7–9 November 2016: Conference & Tutorials
9–10 November 2016: Training
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

People as technology, technology as people

Marta Paciorkowska (Acrolinx GmbH)
11:50–12:30 Tuesday, 8/11/2016
Organizational infrastructure DevOps, Organizational optimization E104/105/106 Audience level: Beginner
Average rating: ***..
(3.45, 11 ratings)

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of sociology and DevOps (Previous knowledge of Nass's book is not necessary to follow the talk.)

What you'll learn

  • Better understand why becoming interdisciplinary is a good idea for people working in tech
  • Be inspired by Nass's approach and try to find places in your workplace where cooperation could be improved
  • Learn some practical tips to get the changes started


In his book The Man Who Lied to His Laptop, Clifford Nass, a sociologist who studies personal attachments that people develop with computers and the software they use, explains how using computers rewires our brains and outlines the advantages and drawbacks of this process. Taking Nass’s argument as a starting point, Marta Paciorkowska explores our relationship to software to ask, how could studying this relationship improve our social capacities in and out of our organizations?

Marta applies Nass’s findings to IT organizations, explaining how our infrastructure, our software, and our code influence how we cooperate with each other and how the way we cooperate within an organization and/or team influences the tools we choose and how we use them. Marta also discusses whether we should focus on the personal emotional level, the team level, or both.

Where are we failing? What could we do better? What is the relationship between this approach and DevOps? That’s a lot of questions. Join Marta to try to figure out the answers together.

Photo of Marta Paciorkowska

Marta Paciorkowska

Acrolinx GmbH

An activist and project manager turned programming enthusiast, Marta Paciorkowska currently holds the position of DevOps heroine at Acrolinx, where she’s responsible for developer support, redesigning build infrastructure, and introducing DevOps ideas. Marta actively supports initiatives that make the tech community more inclusive. A very occasional Rails Girls coach, she loves Chef, alleycats, and pizza. Marta is interested in all things DevOps, live-coding music, metaprogramming in Ruby, and similarities between code and text (especially text as art).