Based in Glasgow, Scotland, Valerie McLean believes that people, collaboration and communication can achieve amazing things. Currently spending her days as an agile coach and mum of one.

Weeknote 10 - Talk, talk, talk. Then celebrate.

Weeknote 10 - Talk, talk, talk. Then celebrate.

I think 10 weeknotes is actually a bit of a reason to celebrate, would you agree? I’ve been making progress on my upcoming conference sessions this week, guided a super interesting conversation at CodeCraftConf and then shot up to Aberdeen for my school friend’s wedding, which was amazing. I’m back, almost recovered, mini McLean in bed so it’s time to write and reflect.

The happy couple and some of Rachael’s school friends.

The happy couple and some of Rachael’s school friends.

What should I remember this week for?

Nothing to do with work - Rachael’s wedding was just awesome.

Word of the week:


Message of the week:

Keep talking - you never know what you might find out, about the world or yourself!

Who taught me something or really made me think this week?

Robb and Iain. I asked them for some help with my upcoming session at Agile Cambridge, ‘Agility for the masses’ which I’m running on October 2nd. I ran them through my ideas and the story I was trying to tell. We had a long conversation - what was the session about, what was I wanting to say and for people to take away from it.

I realised through talking to them that I was overthinking it and losing focus on my real passion - which is helping people everywhere find new ways of thinking and being that work better than what they do now. I threw away most of what I’d prepared already and started again. I feel much better about it now.

Where did I find inspiration?

Oh my goodness CodeCraftConf was awesome - this conference is about people talking to each other. They have three tracks which are solely focused on conversation. I ran a guided conversation on ‘Being t-shaped’. It was one of the most enlightening hours of my professional life.

We talked through everything from what t-shaped is and why it is even a thing anyway?! We discussed other shapes of people, someone as a ‘V’ and another as a very small hyphen. There were a few people there who were just starting out in the tech industry and they found the whole concept quite intimidating, as they had no idea what their ‘I’ would be yet. We discussed whether T-shaped means learning other things within your own specialism or also learning about other specialisms, such as developers learning more technical areas, or whether this should also include analysis, design, test etc.

One of the most interesting things for me was when I asked what skills the group thought are most useful to learn to wider your knowledge base, the majority of conversation was about soft skills and communication, rather than other tech stacks. I found it super interesting and loved it. I’d like to thank the organisers for having me and the wonderful people who came along to my conversation - you all inspired me to consider things from so many new perspectives.

(for those who haven’t heard the term t-shaped before, it does mean something different to everyone - which was clear from the session this week! But for a quick overview, here’s the Wikipedia page.)

What am I still trying to work out?

Still got work to do on my session for Agile Cambridge but it is really getting there.

How can I be better next week?

I feel I slowed down well this week, so for next week I think I just need to keep that pace and stay focused, I’ve a lot to get through, but I’m in the right headspace. Oh - and eat less sugar.

What am I looking forward to next week? - New Question this week!

I guess this gives you a little preview of next week’s weeknote, but it is good to remind myself what’s coming up as well as what has passed. Next week I’m looking forward to running a session where 4 teams will be meeting each other for the first time as part of a restructure within their organisation. I’ve planned a getting to know you session to help people put faces to names and start making those connections that I hope will grow as they start to work more closely together.


Comfort in Sound, Feeder. A classic.


Still ‘Thinking in Systems’ — by Donella H. Meadows


The Sinner (Netflix) Episode 1 is a shocker! But it gets interesting after that.

Weeknote 11 - Finding the balance

Weeknote 11 - Finding the balance

Weeknote 9 - Refreshed and Ready - or not!

Weeknote 9 - Refreshed and Ready - or not!