Engineering the Future of Software
29–31 Oct 2018: Tutorials & Conference
31 Oct–1 Nov 2018: Training
London, UK

Your Brain on Software Development

Fahran Wallace (OpenCredo)
13:1514:05 Monday, 29 October 2018
Application architecture, Enterprise architecture, Leadership skills, Microservices
Location: Buckingham Room - Palace Suite Level: Beginner
Secondary topics:  Anti-Pattern, Case Study

Who is this presentation for?

Software Engineers, Architects, anyone else interested in the Architecture of solutions

Prerequisite knowledge

All you really need is an interest in architecture. You'll get the most value from some of the examples if you've written web applications or experienced Microservice architecture, but that's by no means a requirement.

What you'll learn

Attendees will be equipped with a spotters guide to a few cognitive biases, the impacts they can leave on a proejct, and some suggestions as to how to combat them.


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 my design choices 5 years later.

Photo of Fahran Wallace

Fahran Wallace


Fahran Wallace is a Senior Consultant at OpenCredo. She’s been programming professionally for 7 years (and tinkering for much longer), starting with application development, and growing to explore other facets of delivery, including architecture and tech leading. Her current focus is Data Engineering. Building things, and hearing how others approached problems, are her two favourite ways to learn.

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