4–7 Nov 2019
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What do you mean?

Kevlin Henney (Curbralan)
11:0011:45 Wednesday, 6 November 2019
Location: M8
Secondary topics:  Best Practice, Overview, Theoretical
Average rating: ****.
(4.60, 5 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Architects, developers, business analysts, and UX designers




“It’s just semantics.” Semantics is all about meaning. If there’s one thing we struggle with and need to get better at, it’s the search for and clarification of meaning. The world in which a software system lives is filled with meaning. The structure, concepts, and names that inform the code, its changes, and the mental models held by developers and others are expressions of meaning. The very act of development is an exercise in meaning—its discovery, its formulation, its communication. Paradigms, processes, and practices are anchored in different ways of thinking about and arriving at meaning.

Kevlin Henney explores how just because you’re immersed in concepts of meaning from an early age, and just because the daily work of software development is about wrangling meaning, and just because it’s just semantics, that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily good at it. It takes effort and insight.

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Familiarity with software development
  • Experience with domain-driven design (useful but not required)

What you'll learn

  • Understand that trying to establish what you mean and how you should express what you mean is the nontechnical challenge at the heart of software development
Photo of Kevlin Henney

Kevlin Henney


Kevlin Henney is an independent consultant, speaker, writer, and trainer. His development interests are in patterns, programming, practice, and process. Previously, he has contributed to open and closed source development, has been a columnist for a number of magazines and sites, and has been on far too many committees (it’s been said that “a committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled”). He’s coauthor of A Pattern Language for Distributed Computing and On Patterns and Pattern Languages and the editor of 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know and the forthcoming 97 Things Every Java Programmer Should Know. He lives in Bristol and online.

  • AXA
  • Contentful
  • Datadog
  • HERE Technologies
  • QAware
  • SIG
  • Zara Tech
  • GitLab
  • NearForm
  • WhiteSource
  • Cloud Native Computing Foundation

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