Your Brain on Software Development

The brain encounters more complexity than it can possibly deal with in life, and it's evolved a rich set of heuristics to deal with the problem. Those heuristics are fantastically tuned for staying fed, not getting eaten by bears etc., but are they well-suited for designing software?

This talk is for software engineers and architects alike, who are curious about how they make decisions, and how they think. It's threaded together from stories, personal experiences and otherwise, of systems that ended up a very strange shape, or were killed altogether, not through bad coding, but through humans collectively optimising for the wrong thing.

Learn about the biases that affect our programming choices; how we favour the first solution we think of (Anchoring effect), are suspicious of things that were “Not Invented Here”, and just how difficult it is to change your worldview (the Backfire effect).

Your Brain on Software Development is a whimsical talk that explores the intersection of Programming, Architecture and Psychology, through the medium of funny-in-retrospect memories, borrowed war stories, and attempts to avoid people swearing at your design choices five years later.

THIS TALK IN THREE WORDS

Psychology

Software delivery

Cognitive bias

OBJECTIVES

Attendees should go away with a wider knowledge of cognitive biases, how they might have originated, and where they can be seen when delivering software. They'll also pick up some techniques and tricks for combating them that Fahran has encountered along the way.

TARGET AUDIENCE

People with a general interest in software delivery, architecture, and the human impact upon them.

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