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Growth Mindset with Esther Derby


Esther Derby started her career as a developer who loved machines and struggled with people. Now, she’s one of the world’s top experts in organizational dynamics and a leading thinker on bringing agility to organizations, management and teams. Esther playfully shares with us her intimate story of personal growth from being a satisfied solo coder to a team builder and gives us all some practical tips for learning skills that might be just outside our comfort zone.

We talked about:

A nostalgic throwback to punch machines. Remember those?

Dreading the messiness of humans.

The root of the isolating attitude among coders.

The lightbulb moment - being the smartest person in the room doesn’t make you happy!

Adopting a growth mindset and the belief that you can improve.


Creating shared understanding with the teammates is how creativity happens.

Realizing the value of learning and learning how to learn expands your comfort zone.


Growing with your projects and with your environment.


Esther’s learning process.


Algorithms of social interaction.


Micro shifts yield macro results.


Two rules of steady personal growth.


Anthropology of legacy code.


The importance of setting boundaries in order to surpass them.


Creating shared team experience through small steps.


What a hammer and code have in common?


Dunning-Kruger Effect - the arch-nemesis of personal growth.


Navigating through human ambiguity.


Practicing social cues.


Facilitation as a core skill for retrospectives and beyond.


What Esther loves about working with the legacy code - "It makes a lot of my world run!"


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