A Guide to Humans for Programmers

What makes software development complex isn’t the code, it’s the humans. The most effective way to improve our capabilities in software development is to better understand ourselves. This talk introduces a conceptual model for human interaction, identity, culture, communication, relationships, and learning based on the foundational model of Idea Flow. If you were to write a simulator to describe the interaction of humans, this talk would describe the architecture.

Learn how to understand the humans on your team and fix the bugs in communication, by thinking about your teammates like code! I’m not a scientist or a psychologist. These ideas are based on a combination of personal experience, reading lots of cognitive science books, and a couple years of running experiments on developers. As I struggled through the challenges of getting a software concept from my head to another developer’s head (interpersonal Idea Flow), I learned a whole lot about human interaction. As software developers, we have to work together, think together, and solve problems together to do our jobs. Code? We get it. Humans? WTF?! Fortunately, humans are predictably irrational, predictably emotional, and predictably judgmental creatures. Of course those pesky humans will always do a few unexpected things, but once we know the algorithm for peace and harmony among humans, we can start debugging the communication problems on our team.

Video producer: http://seleniumconf.co.uk/

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