Real Technologists: Duena Blomstrom

Real Technologists

Jul 13 2023 • 24 mins

Trac Bannon:

To be honest, I don't remember when or how I was introduced to Duena Blomstrom. I do know that throughout the lockdowns, we began randomly hopping on calls together and chatting. It really helped us navigate the seeming melees that embrace the globe during the lockdowns.

We are constantly finding strong deep topics that focus on humans. We've debated gender affirming care, child rearing, and the joys of having a partner. And if I can be totally honest, I'd consider her a friend and a crush. That's right, a crush. This is not a romantic crush. This is when you connect with someone's message and their ways of expressing themselves. Hang on and you'll understand why.

One of the topics Duena and I come back to again and again is the idea of cognitive overload and human debt. Human debt is the kissing cousin of technical debt. Tech debt accrues Based on the decisions we make and possibly shortcuts we take that we will need to address or fix over time. As we make decisions, debt accumulates just like financial debt. The longer you wait to pay down the debt, generally, the bigger the debt grows and the greater the effort needed to fix it.

Human debt follows the same pattern. Human debt accrues when people's issues are not addressed and needs not met. When you ignore people's needs, human debts accrue at the team level, and even at the enterprise. Teams can be empowered to reduce their human debt by learning to measure and improve their behaviors to become happier, to feel a sense of psychological safety and to experience high performing dynamics.

I can talk to Duena about the human element of the technical world and she just gets it.

She's also wildly independent and authentic. When we got together to record her episode of Real Technologists, she showed up in beautiful colors, perfectly applied vibrant makeup, nifty earrings, and vaping... all this to record audio.

Duena Blomstrom:

If I were to puff on this... Will you hear it and destroy your audio?

Trac Bannon: There's raw authenticity for you. She was savvy enough to ask if the mics and recording equipment would pick up the sound of her vaping... Of course Bob, our recording engineer, popped on screen and told her to hit the vape and he would check the sound levels. Duena was cleared to vape and be her normal self. It was midday US and Duena dialed in from her office in the UK.

Duena Blomstrom:

I'm just tired, babe. I've been awake since 5:00 AM.

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