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Refactor Your Wetware

Computing, Geek Life
Location: Imperial Ballroom Level: Novice
Average rating: ****.
(4.12, 16 ratings)

Software development happens in your head; not in an editor, IDE, or design tool. We’re well educated on how to work with software and hardware, but what about wetware—our own brains?

Join Andy Hunt for a look at how the brain really works (hint: it’s a dual-processor, shared bus design) and how to use the best tool for the job by learning to think differently about thinking. We’ll look at the importance of context and the role of expert intuition. You’ll see how to take advantage of pole-bridging and integration, compare different laterally-specialized functions such as synthesis vs. analysis, sequential processing and pattern-matching, and learn new techniques for harvesting internal clues.

You’ll discover one simple habit that separates the geniuses from the “wanna-bes.”

We’ll explore practical learning techniques including mind maps, reading techniques, and situational feedback, and how these fit it to the cognitive model discussed in “Refactoring Your Wetware.” We’ll also examine how to best cope with the literal torrent of new information that assaults each of us, using methods ranging from the tried-and-true to the truly exotic. You’ll also learn one proven technique that will improve your daily productivity by 20%-30%.

Photo of Andrew Hunt

Andrew Hunt

Pragmatic Programmers, LLC

Andy started in the do-it-yourself days of CP/M and the S100 bus, of Heathkits and Radio Electronics. Andy wrote his first real program, a combination text editor and database manager, for an Ohio Scientific Challenger 4P. It was a great era for tinkering. Andy started hacking in 6502 assembler, modifying operating systems, and wrote his first commercial program (a Manufacturing Resources Planning system) in 1981. He taught himself Unix and C, and began to design and architect larger, more connected systems.

Working at large companies, Andy kept an ear on Usenet, and started his early email habit via a direct bang-path to ihnp4. Next he settled into electronic pre-press and computer graphics, and worked on that wondrous eye-candy that was Silicon Graphics machines. By now a firm command of several flavors of Unix, from BSD to System V, led Andy to try consulting. His knack for stirring things up really began to come in handy, and it soon became obvious that many of his clients each suffered similar problems—-problems that Andy had already seen and fixed before.

Andy joined up with Dave Thomas and they wrote the seminal software development book, The Pragmatic Programmer, followed a year later by the original Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer’s Guide, which introduced the Western world to this new language from Japan. Together they founded The Pragmatic Programmers and have became increasingly well known, as founders of the new agile movement and authors of the Agile Manifesto, as well as proponents of Ruby and more flexible programming paradigms, and their Pragmatic Bookshelf publishing business, helping keep developers at the top of their game.

Andy is a member of IEEE and ACM, founder of the Pragmatic Programmers, founder of the Agile Alliance and author of the Agile Manifesto, and author of six books. He is an active musician and woodworker, and continues looking for new areas where he can stir things up.

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Picture of Chris Dunphy
Chris Dunphy
03/10/2009 3:57am PDT

Fabulous session. Gave me some significant food for thought…

Picture of Derek Sivers
Derek Sivers
03/03/2009 11:31am PST

Looking forward to this one, Andy. I’m a fan of the book, as you know. :-)

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