Interview with Dana Pylayeva

Welcome to another interview from “Quality Talks with TLC Speakers” series. This time we have Dana Pylayeva with us. And I am sure you will enjoy this interview as much as I did. 

What made you choose “Seven Rules of Virtual Engagement” for your tutorial in TLC? What can participants expect to learn from your tutorial? 

“This year we were all forced to become virtual, while many of us were totally unprepared. I was fortunate to accumulate years of experience in facilitating, training and coaching distributed teams across the globe. The workshop I am bringing to TMA community is a powerful synergy of tried and true practices from my own experience, ideas from Training from the Back of the Room (by Sharon Bowman), as well as facilitation methods from Liberating Structures (by Keith McCandless and Henry Lipmanowicz). 

In this workshop, I will share seven key rules I found useful over these years. Some of them you may find controversial, others will sound really simple. Together they’ve been making a difference for my workshops participants, shifting the energy from dull to exuberant, creating safe and collaborative space. Participants can expect to learn by doing, engaging, connecting and collaborating with others in the virtual room. Best of all – they can expect to pick up simple and versatile tools to change the way they facilitate collaboration with their own teams.”

How different do you think the remote format of tutorials would be compared to in-person format? How do you plan to keep it as effective as it would be otherwise?

“This tutorial was designed to be virtual. We take advantage of the digital tools and space, instead of fighting against it. With Zoom Breakout rooms, creative use of chat, poll and annotation, everyone in our virtual room will find themselves engaged and contributing. I mentioned Liberating Structures. If you haven’t experienced them in a virtual space before, you are up for a big surprise! Give it a try and you will find that they make virtual collaboration rock!”

How would you explain your job as a tester to someone who is not familiar with the field?

“Expecting to be the one providing all the answers. Leaders of the past were expected to have all the answers, direct every step of their subordinate, give out orders. Today we are dealing with unpresidential complexity, within which no single person can have all the answers. If you still have (or know someone with) Frederick Taylor’s mindset, my advice would be to pick up David Marquet’s “Turn the ship around” and consider experimenting with Intent-based leadership.”

What’s the most rewarding part about leading people?

“The most rewarding part about leading people is in enabling their transformation from a group of individuals to a truly high-performing team, driven by the common purpose, open to experimentations, learning together and figuring out the path forward.”

Do you want to share anything else with the TMA community?

“It’s been an honour to contribute to TMA community in the face-to-face format in the past. I am excited to support the community again, now in the new virtual format and appreciate the tremendous effort on the part of organisers to make this conference a reality. Great work, Test Masters Academy!”

Thank you Dana for the interesting conversation. I am looking forward to attending your tutorial. 

Dear readers, if this interview inspires you and makes you curious about the tutorial that Dana is offering with TLC then don’t miss this chance and sign up for it soon. Below are the details:

About the Interviewees:

 Dana Pylayeva

Agile Coach and Founder at Agile Play Consulting, LLCUSA

In her 16 years of industry experience, Dana has been exposed to different areas of IT as a Java Developer, an Architect, a DBA Manager, a Scrum Master and an Agile Coach. Every role she has had in her career has given her an opportunity to apply her passion for agile principles and practices and to help others recognize the benefits of Agile. Dana holds MS in Robotics and Mechatronics from Moscow State University of Technology “STANKIN” as well as CSM, SCPO and CSP certifications from Scrum Alliance. An active member of the global agile community, she has been volunteering at Agile Alliance conferences for the past 10 years. A member of the “Women in Agile” group and NYC Scrum User group, she leads the “Big Apple Scrum Day 2016” conference organizing initiative. Dana enjoys speaking, facilitating workshops and training groups from 10 to 120 people. She speaks internationally on topics ranging from DevOps to User Story Mapping, improving the effectiveness of distributed teams with retrospectives and agile games. She finds inspiration from reading, practising yoga, hiking, travelling and spending time with her family.

About the Host:

Astrid Winkler

Astrid is a budding freelance journalist and content writer from Switzerland. Creativity is her passion and writing is her lost-and-found love which she is willing to develop with more care. Connect with Astrid on Linkedin or follow her on twitter @AstridWinkler4