Hi. I’m Elisabeth Hendrickson. With 30+ years experience in tech, I have led a geographically distributed organization with ~170 engineers, product managers, and designers as a VP R&D at a publicly traded company. I have also been a VP engineering at a series B startup, and have held various other technical leadership roles in addition to hands-on-the-keyboard roles as a programmer and tester.

I’m the author of Explore It! from Pragmatic Bookshelf and There’s Always a Duck self-published on LeanPub.

These days I work with technology leaders to improve collaboration, decision making, and execution.

You can learn more about my background on LinkedIn.

My Philosophy

People first. Technology is powered by people, and people are at the heart of everything. Developing software is a team sport; empathy and kindness are essential.

Focus. Deliver. Learn. Repeat. The best way to make progress is to work in small increments. That refers both toincremental delivery and incremental improvement. While there are times when a verylarge and abrupt change is necessary, I prefer to find ways to achieve lastingimprovement through a series of small changes. This approach enables the organizationto optimize for learning, and as a result discover, adapt, and steer toward value.

There are many ‘right’ ways. Every context is unique. Every choice is a tradeoff. The ideathat there might be one single right way of doing things is antithetical to our approach.Instead, I focus on outcomes: delivering a known quantity within predictable timelinesand without late-breaking surprises or drama. I believe that achieving those resultsrequires incremental delivery, tight feedback loops, a high degree of collaboration and partnership, and a willingness to make difficult tradeoff decisions, but I ammethodology agnostic. So whether your organization is SAFe, does LeSS, goes FAST, is eXtreme, huddles in Scrums, can Kanban, or does any other style of software development, I work with you to improve outcomes, starting from where you are.

Why a Duck?

Some years ago while on a family car trip, my youngest daughter piped up from the back seat: “There’s always a duck!”

“Huh?” we replied. “Where did that come from?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “But it’s true. There’s always a duck.”

She was four at the time, and prone to odd-ball exclamations. I’ve forgotten most of the bizarre things she said at that age. But that one stuck.

Perhaps that’s because I’ve noticed that it’s true. Wherever I go, I can usually find a duck. My young daughter’s non sequitur about the ubiquity of water fowl has become a philosophical statement about the way the world works.

It’s comforting. Wherever I go, no matter how strange a place it is, I know that I will find something familiar.