Thursday 21st & Friday 22nd June 2018
The Clayton Hotel, Cork City

Cate Huston
Failing by Succeeding

As individuals we - implicitly or explicitly - define success, as do teams. But how do these definitions and incentives impact how and what we build?

Let’s talk about the ways in which the dysfunctions of your organization become the dysfunctions of your product.

Cate Huston

Mobile Lead at Automattic

Cate has spent her career working on mobile and documenting everything she learns using WordPress. Now she combines the two as Automattic’s mobile lead. She co-curates Technically Speaking, and admins the New-(ish) Manager Slack. You can find her on Twitter as @catehstn.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you are working on right now?

Cate: Yeah! I’ve been leading the mobile team at Automattic since November 2016 where we focus mainly on the WordPress apps, but I just started a rotation into the Jetpack team. It’s a new departure for me, because mobile is really my passion and what I’ve worked on for most of my career, but the mobile and Jetpack teams are very closely aligned and work together a lot, so it’s an amazing opportunity to learn and deepen that connection.

Your upcoming presentation at RebelCon is called “Failing by Succeeding”, what are the motivations behind this talk?

Cate: I’m pretty fascinated by organizational dysfunction! As an engineer, I liked to think about architecture and how the pieces of the system fit together. I continue to do that as a manager, but now the system is the team and the organization itself. Breaking down the different ways we think about success exposes so many system breakdowns, but it also gives us hope for something better.

Who would you say is the target audience of your talk?

Cate: If you’re second guessing your metrics of “success” or you’ve ever been frustrated at other people or processes, I hope you’ll find something in it.

What would you like the audience be able to bring back to their daily work?

Cate: That empathy for your teammates and users is really the foundation of building something meaningful in a healthy work environment. Oh, and that we should really think through processes before we implement them…

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