17–19 October 2016: Conference & Tutorials
19–20 October 2016: Training
London, UK

Hacking your head: Managing information overload

Jo Pearce (Snowthorn Ltd.)
13:35–14:15 Tuesday, 18/10/2016
Collaboration and community
Location: Buckingham Room Level: Beginner
Average rating: ****.
(4.25, 4 ratings)

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of developing for the Web

What you'll learn

  • Understand the concept of information overload and the psychological and physiological effects it can have
  • Learn simple techniques to reduce cognitive load and make the development experience more productive and efficient


There are limits to our ability to learn and process information, but the amount of information we have access to is growing faster than ever.

Jo Pearce explains the origins of the term “information overload” and describes what physiological and psychological effects being overloaded causes. With reference to developing for the Web, Jo describes specific, manageable sources of information overload for us as developers and shows how development in general is a continuous learning process.

In order to hack how we learn, it’s important to understand a little about how learning happens. To that end, Jo outlines the points of attack by relating the current understanding from the field of cognitive psychology on how our thinking and learning processes work.

Using simple examples, Jo demonstrates how to manage projects more effectively, write clearer, more maintainable code, and actively manage our own learning journeys, as well as assisting the journeys of those we work alongside. With this knowledge we should be able to make our development process more efficient and reduce the risk of information overload, both for ourselves and others.

Photo of Jo Pearce

Jo Pearce

Snowthorn Ltd.

Jo Pearce is a nonbinary, language agnostic developer and science womble who loves to learn about a wide range of sciences and make good use of the things that they find. Jo has spent the last 20 years working in IT companies, on projects ranging from OO databases, financial modeling, and decision support systems to marketing websites. In every role, the one consistent requirement has been to understand people and their needs. Jo enjoys making useful things, but they also enjoy helping people be more useful and productive.