Interview with Sallyann Freudenberg

By | January 9, 2017

This is the fourth in our series of interviews with interesting people (sometimes loosely) related to our agile and lean world.

This week we interview Sallyann Freudenberg who is a Neurodiversity advocate, Aspie, Agile/Lean consultant, coach and practitioner, psychology of software development researcher, vegihooligan, ageing punk-rocker [her words, not our’s!].


S&K: Explain what you do in one sentence?

Sallyann: I’m an agile coach, trainer and researcher who advocates for better understanding and support for Neurodiversity in the tech industry.


S&K: What would you like to be remembered for?

Sallyann: I would love it if I was remembered for helping the industry to find more inclusive ways to collaborate – both in terms of practices and related to physical environments and tools. Everything points at tech having a higher rate of autism than the general population and yet we are not yet well equipped to support all of the different kinds of minds we need if we are to create the most innovative products and solve the trickiest problems. Even if I can just help to get the conversation started then that would be amazing.


S&K: What would be your ideal job?

Sallyann: I have tried a number of different careers – I have even been a scuba diving instructor, however I adore my current job. It’s really varied, I do some work commercially and some for the community, and I get to interact with some of the smartest people in the industry. I honestly can’t think of anything I would rather be doing right now.


S&K: What valuable lesson have you learned … and who did you learn it from?

Sallyann: I have only just learned the value of resting and waiting. Of not hammering away at a problem or creative piece of work, rather stepping away and waiting for the solution to arise. It seems odd given that I have talked about research on the creative process in general for quite some time that I have only just begun to understand my own.


S&K: If you had a free day next week to work on anything you wanted, what would it be?

Sallyann: Writing my Neurodiversity in Tech book. That has taken a bit of a backseat at the moment as we have begun work on launching the Inclusive Collaboration campaign. It such a passionate subject for me, and at the same time I’m finding out and understanding more and more about it as time goes on, so it’s a little like trying to write a travel journal but never really catching up with the day you are on.


S&K: What is your biggest weakness?

Sallyann: Fear. Sometimes I really struggle to just get on and DO THE THING.


You can read Sallyann’s ideas on her blog at Agile in the Wild and follow her on Twitter @SalFreudenberg

Who would you like to know more about? Feel free to add your suggestions to our comments section or contact us directly.

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