Database Administrators
  • Technical Writers
  • Customer Success Agents
  • Human Resource/Recruiters
Casey Watts holding a copy of his book Debugging Your Brain

"Empathy never made sense to me until I worked with Andrea. Her advice helped me become a better developer and leader."

M. Scott Ford
Co-Founder & CTO, Corgibytes

Agenda

Session 1: Understanding Empathy

Welcome & Introduction (10:30am-11:00am Eastern)

Module 1: It's Not You — Empathy Is Confusing
Discover empathy's topsy-turvy linguistic journey and why it's not as simple as "walking in someone's shoes." 

  • Lecture (11:00am-11:30am Eastern)
  • Short Break + Activity (11:30am-12:30pm Eastern)

Lunch + Optional Discussion (12:30pm-1:30pm Eastern)

Module 2: The Empathy Skills Gap
Take a look at the history of the software industry to see how empathy stereotypes and tropes changed software development education and training.

  • Lecture (1:30pm-2:00pm Eastern)
  • Short Break + Activity (2:00pm-3:00pm Eastern)

Break + Optional Discussion (3:00pm-3:30pm Eastern)

Module 3: Elements of Empathy-Driven Development
Learn a scientifically-founded process for applying empathy effectively and the twelve essential skills that make up Empathy System Architecture. 

  • Lecture (3:30pm-4:00pm Eastern)
  • Short Break + Activity (4:00pm-5:00pm Eastern)

Retrospective + Wrapup (5:00pm-5:30pm Eastern)

Session 2: Empathy As a System

Welcome & Introduction (10:30am-11:00am Eastern)

Module 4: Trust & Resilience
Learn how to apply systems thinking to generate trust and resilience in both software and social systems. 

  • Lecture (11:00am-11:30am Eastern)
  • Short Break + Activity (11:30am-12:30pm Eastern)

Lunch + Optional Discussion (12:30pm-1:30pm Eastern)

Module 5: Atomic Action Through Decomposition
Explore how the same skills that help with complex software systems can be applied to identify how to use empathy effectively in any situation.

  • Lecture (1:30pm-2:00pm Eastern)
  • Short Break + Activity (2:00pm - 3:00pm Eastern)

Break + Optional Discussion (3:00pm-3:30pm Eastern)

Module 6: Instantiating Emotions & Calling Behaviors
Discover how new neuroscience research is revealing how our emotions and behaviors work like software. 

  • Lecture (3:30pm-4:00pm Eastern)
  • Short Break + Activity (4:00pm-5:00pm Eastern)

Retrospective + Wrapup (5:00pm-5:30pm Eastern)

Session 3: Empathy In the Code

Welcome & Introduction (10:30am-11:00am Eastern)

Module 7: Full Stack Empathy
Discover the critical role that empathy plays in every aspect of a software project. 

  • Lecture (11:00am-11:30am Eastern)
  • Short Break + Activity (11:30am-12:30pm Eastern)

Lunch + Optional Discussion (12:30pm-1:30pm Eastern)

Module 8: Using Empathy to Resolve Technical Debt
Learn how to make software systems less brittle and easier to change through effective empathy.

  • Lecture (1:30pm-2:00pm Eastern)
  • Short Break + Activity (2:00pm-3:00pm Eastern)

Break + Optional Discussion (3:00pm-3:30pm Eastern)

Module 9: Empathy and Product Development
Explore the important ways that empathy helps you connect with customers, develop features, negotiate scope, and prioritize your backlog. 

  • Lecture (3:30pm-4:00pm Eastern)
  • Short Break + Activity (4:00pm-5:00pm Eastern)

Retrospective + Wrapup (5:00pm-5:30pm Eastern)

Session 4: Empathy On a Software Team

Welcome & Introduction (10:30am-11:00am Eastern)

Module 10: Cultural Foundations of Empathy
Learn which environmental factors will block empathy from forming and which will encourage empathy to flourish.

  • Lecture (11:00am-11:30am Eastern)
  • Short Break + Activity (11:30am-12:30pm Eastern)

Lunch + Optional Discussion (12:30pm-1:30pm Eastern)

Module 11: Empathy Across Departments
Explore ways to develop productive and healthy relationships with people who have different experiences and perspectives from you.

  • Lecture (1:30pm-2:00pm Eastern)
  • Short Break + Activity (2:00pm-3:00pm Eastern)

Break + Optional Discussion (3:00pm-3:30pm Eastern)

Module 12: Enabling Agile with Empathy
Discover the real reason that so many Agile implementations fail, and how you can use empathy to respond to embrace change. 

  • Lecture (3:30pm-4:00pm Eastern)
  • Short Break + Activity (4:00pm-5:00pm Eastern)

Retrospective + Wrapup (5:00pm-5:30pm Eastern)

WOW! That's a lot of content! Sign me up!

Meet Your Instructor,
Andrea Goulet

A sought-after trainer and keynote speaker at conferences around the world, Andrea Goulet has led the use of empathy-driven software development practices for over a decade. She is on a personal mission to train 1 million software practitioners on how they can operationalize empathy effectively in their work. 

Andrea has been featured in prominent industry media, such as The First Round Review where her articles have gone viral. With LinkedIn, Andrea produced two courses and has taught over 50,000 students how skills like empathy can lead to better software teams, products, and codebases.

She is the author of the forthcoming book, Empathy-Driven Software Development, and is a passionate community builder. Andrea has co-founded and led two successful consulting businesses: Corgibytes, which modernizes software systems, and Heartware, which helps tech teams bring empathy and effective communication to their work. She is also the host of the Legacy Code Rocks podcast and founder of the online community Empathy In Tech. 

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Register for the Next Session